Struggles of the past year, and the past 40 pounds.

When losing weight, we all find there are things that we are going to struggle with. It’s not something that comes easily. For myself, and I know for many others as well, it’s not as easy as just hopping on a treadmill and eating some salads.

I had to completely change the frame of mind I was in and how I handled my entire life. For me, eating was much more than just something I did to be able to survive, it was something I connected to my emotional state. If something bad happened, I ate. If something good happened, I wanted to celebrate, so I ate, and I probably also had some drinks. I avoided knowing the truth about what I was doing to myself by wearing clothes that hid it and avoiding scales.

I hit a point where I really could no longer avoid it because it affected how I started to see and feel about myself, and that was when I said enough is enough. Recognizing I needed to change was the first struggle. I did not want to see what I had done to myself, because no one wants to see that. No one wants to go shopping and realize that they are now 4 pant sizes bigger than they would like to be and than they had been 4 years ago. Why would you know that though? You hate yourself too much to wear anything other than sweatpants, leggings, and yoga pants to even KNOW your pants size. Right. It was THAT bad. (disclaimer: I still wear them, but when it is appropriate, not all the time.)

Moving home and going through that period of adjustment was both helpful and hard because it was an instant shock. There was so much to take in at once. You have the freedom to do what you want, but at the same time you don’t because you are back in your parent’s home. I am 23, but still at some points feel like I am 14 and it sucks, quite frankly. It also was a shock to my system because I was no longer eating a college kid’s diet….aka eating out all the time. I was able to get home cooked meals, pack lunches, and that was nice. Because of this, I expected to lose weight immediately after moving home, but I did not. At all.

It took realizing it’s because I still was not in the right state of mind to lose the weight that I would not lose the weight. It took me a long time to focus on eating and how to eat properly, which was very hard for me. Finding the foods that worked, foods that made me sick, foods I could tolerate, foods that make me lose weight, foods that don’t….and also along the way finding out I have a gluten intolerance. Focusing on the food first was the best decision I ever made, because after a long time, I now know what I can and cannot eat (also thank you weight watchers).

The next struggle was working out. I started with a trainer a year ago, but I wasn’t committed. I flaked a lot, I wasn’t working out outside of that, I just did it to say I did. I think it took realizing I needed to focus on one aspect of weight loss at a time to be successful that I actually was. The food worked out, and then I can say I started to get on track with the working out for a successful combination. It took a year. ONE whole year. But I was able to find what worked, and I can now keep going with it. 

The last thing I had a hard time with while losing weight was stress, and accepting and loving myself as I was. No matter what I did, I was in a constant state of being stressed out, which never helped me. If anything, it made me gain weight. I was always worried about something- work, weight loss, losing weight, numbers on scales, school, family, boyfriend, friends…anything. And also nothing.

When I was able to say it’s okay to let it go, I started losing. I came back to my roots, my favorite outlet which is theatre, and I don’t have those worries anymore, and it’s such a nice feeling. I never think about those things anymore. I’m so much more relaxed I swear I am a completely different person than I was a year ago. The struggle with loving myself as I was seemed to be the toughest battle of all. I couldn’t learn to do that by someone else saying “I love you” or other people telling me things, it had to come from within, or else it would have never happened the right way.

I don’t know the exact moment, but I think over time I gradually just started to believe in myself that I could do things. They started with superficial things, like I could lift those weights I didn’t think I could, I could lose a pound this week, I can prepare my food ahead of time. From there it was I have the confidence to do this, I believe in myself, all the way until I finally just thought about how I do love myself as I am. Until I did that, I don’t think I would have been successful at all.

This year I have tried things I never thought I would have. The beginning of the summer I wouldn’t try tapping for a number in the play, and I tapped for my audition a few weeks ago. I may not have been good but I TRIED. I got a lead in a play because I got up in front of people and put everything I had out there. I am even back in school and KNOW I can do well enough to transfer and get a masters. Things I never would have thought before.  All of these things started with me simply trying to lose weight, and never in a million years would I thought I would be where I am now.

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