Losing vs. Releasing

In my very first post, I used the term “releasing” when it comes to my physical fitness goals. I plan to release the pounds, not lose the pounds. Release? Lose? What’s the difference?

The difference is we have been socialized to look for (and find) the things we lose. You lose your car keys and the first thing you do is look for them. You lose your wallet and the first thing everyone says to you is, “Well, you’d better find it!”

In addition to our desire to find what we lose, most humans seem predisposed to avoid pain. And, rightly or not, we tend to associate loss with pain. When someone dies, we grieve. When we lose anything (whether it’s a dollar or a pet or even something as trivial as a game) we’re unhappy.

So instead, I’ve decided to release my weight. When I think of the word release, I think about people releasing animals into the wild. Or someone releasing rehabilitated birds of prey to the skies. You release them, you celebrate their departure and you hope against hope that you never see them again.

I am going to release my weight. I will do it proudly and happily. I will not look for it and I certainly won’t miss it or grieve it in any way, shape, or form.

Now I realize that “release” might not work for everyone. Some might prefer more potent words like annihilate, obliterate, destroy, or burn or melt off. Whatever works for you, that is, whatever works for you besides lose! In fact, if you have any better suggestions I’d love to hear them just in case I’m ever feeling less expansive about my goals and release just isn’t quite doing it for me.

So, how do you talk about achieving your ideal outcome? Is it an opportunity or a challenge? Do you lose unwanted fat (only to find it three months later) or do excommunicate it forever? Let me know.

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