Years ago, I accepted this simple truth: managing my weight would always be a part of my story. Now this doesn’t mean my weight defines me. I got over that foolishness years ago. But it does mean that, as a woman who has struggled with her weight since elementary school, managing my healthy and my weight will always matter.
I spent years trying to lose weight before I got it right. Then I started to focus on how to keep the weight off. It felt like a life-long battle. I managed to keep off most of the weight I lost until I got pregnant ten years after the initial weight loss. Once I was pregnant, I actually stopped caring about the number on the scale and started caring a lot more about what was going into my body.
Is it organic? Is that container BPA-free? Do we have fruit and veggie wash for the apples?
Now that my kids are 3 and 6, I have to admit that I stopped focusing on my health and my weight for a few years. I told myself that I have too much going on to making eating well and exercising a priority. I would try to eat healthy foods, but it never lasted. I would go to the gym for a couple of months and then stop. None of my efforts were consistent.
And you know what happened to me?
I ended up exhausted and overweight.
I finally realized that having kids could longer be my excuse for carrying too much weight and treating my health like an afterthought. And listen, I am not fixated on a number on the scale. But I also can’t lie to you and say weight doesn’t matter to me. It does matter. It matters to most people, whether they choose to admit it or not.
If I weighed over 400 pounds, I would hope the people I love and trust wouldn’t be saying “don’t worry about the number on the scale, girl. Just do you!” WTF. I mean I guess you shouldn’t worry since that is a wasted emotion, but for the love of apples, I would hope I feel the need to take action. And it’s not about feeling bad about your body. You can still look cute and strut your stuff no matter how much you weigh, but if your weight is affecting your quality of life, something has to change.
Listen, I am not judging anyone because I have struggled with weight for far too long to ever do that. But I also have a strong family history of hypertension and strokes. Even if you feel confident and fly, if you want to live a long life, being obese can’t be ignored. If you weight is affecting your health, your weight does matter.
In case you feel like cursing me out right now, let me be clear. Although I believe weight matters, I refuse to believe that it matters in the way that most of us have been conditioned to believe. I know what a healthy weight is for my body, despite what any doctor may suggest based on my height. I know that I will never weigh 145 pounds or be a size 4 (nor do I have any interest in being a size 4). I know my body better than anyone else, and I know what kinds of behaviors honor it and what kind of behaviors pretty much serve as a middle finger to my health. I am a grown woman and I can make better choices if that’s what I really want, and I know you can, too.
So the question is not really about how much anyone else thinks you should weigh. The question is, what is a weight that keeps you in good health and truly makes your feel comfortable and happy in your own skin. That’s it. And I don’t mean that fake happy that you show the world when you get your hair and nails done and put on a nice outfit. I mean that happiness that sits deep in your soul. The kind you feel first thing in the morning. That’s what I’m talking about.
If you are trying to lose a few pounds, I want you to take both of your middle fingers (yes, BOTH) and throw them up to these four lame, annoying myths that exist when it comes to losing weight. And after you do that, keep reading so you can join the 7-Day Healthier, Happier Life Challenge.
Just workout more and the weight will come off.
That is a load of crap. Of course burning more calories is a great thing, but I can tell you that it’s not as simple as just working out. What kind of exercises are you doing? Is there weight training involved? What are you eating? Are you eating enough protein? Do you have any digestive issues that are interfering with your progress? And these are just a few of the questions you need to answer when losing weight. So yes, you need to get up and move, but if you do that and the scale doesn’t budge, don’t be discouraged. Doing cardio a few times a week may just not be enough to help you reach your goal. I know it wasn’t enough for me. You have to figure out a personalized fitness plan that will lead to results.
If you eat the right foods, losing weight is super easy.
What? No, it’s not. If you eat the right foods, it definitely helps a lot, You have to eat the right foods. But doing so doesn’t make things super easy. Nothing makes losing weight super easy. First off, if you are an emotional eater, eating the right foods consistently is downright hard. And no matter how well you eat, you still have to get moving. Remember, this isn’t just about a number on the scale. It’s about getting stronger, healthier, and happier. There are plenty of weak, unhealthy and miserable thin people out there.
It’s not that hard. You just have to put your mind to it.
Yes, you do have to put your mind to it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Does it get easier with time? Yes, it really does. But it takes work if losing a significant amount of weight is your goal (and by significant, I mean anything over 10 pounds). Losing weight is hard. It’s rewarding, it improves your overall health, and it gives you a confidence boost, but it’s still hard. But here’s the good news: it’s doable. You can do it. There is no question about that. It’s all about whether or not you are ready.
Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.
This implies that if you have a strong desire to be thinner, you can easily leave the fries alone. It sounds so simple. It’s not, though. Fries taste good, and when you want french fries, you really aren’t thinking about how much better being thin will feel. You’re thinking about how those hot fries are going to melt on your tongue (I’m just sayin’). I think plenty of things taste just as good as being thin feels if that is your mindset. Losing weight is a lot deeper than leaving your fatty favorites alone forever.
Losing weight will make you happier.
Being healthier will make you happier. Your weight is just one aspect of who you are and I know plenty of skinny people who are really unhappy. Also, if you get caught up in these weight loss fads, you can lose weight without ever truly improving your habits or your health. That won’t lead to happiness. I hate how society makes people think thin = happy. It doesn’t. It actually doesn’t always equal healthy either.
So why is it important to give these myths some thought? Why should you care?
I think you should care because you have to make this weight-loss and wellness journey your own. To hell with what the world thinks.
Improving your health is a very personal journey, and you have to figure out what works for you. If you want to lose weight or improve your health in other ways, do your research. Figure out what works for your lifestyle and your body. Surround yourself with supportive people, and begin your journey. Some days will be downright hard, but if you are on this journey to improve your heath instead of trying to fit into a particular size, you will find success. I really believe that.
I am currently knee-deep in this weight loss battle, and I am making my way back to a weight that makes me feel healthier and stronger. I am making progress every day, so I know you ca do it, too. Life is crazy. Some days are a struggle. But I am determined to live my best life.
I am making my health a priority and I will not let anything get in the way of that. I want to live. And I don’t just mean be alive. I want to LIVE.
If you are ready to take action and make healthy changes that will lead to a happier life (without obsessing over some number on the scale) click below to join the 7-Day Healthier, Happier Life Challenge.