What was lost
I posted a story on Instagram earlier this week with a #brag about losing 3 pant sizes in the past three years. In the moment I didn’t think much about it, but over its 24 hour life span and the time that has passed since it disappeared, it’s been on my mind a lot.
It’s funny. Last summer I wrote here that I was gaining back the weight I lost in my grief. And now, I’m here again watching as these pounds are falling away. Except this time it’s different. My life isn’t falling apart around me. I’m not losing weight because I simply cannot eat. I’m not spending weeks alone on my couch crying quietly and watching the shadows move across my living room as the day melts away. This time, I am getting smaller because I am caring for myself. I’ve been intensely focused on my health this year and two main elements of that, for me, are eating well and exercising.
To be honest, I feel gross about my skinny internet brag because my shrinking waist was never the point. It’s just something that has happened.
But, weight is such an easy, visible way to track gain and loss. I feel fundamentally different from all of the internal changes that have happened in the last four years. But, no one can actually see that on the outside. Aside from the bigger bags under my eyes, I look about the same. And as I racked my brain trying to figure out why I was so uncomfortable with my post, I realized it’s because there are far more important gains and losses that came and went with those pounds on my waist.
In the last three years, I gained a deeper appreciation for the brevity of life than I ever had before. I gained friends who are now family. I gained the perspective that allows me to fall deeply into joy even in the midst of my struggles. I gained an edge and a softness that has allowed me to stand up for myself while also viewing the world around me in the best possible light. I gained the clarity to relentlessly chase the sort of life I want to have while shedding all of the “should” that dictated my choices for so many years. I gained the peace that comes with accepting the unpredictable.
I also lost a few pounds.
And somehow, even after all that I have gained, this is all I have to show for it.