If you’ve been alive for more than 15 years, chances are you’ve probably tried some type of diet or weight loss method.
I began my weight loss journey somewhere around my first year of high school. Since then there have been many failures and successes, I’ve tried just about every method there is – paid programs, shots, pills, starving, low/no carb, fasting, wraps, liquid diet, 3 eggs a day diet, eating what I want and spending hours in the gym, etc.
I found a bunch of ways that don’t work. Sure, I lost weight with most of the methods – one in particular brought me down 40 lbs – but I always had to start something new, because as soon as I stopped one thing I gained all of the weight back and more.
To say I was skeptical of starting again is a vast understatement. I felt like I tried everything there was, nothing worked (long term) and as a result, I was never happy with who I was or how I felt.
Lets get somethings out of the way before you read this:
Losing weight is FUN – seeing that number go down is so. much. fun.
Losing weight is GOOD – if you’re overweight, likewise gaining weight is GOOD if you’re underweight.
Looking good FEELS good – who wouldn’t want to look and feel their very best?!
^ I understand and agree with all of this.
In today’s world we can miss it big time – with the comparison that comes with social media, if we are emotionally led, we will get stuck in a trap that has us not feeling good enough. You can roll your eyes, but it happens to the best of us – even celebrities, even the people YOU compare yourself to have fallen into the trap. No one is completely immune.
When I decided to start again, I was nowhere near where I am now. My mindset belonged in a trashcan, my eating habits belonged in a landfill, and my workout routine was a joke. I had absolutely no place to help anyone else change their life – I was the person that needed the help. I wasn’t even ready to change. I didn’t want to give up my drinks or my fast food, or late night trips for ice cream. I enjoyed Oreo’s and Reese’s, and my blood was made from cheese and wine – who in their right mind would want to give something like that up?! Not me. (Side note – I still enjoy those things ~50+ lbs lighter, so quit holding your breath!)
Why did I try, then? If I wasn’t ready & I didn’t want to give up any of my fun – why?! Because I was told I didn’t have to. SCORE! Your parents didn’t demand that you walk the day after you decided to crawl – so why do you demand that your body has to change in one day? One of my friends convinced me to do one thing – change my meat source. I could totally do that once I found out that ground turkey and chicken didn’t taste any different than ground beef. Shortly, I was off red meats all together – with the occasional burger (because I didn’t have to stop living real life – this was my real life). The next thing I did was begin to use veggie substitutes, because #pastaaddiction (not all carbs were gone – but some). Veggie noodles, cauliflower rice – okay I can do this! Then, I got some at-home workout DVDs that were 30 min long (I did them when I felt like it).
Fireworks, right?! Nope. I found myself getting SO obsessive with it that I became unhappy if the scale didn’t move. I still wasn’t happy with the way I looked, I still compared myself to everyone with abs. I only ate well and worked out because I hated myself. I confided in friends, those who would ultimately be the ones who still push me to this day to be my best. I asked them how they were doing so well – why they seemed so happy. They told me that they read or listened to something every day that grew and challenged their thinking. BOO – not the answer I was looking for! Reading won’t make me skinny and it won’t make veggies taste better – tell me what you’re really doing!
That’s. It. So, I asked for recommendations and they asked me what my problem areas were. Um….nothing? Everything’s great? (I was not telling them my problems! I was not telling them that I was addicted to food and My 600lb Life didn’t sound so bad if it meant that I could just give up on life!) I just told them I had self-esteem issues (super safe answer) and that I wanted to be able to stick to a meal plan. The next day I ordered Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. She’s a Christian author, so she has to be nice, right? Turns out, she got all up in my business – in all the right and much needed ways.
Between reading the book and my friends holding me accountable to the things I said I would do – things started changing for the better. I was following a simple meal plan, doing simple workouts, and reading. I wasn’t cutting out food groups, I wasn’t killing myself in the gym for hours, I was finally doing something that FELT right.
I had tried all the quick fixes, but the temporary satisfaction was detrimental to my health overall – mentally, emotionally, and physically. We live in a time where we have quick and easy access to so much, and while it is a good thing – it can also be a bad thing. I was setting myself up for failure by putting my trust in something that offered the quickest results. I didn’t have to deal with the root of the problem – and that was a problem.
If you’re like me and you’ve struggled with emotional eating, binge eating, or just weight in general, it is a lot more than just the number on the scale. There is a long history of other problems entangled in our health/eating habits. We can’t just quick fix them away. I’m not a gardener, but I know that weeds have to be poisoned at the root and taken away before they end their reign of toil in the garden. The same goes for our emotional and mental view of food and the way it comforts us. We’ve altered the way we look at ourselves. Deep down we know what we are, we know who we are, but we are being suffocated by the kudzu of what we’ve seen, heard, and what we’ve been through – all things that alter or silence the truth in our minds.
I had to remove the weeds and allow the truth of who I really am to grow through. I learned WHY the foods I was eating were beneficial to my body (or not). I learned WHY the workouts I was doing were working. I learned what emotions were triggering my want to comfort with food. I learned how to untangle feelings from food. I learned how to love myself and my body the way it is now, even though I’m still working on my physique.
It has been a long process, it didn’t happen overnight. I ditched the quick fixes and got to the root of the problem and the real life change began. Now that I am truly living life healthier overall – a little deviation from the norm with ice cream, a candy bar, or a patty melt doesn’t throw me off course – and it doesn’t make me feel like I have to overwork the next day to make up for it.
Whatever you settle for will flourish. If you settle for quick fixes – that’s what you’ll get. If you settle on obsessing over the number on the scale – that’s what will remain. If you decide to get to the root of your problems, fuel your body properly, move to strengthen your muscles – that will flourish.
Only you can decide.