The “After” Myth

The “After” Myth – By Lisa K

After.

It’s here.

In my first post, Before, 3 years ago, I said

“I’m not to After yet, but I’m closer to After than to Before.”

I now weigh 117 – 120 pounds (depending on the day), and standing at 5-foot 6-inches, that measurement means that After is very, very here. But, before you congratulate me, dear readers…if I have any…and dear friends and family who I know follow this blog… I have to come clean with you: I don’t feel like I’m at After. I’m terrified of being at After. And, I don’t like that After is here.

The “After” MythThe tagline of my blog is “uncovering myself one pound at a time.” For most of this blog, I’ve spoken strongly about how my relationship with food and myself was what caused my weight struggles. I stand by that. The thing is, the symptoms have resolved faster than I’ve been able to treat the deeper disease.

I’ve lost the weight, but I’ve failed to uncover and learn to truly love myself in the process.

Truthfully, I have no idea who I am without “needs to lose weight” being one of the primary parts of my identity.

This is why I have not been posting…because this blog is not about weight loss…it’s about life gain. I could not bear to post here about the beautiful things one can gain in life by learning to love yourself while, in the background, hating myself so hard while the weight melted off. Progressing on the outside while regressing internally. Because, that’s the truth, readers. The last stretch of this weight loss hasn’t been healthy OR happy: it’s been agony. It’s been sad. It’s been an exercise in mourning.

The “After” MythI’ve gotten so good at putting on the happy face.

At “smile, nod, yes, thank you, I have lost a lot. No, I’m not trying to lose any more; you don’t need to worry.”

I’m very good at this script, but it’s been such a lie, readers. The truth is my body melted away, and I stared at myself in the mirror not understanding why I couldn’t love the skin I’m in. Why? I thought After was the goal!

But I made a mistake.

A crucial mistake.

I forgot that the number on the scale is only a number. Only just a number. It’s not a before. It’s not an after. Getting that number to a certain set of digits is not my After.

I’m not at After. There is no After – happily ever or otherwise. There is only today. Just today – During.

The “After” MythI tell you this now not to discourage you but to hopefully prevent someone from making the mistake that I did and associating After with a number. I weigh 120 pounds and still struggle with my weight. Losing weight does not mean you no longer struggle with your weight; I wish I had truly understood that. I still struggle with food. I still struggle with me.

Looking at the picture I put first in this post, I have to pause. I look at me … past vs. present. That is me. All of those pictures are of me. People say they do not recognize the girl in the other pictures. I’m here to say: that girl is me.

Don’t look at her as an abomination, because enough people, myself included, did that already.

Don’t congratulate me on no longer being her; I still am her. And doesn’t she deserve to be?

Don’t tell me I look better; I don’t. I look different.

Don’t speak of her as if she is a poor, piteous person. She’s not.

She’s me.

She’s standing right here, and she is fucking strong.

The “After” MythThere. Is. No. After.

There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of weight loss because the rainbow has no end.

There is today. There is now. There is during. There is life.

I uncovered myself one pound at a time; now, I must REcover myself…I must DIScover myself. And that…that is the new goal. Not numbers. Not sizes. Not inches.

Me. I am the goal. Finding. Loving. Being.

Can anybody hear me?

The “After” Myth



Author Bio:

Hi, I’m Lisa! I’m 26, and I run 2 blogs: a weightloss blog and a blog about my animal fostering experiences. These blogs can be found at



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17 comments

  1. Wow, I am in tears because I am in process of discovering myself beneath the weight I have used to protect myself. I hear you, I am you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! I hear you! Blessings as you continue in the NOW, not “the after”. I’ve had many “afters”…and it wasn’t until I truly understood it is not about a number, that I could live in the NOW. Thank you for sharing this…I look forward to going back through and reading more of your journey ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed this so much – so much truth here. We are NOT our outsides. I honor your strength in pursuing and reaching a personal goal and the wisdom you’ve learned/are learning along the way to share with others.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You have always been and always will be your beautiful self Lisa .. Lovely to meet you, see YOU before and After and for every moment inbetween..You are always YOU.. Now and every after 😉
    Love and Blessings to you in all you do in every moment of forever..
    Sue

    Like

  5. You should commend yourself for sticking to it and for making a change a reality and a new lifestyle. I too am on a fitness journey and I get discourage by the slower progress. But I agree. While I’m thinner, there’s definitely a -must keep going and that to slow down – which is what I want won’t get me where I want to go.
    To be thinner, or blonder or to have a larger circle of friends does not bring happiness – it must come from inside and I hope that you find thing things that help make you feel more comfortable in your skin and things that make you feel good about you. Keep writing about it b/c I also think this may have good effects and finding the you, you want to and will be. Best of luck! – taf

    Like

  6. I absolutely hear you. The nearer I get to the ‘goal’ weight, the more I realise I’m not nearly where I thought I’d be in my head. The goal actually terrifies me because I’m not better than I was, just as you say I’m different!

    Like

  7. Lisa,

    I am in absolute AWE at this post. You are right–it isn’t about the weight loss, and I love it that you say that you are “uncovering yourself.” That’s what it’s about–learning and being who you are, heavy or thin. It’s the essential YOU that matters, not the outward shell.

    Good for you, and may the “after” give you many gifts of peace, health, joy, happiness and freedom.

    Best,

    Jane

    Like

  8. I loved this post! You are strong, strong for learning a massive lesson that most of us never realise when pursuing goals. Like you say, there is no after, it’s the journey that counts and sometimes it’s a never ending journey. We all think that we will be happy when…. but once we reach that ‘when’ we are often disheartened and think, is this it? It’s about seeing how far you’ve come but also knowing what it took to get there and what it takes to keep it up and adapting to a new way of thinking and being along with grieving for the past that you knew so well!

    Thank you for your inspiration and lesson.

    Like

  9. Wow. Firstly I must congratulate you on all the tireless effort that it must have taken, surely this is no easy feat. But yeah, I know what you mean about trying every possible way to reinvent yourself and change the way you appear to others, only to realise at the end, that you don’t look any different to yourself. And when did others become more important than ourselves? True, I’ve only just read your last post, but I’ll be catching up on the others ASAP. Keep discovering yourself, there is no better time than the present to be the best version of yourself.
    Atb!

    Like

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