During what I like to call “My Journey to Health,” I've learned so many things. One of the greatest things I've learned is to love my body during my transition. Now this may sound silly because I'm trying to lose weight and get healthy, so I obviously don't love my body, right? That really couldn't be further from the truth. I love my body and myself enough to want to take this journey.
The human body is an amazing thing, and when we box it in and define its awesomeness by a mere number on a scale, it's really unfortunate. Please don't think I'm criticizing anyone who does this, because that was me for a while, but you are so much more than that number! I'm sure you hear it all the time, but we need to love our transition bodies and the journey, not just focus on that finish line and goal weight.
It's been my experience that those who are successful with weight loss and keeping it off tend to learn to love themselves along their journey, and that love overflows into wanting to take care of yourself and your temple. I’ve lost weight just focusing on that number on the scale and when I got to my goal I was still unhappy. My journey started in November 2012 at 160 pounds and a goal weight. In just under a year I managed to lose 23 pounds, become obsessed with exercise, embrace disordered eating, and was completely lost within myself.
I had achieved my goal weight, was a healthy BMI—so what was my problem? The problem was I didn’t love myself through the process. I was so focused on the weight loss and that stupid goal number that I did whatever I needed to do to get there. I have since gained back almost all that I lost (since it wasn't lost with the right mindset), but I carry it differently since I'm actually active and working out. I can still fit into most of my smaller clothes from when I was 15 pounds lighter.
So what is it I'm asking of you all today? I’m asking that you please look at yourself, wherever you are in your journey, and love yourself the way you are right now. Realize that a focus on fitness and nurturing your body with the right foods is what will make you truly happy, and rejoice in weight loss as an added benefit, not the focus.
STAY OFF THE SCALE! I cannot say this enough! My real turning point in gaining a healthy perspective was getting off the scale every day, multiple times per day. When you only get on the scale once a week or once every two weeks, you become proud of yourself for sticking to your fitness, don't see the little daily fluctuations that are normal, and you become proud of the weight the scale shows you, regardless of how much is lost.
DRESS UP! Don't wait until you get to goal to look fabulous! Start now :)
BE REALISTIC. You will not lose the weight overnight, just like you didn't gain it overnight. But also be realistic that one bad meal will not ruin everything. Just don't use it as an excuse to throw the whole day/week/month out the window.
And finally, FIND A PLAN THAT WORKS FOR YOU! Stop looking at other girls and wanting to follow their plan to look like them. You may have a different body composition, lose weight differently, gain muscle in different places. Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. Also realize that if you're a working mom of four, it may not be realistic to follow a plan that requires you to workout multiple times per day for hours on end. Love yourself enough to realize that you are enough the way that you are right now, and let that love overflow into loving yourself enough to want to take care of yourself.