Warning: Adult language ahead.
My white whale, no pun intended, has always been my weight.
I don’t remember a time that food was simply food and not a puzzle, a struggle, an “issue.” And Ive been working at solving this stupid stubborn puzzle, every day, in a million different ways…for decades.
Recently I’ve made some major dietary and lifestyle changes. While personal values, not my weight, was my primary focus, a healthier weight “should” naturally occur as part of this healthy lifestyle. Overall, I was optimistic that better spiritual and physical health was on its way. I was right about the former. Spiritually, I have never felt better. But my weight has moved swiftly in the opposite, unhealthy direction.
I don’t know why this is happening and really, it is not all that important. By trial and error and maybe a trip or two to the doctor, or a therapist, or a nutritionist, or a trainer…and likely to all four, I will get closer to figuring this out. But that does not make it any easier to wake up in a body that reflects the fact that in one way or another, I have been chasing and losing that same damn whale, for decades.
Any way you slice it, I feel like I’ve screwed up.
And it sucks.
While very few people are in perfect health (be it physical, mental emotional, spiritual or financial) it is not always apparent. Other people can appear like they’re kicking life’s ass, like they’ve solved the puzzle, like it was easy, no sweat. For some of us, it’s apparent that we’re struggling. For me, it’s written all over my persistently chubby face. And it is sh*tty and frustrating to feel like we are not up to par—with others, with our expectations of ourselves.
But I remind myself of this.
While some struggles are less apparent than others, everyone has their puzzle. Everyone is working on unraveling and re-raveling something. And many of us have been trying to solve that same damn puzzle, to untangle the same stubborn knot, for decades. For me, it’s weight. For others, including my friends and my clients, it’s alcohol, drugs, relationships, self esteem, a hundred other things. Everyone has at least one white whale.
Although life can often look and feel like a race, it isn’t. It is simply a path to being a better, stronger, wiser version of ourselves. And this is a path that we, all of us, are always on.
Even when we find ourselves back at the starting line of whatever our current goal is, even when it’s for the second or sixtieth or sixty-thousandth time, there will always be someone ahead of us, behind us, and often, if we take the time to look, beside us.
All that matters is that we, in this breath, in this moment, now, decide to keep moving even the tiniest bit forward.
For someone suffering with heartache, this might entail doing just the bare minimum to get through the day. For someone battling substance abuse, this might be making a call or going to a meeting. For my part, I am going to try my best to keep eating in a healthy sensical way and resist the urge to say f*ck it and order a pizza. And when I’m up to it, I’m going to make an appointment with a health professional. We all can use some help untangling our knots.
But even if, or when, I finally capture that white whale of my ideal weight, every day I will still be working on something—being a better person, partner, friend to others and to myself, a better citizen of this earth, all of the above and then some. When there is nothing to strive to, no way to evolve, then we are stagnant, and we are dying.
There is no finish line.
So while I feel that there is a better version of myself than the one I currently see in the mirror, I remind myself that it matters not where I am (or am not) but only that I never stop living, striving, trying, moving forward.
Author: Jenny Spitzer
Editor: Travis May