Nicholas Feitel Blogs: Why Self-Respect Is the Key to Weight-Loss

Nicholas Feitel

Courtesy Nick Feitel

01/04/2013 AT 6:00 PM ET

Nicholas Feitel is Bethenny Frankel’s food blogger. The 5’10", 25-year-old writer credits his 66 lb. weight loss to yoga and healthy eating, which includes Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Daily products.

Weight loss is a metaphor. Respect yourself.

That seems like a casual thing to say, a little too easy knowing how many people struggle with their weight or the probably even more people who struggle with respecting themselves.

But I ll say this: that was how I approached my weight loss.

My training is as a writer. I went to film school at New York University, I trained in comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade and Magnet Theaters in New York City. One of the principle things you create in telling a joke or telling a story is to honor the things you ve already said.

If I m telling a joke and I say, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” and then after a pause I say “I went to Delaware,” it might be funny because it s non sequitur, but it doesn t fulfill the expectation set up by the beginning of the joke – that we ll hear why the chicken crossed the road.

I seem to be going a long way from weight loss in talking about this, but consider this: just like when we create a story, the promises we make to ourselves in life find a way of disappointing us if we don t find a way to honor them in life.

My Turning Point

Nicholas Feitel

Courtesy Nick Feitel
Weight loss was something I tossed around for a long time: “Oh, if I wanted to, I could lose 20 pounds, if I wanted to feel better about myself, I could get fit.” But there s an unspoken “but” lingering in there. But I m too busy? But I don t know how? But I m afraid of failure? These “buts” were all things I had to tackle as an artist, as a writer, as a young man going into my late 20s: would I become the annoying “old person” people hate complaining about how they “could have done” something or was I going to do it?

Being in the spotlight on ’s show helped to put that in perspective. Seeing a colleague, Jon Bander, losing 100 pounds gave me perspective. Realizing that I had the power to change my life was what allowed me to lose weight.

What if I honored the things I already knew I wanted?

Why do diets fail? I m sure the number one reason is that people fear failure. Some people have metabolic problems or what have you, but most lack a powerful enough desire or will to commit to a plan, a diet, working out, a technique, any technique for losing weight, there are tons of viable ones. Your health, external validation, pressure from your parents or loved ones – these things will fail you in your weight loss unless you have an internal reason, a want to change, a want to respect yourself that overwhelms your self-hatred.

Because what I realized when I lost my weight was the joy, the pride of realizing that I had the power to change my life, myself. And if I had the power to change my weight, then what else? I had the power to change my posture and get fit doing yoga, I didn t have to be satisfied slouching. I had the power to be confident and act like I was worthy, because I had done something so hard. I had the power to ask a girl out on a date, to kiss someone in a bar, to ask for a job, to be a writer, an artist, to put myself to the world and be ready for rejection knowing I had worth.

So this is why weight loss is not the goal. Your life is a journey towards self-respect, towards seeing what you want and being cool with what you get. Weight loss and getting fit are wonderful means for this. But they can t be your end goal. Respect yourself and anything is possible.

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