Recently I was honored at a longevity celebration, teaching college nutrition courses for 40 semesters! Many people call that accomplishment a success, though at the same celebration we also celebrated a professor celebrating 40 years of teaching.
The feeling of success with accomplishing 40 semesters of teaching could have been overshadowed by the
person teaching 40 years! While there may always be another person better than you, that detail should not impact your feeling of success. For that matter, your definition of success changes, as you excel.
How many times have you wanted a goal in life, only to achieve that goal and be disappointed? Many clients tell me if they lose XYZ weight, they will be happy, satisfied, blah, blah, blah! This pipedream sadly is a mirage that is created by the culture we live in and the stories we tell ourselves.
The reality is when a person loses weight:
- life does not magically change
- spouses are not all of a sudden catering to wants and needs
- self-esteem and confidence do not magically accelerate
- weight loss is often only temporary
- weight cycling and regain is likely
Weight loss surgeries define success based on a certain percentage of weight lost. I would not define success by the typical parameters used commonly in weight loss surgery results research trials. Assessing changes after weight loss surgeries should include struggles that may make life more complicated.
Success is not defined by a number on the scale. It is just a number.
When numbers are used to determine success, many other challenges may still exist such as:
- a restrictive diet mentality
- a fear of body changes
- fear of certain foods
- not knowing what to eat
- disordered eating behaviors
- alcohol and substance use addictions
- suicidal thoughts and attempts
- micronutrient deficiencies
Working with individuals struggling with post op lifestyle reveals challenges often that relate to ties with emotional health, food, body and personal relationship being off balance.
In my experience, those who are “successful” learn how to connect to their inner guidance system, finding balance in improved nutrition and body care. Finding ways to negotiate life and incorporating the factors impacting balance achieves satisfaction and connection with the body, mind and soul.
What are your self-care practices for nourishing your body, mind and soul?