Do you know how many times I have said this to Bryan?
SO. MANY. TIMES.
Like, so many. And then so many times, I’d start a diet, start exercising and nothing would change. I’d look in the mirror and I would still see fat.
If you know me, you know that I have all my life been what one would call, a “skinny mini.” I have always been a size 2, 115 pound gal all my life. Then one day, something happened, and I went up to a size 14, 190 pound gal. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong per se with being that heavy. HOWEVER, when I went to my doctor and she noticed my weight gain and got concerned about it, then I too was concerned.
My doctor ran a bunch of tests and then when we realized, nope nothing is wrong and that I yup, just gained that much weight in a short amount of time, I thought that would be the jump start I needed to lose weight.
Newsflash, it wasn’t.
For the past two years, I had to dig deep on figuring out why I gained so much weight. I gained 75 pounds in a year/year and a half basically. Let’s dive in, shall we?
For one, I was in a new relationship and like – really happy? We ate out, like, whoa a lot. So I will have to say – this is FOR SURE part of my weight gain. Happiness can do that and I am totally okay with this.
Second, my grandma was dying. Quite the bummer – but, since she had cancer, I let that woman eat WHAT.EVER.THE.HELL. she wanted, and I ate it right along with her. (Hello, jelly donuts galore!) With that being said, that was weight I didn’t mind gaining.
Then I started to realize, there is weight that is okay with having. I was happy and I was living in the moment for my grandma’s last moments. Why should I beat myself up over those pounds?
Well, I realized those pounds were not the pounds that really put me over. It was the sad pounds that did. The ones that were from the heartache. The endless nights of drinking to numb the pain of losing my grandma. The nights of overeating because I was fighting with Bryan, because I took my pain out on him. The pounds gained from lying in bed for days because I lost my job and felt like I had no purpose in life.
I realized, I put on unhealthy weight because of my emotions. That’s when I realized something needed to change. THAT was my wake up call. So, to start my weight loss journey – I went to therapy.
Yup. I got a therapist.
How was I supposed to lose weight if I still had these limiting doubts about myself? They weren’t just limiting doubts about my weight, but it was about everything! They sounded like, “why would you start a blog? Nobody is going to read it. Why even bother setting these goals for yourself? It’s not going to help you – you’re just going to be the same? …Losing weight because you want kids? You don’t even have your own life together – you want kids?”
I made myself feel so bad ABOUT myself and realized I needed to figure that out first. I needed to work on my confidence and my mental health before I could focus on being physically healthy.
So, what did that look like for me? Let’s get real here for a second. I knew I needed help. I was in a very slow moving spiral. I didn’t know how to handle all these different things life was throwing at me, so sitting on a very comfy couch once a week seemed like a terrible idea. How am I supposed to fix all the things while I am sitting down just talking to someone?
Here’s the thing – I didn’t realize how good I had it with my therapist until a friend asked me what I was doing different. They said I looked more relaxed and that’s when I realized it – therapy was helping. I had a sounding board. I had someone to text when I started feeling overwhelmed again. When I couldn’t get out of bed for days, I had somewhere to go with coffee on a Sunday morning to sit and vent to. That’s what it felt like to me – sitting and venting and talking to a good friend. During it all, when she would give me her feedback, it was like, “okay, I can try reacting to things this way” or “I can try seeing things from this angle.” I learned to be kinder. I learned to be more patient. I learned to listen and try and understand before reacting.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I went to therapy for a while. Then – as if life couldn’t be anymore predictable – I lost my job. I stopped going to therapy, and I fell back into being sad.
But I had tools that I learned from therapy. So I didn’t fall back into like… overwhelmingly sad. Just – average sad – if that makes sense?
ANYWAY – let’s get back to the point since I’ve drifted a bit. So I did therapy for a while, and it was life changing and life saving – truly. Granted, I still have work to do. You are always forever evolving and I believe that is such a good thing for you and your life, so keep that in mind if you are ever feeling stuck like I was.
So therapy changed my mindset essentially – on all things. On life, love, health, relationships, give and take – you name it. It changed the way I saw my weight and my body. I started little by little loving my size 8 and then my size 10 and then my size 12 and now my size 14. (Oh yeah – I may have been working on my mental health to lose weight, but because I enjoy making things more difficult in life, I continued to GAIN weight.) So, as I continued to gain weight and work on my ~emotions~, I started to love myself.
I started to love the rolls and the bigger boobs and bigger hips. I started to love when my boyfriend would put his hands on me and BELIEVE HIM when he said I was beautiful. I started to listen when he would say I was the most beautiful thing to him, and I started to allow myself to FEEL that. I started allowing myself to see the beauty he could see, that I couldn’t see myself.
I was at my heaviest and I started feeling more ME. I started feeling like the best version of myself and it shocked me y’all. Of course, I still have my moments. I have absolute freak out moments when I find a new stretch mark – where the hell do they come from and WHY? I still get upset when a new piece of clothing, or a favorite piece of clothing, no longer fits. But, I am learning to look at my body in a new way.
I am learning to thank my body for getting me through the day. I can get up out of bed. I can get to where I need to go without help. I can lift things, I can fend for myself, so to speak. So I am learning to be thankful for that and happy for that.
Here is where the weight loss kicks in though. Can I do all those things in the most efficient and best way possible? No. I can’t run like I used to. I can’t sleep well. My body HURTS, so I am starting to listen to it. I have decided to be HEALTHY and not SKINNY and that was part of the problem. I am not the kind of person who can go on some radical diet – I love wine, cheese, and bread far too much for that. So I am learning moderation. I am learning to start out small. Little victories here and there and celebrating with a new book, or a night off from chores. I am changing the way I see my success.
I have tried these insane diets for the last year. I threw myself into every single thing you could thing of. From counting calories, to starving myself, to juicing – I have done more than I would like to admit. And, not for nothing – it ain’t healthy y’all – and it also doesn’t work.
Now, don’t get me wrong – what works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. What works for Bryan, doesn’t work for me. You have to use trial and error and find out what helps you reach your goal.
So here is what I started doing.
I don’t look at cheating on my meals as a cheat. I plan my meals out. I measure them so I am not overeating and sticking to what a normal serving is. When I can have a healthier alternative to what I am craving, I choose that. When I really, really, really want ice cream – I have a scoop. I don’t eat the whole pint. I don’t deprive myself of the good stuff. But with that being said, I am paying attention to when I want these things as well. Am I eating just to eat? Am I craving a tray of wings because I’m sad?
I’m learning to live in moderation. I don’t want to deprive myself. So finding healthy alternatives and learning to eat the right portion has worked wonders for me. I can still have a little pasta and bread. I can still enjoy going out with friends and Bryan. I know now how to be happier and it has all started from learning to stop beating myself up about every. damn. thing.
Do I still have days where I miss the mark? Of course. Do I have days where I overeat or am super unhealthy? You bet. Do I sometimes finish the bottle of wine when I should have had a glass? Umm… I sure have. But you know what? I am also living. I am making the changes to be healthier and understand that it won’t happen overnight. I am making changes so that my body can be stronger and work more efficiently and better for me and my future little tiny ones. I am making changes to continue to learn to love my body and to love myself.
Listen, if there’s one take away from all this, it’s the one thing I learned — and that
is no matter what your weight, love yourself.
I know, it’s so cliche but god it is so, so true. Find the things you love doing. Thank your body for getting you there. Sit and chat with a therapist. Your mental health is so important – the way you see yourself could make all the difference, no matter how thin or heavy you are. Take things one day at a time. Beating yourself up over the way you look WILL NOT help. That is more unhealthy than eating a whole box of mac-and-cheese. Give yourself the love you deserve – and, well, I hate to break it to you, but you deserve a hell of a lot of love. Trust me; you really, really do.
What are the conversations you have with yourself about weight loss/gain? Do you have any routines or tricks? Let me know!