I get a lot of compliments and questions about my weight lately. My friends and family have noticed a huge change in me as I work on changing my lifestyle to one that is supportive of health and wholeness. I get lots of messages and texts about how I lost the weight, what I am doing, how to start, etc. So I figure it is time to write a blog on it.
The first thing is, I didn’t “lose” anything. In our complicated human minds we have associated “loss” with something negative. When we focus on a loss our brains want to find it. If I lost weight – my brain would focus on the loss of something and my body would try desperately not to lose anything else. If you don’t think this little theory of mine is true, check out my pic at the end of this post. I stopped focus on losing anything. I started focusing on GAINING health. My brain likes when I gain things, it feels satisfied and content. I’m a winner, my life is full of gains. I can gain health a lot faster and easier than I can lose weight. But because I’m gaining health, I’m shedding pounds. I’m not losing them, I’m releasing them.
I am a firm believer in affirmations. I will absolutely write more on these later because that deserves it’s own entire post or seven. I stopped telling myself I was fat. I stopped telling myself I can’t do things because I’m fat. I stopped making excuses for going to the gym because I’m fat and I don’t want to be embarrassed. I tell myself I am healthy. I tell myself my body is incredibly efficient and burning fat. My favorite is, “My goodness this fat is just melting off my body!” But perhaps the most important affirmation of all is “I deserve love.”
There are many reasons we as humans become overweight. We can blame it on society and “food” options that are available to us, but in reality it is our choices alone that either shed or pack on pounds. It is easy to not take ownership of our choices, I did it for most of my life. But when we take ownership of our choices, something cool goes down. We start realizing that we ARE in control of our reality. And because we are in control of our reality, we are in control of our bodies. Fat isn’t something that happened to me, it’s something I chose to be. My reasons for choosing fat were ugly. Which is why “I deserve love” is my most important affirmation. I believed that I was undeserving of love. I actualized this belief into my reality by being overweight. Deep in my subconscious I was keeping myself overweight because I believed if I made myself physically unattractive then I would not be put in a position to be abandoned or hurt or left by love. And it worked.
We often develop patterns in our life that are meant to protect us. We get defensive, we might turn aggressive, we even throw ourselves into seclusion. My protection was my weight. It was a physical barrier protecting my fragile little heart. I had to learn this about myself in order to let my weight go. I had to believe that I AM deserving of love and once I accepted this, “losing” weight was pretty dang easy.
So. Before you go to the gym, before you buy a juicer, ask yourself why you have chosen to be overweight. What is your motivation? Is it protecting you from something? It probably is. I know you guys want to hear better tips than getting right with yourself, it’s honestly the most important, but here are a few others that worked for me.
1. Started cooking. I didn’t jump right into paleo or vegan or any crazy diet plan. I just simply started cooking. I committed to not eating fast food and cooking for myself and my family. This alone is where I found myself 30 lbs lighter.
2. Eat less. This is pretty obvious, but our portion sizes in America are downright ridiculous. No body needs the amount of food that most restaurants put on one plate. We grow accustomed to larger portion sizes, so even when we prepare them for ourselves we eat way more than we should. Instead of using a large dinner plate – get a fancy little plate. I LOVE eating on fancy plates. 🙂 It takes a few weeks, but after you commit to eating smaller portions you get used to it. You don’t even miss the feeling of being so full you want to die.
3. Start small. Change one or two things. Don’t jump into a complete lifestyle change, it will send your brain and your body into shock. Commit to one month without soda, and after your body is ok with that maybe commit to one month without sugar, and so on and so on… It has taken me over a year to get to the point in my life that I am now. I started small and simply. When I started cooking I didn’t think about if it was healthy or not or how many calories or macrocarbs were in it. I just cooked.
4. Listen to your body. It will tell you what it is hungry for. Mindful eating is a PRACTICE you may never perfect. Whenever I am hungry, I don’t head to the kitchen right away. I really think about my options of what I could eat. My body will tell me what it needs. Lately it is a lot of protein because I’ve been gettin my swole on in the gym 😉 Another important part of listening to your body is if you do, you will feed it appropriately. Every body is different. We need nourishment in different ways. For me, it is appropriate to cut out gluten from my diet. This is not appropriate for some. Don’t jump on a bandwagon because everyone on Facebook is doing it. Do what is right for you.
5. Allow yourself to “cheat.” The amazing thing about allowing yourself to cheat is 1. you don’t feel deprived and is my life always going to suck?! And 2. Once you are consistently making healthy choices eating a cupcake just isn’t fun anymore. We had cupcakes for our birthdays in June and I couldn’t even finish it. It was too sweet and sugary, it gave me a headache and made me feel dizzy. When you realize you’re not missing out on anything by allowing yourself to cheat, it’s a lot easier to keep going.
6. Don’t set goals. WHAT?! This is still something I struggle with. I have a size, a weight, a certain look in my head that I want to achieve. There is nothing wrong with visualizing yourself as you want to be, in fact, it’s a great way to keep yourself going. The problem with setting a weight or size goal is that it implies there is an end to your work. Will you stop working out and eating clean when you reach a certain size or weight? Maybe you will, but your new weight will not be supported for long if you do. I was struggling with this a lot. “Well I’m just so far from my goal.” Once I change my focus from my goal to just being healthy, my weight doesn’t want to hang out with me anymore. If you insist on setting goals for fitness make them one day at a time. “Today, I am going to work out and eat 3 good meals.” It feels a lot better to set smaller goals that are easily reachable, rather than starting at a number on your scale and hating yourself for it.
7. Get a body composition analysis. Once I had a body composition analysis, I realized that this “goal” weight I had in my head was actually completely ridiculous and totally unattainable for the way my body is built. This was awesome news to me! I realized I didn’t actually have 150 lbs to go. Because of the way my body is composed, and how amazingly muscular I am 😉 I can be HEAVIER but look SMALLER. What a relief. Find out what your body is made of, then decide how you want to move forward.
8. Find courage. I never in my life went to a fitness class until this year, because I thought people would judge me and make fun of me. The reality is, everyone is there for themselves, just like you are. People are too busy sweating their asses off to give a damn if you can’t do a burpee. Fitness is FUN! I look forward to my step and pump classes because we have a blast. It took courage for me to make it fun.
9. Keep pictures of yourself. Track your progress in pictures, not just on a scale. This is extremely motivating. Notice the differences and successes you’ve had as you go along. Sometimes that scale is stubborn and just won’t move, but if you keep pictures you can see differences that you don’t when you look at yourself every day.
10. Don’t give up. It’s definitely not easy to change ourselves or our lives. Especially when being unhealthy and overweight is so damn convenient. Just keep going. So you had a bad day, start new tomorrow. I ate a burger and fries from Five Guys a couple weeks ago, and I went back to the gym the next day. It wasn’t a reason to give up. It sure was delicious though. (I’m hoping one day my craving for delicious burgers and fries will disappear like my cravings for sugar did – we’ll see though.)
Love yourself the way you are, you are a beautiful soul and this meat puppet you are walking around has nothing to do with the type of person you can create yourself to be. I promise when you start focusing on health rather than loss you will see results. I promise if you believe you are deserving of those things you long for, you will see results. I promise that once you start changing your life in a healthy way you will never want to go back. Thank you for being here, I appreciate your interest and your support in my own journey. Keep it up! You’re wonderful!