I’m not going to lie, weight wasn’t something I struggled with until recent years. I was very athletic growing up and was always in a competitive sport. Some because I enjoyed playing them and others because they helped keep me physically conditioned until my favorite sports came back in season. About 7 years ago, I put on quite a bit of weight. Between hormone imbalances, depression, and a desk job, I packed on the pounds. Before I knew it my test results were borderline diabetic and I needed to make some serious changes in my lifestyle- quickly! The health coach I was working with told me that losing 10 pounds was the best way to impact that number I needed to bring down.
Easier said than done right? Yet this was the first health scare that I faced and it was something I could improve by taking control of my health. I started focusing on what I ate. Not in a calorie sense because I found that to be an unhealthy borderline obsession in the past. I just tried to eat more real food. You know, fruits, vegetables, meat, and less processed foods. I also opted to only do a weigh-in at the 6 and 12-month marks and decided to use my pants as a reference for how I was doing. I found that going for a walk during my lunch break wasn’t just great for my waistline but for my mood as well. Since I’m the cook in the house, the whole family got on board and I made sure that we didn’t get things at the store if they weren’t on the list. It’s unlikely I’d make a drive for a craving but if it’s in the house, I won’t hesitate to reach for it now and regret it later.
I consistently made more healthy lifestyle choices than not. By the time my 6-month check-in with my health coach came around I was excited to share that I had reached my goal. Within 6 months I was able to lose over 10 pounds. I had to wait an additional 6 months to get my blood drawn and check the numbers there. While I had been 1 point away from being diabetic the previous year, I was well within the normal threshold after making good choices.
Since then, my weight has fluctuated. It’s always been within a few pounds of those 12 pounds I lost. Up until recently, that is. I went on vacation and allowed myself to indulge. Boy did I pay for that with interest! I’m tiptoeing back up to my heaviest weight. In all honesty, the number on the scale is the least of my concern. For me, it’s about my health and how I feel in my body. I know this weight isn’t good for me and the last time I was here I was looking at diabetes in my future. I also feel uncomfortable because my clothes don’t fit right, my thighs chafe, and I just don’t feel like me. I’m 35 pounds heavier than my normal weight and being so short (5’2″) it feels like twice that!
I’m back from vacation and rekindled my relationship with health. I’m making better food choices. Planning my meals ahead of time, choosing fresh produce and ingredients whenever I can, cutting sugar, and drinking lots of water. I’m also getting more active by going for walks, racing with my daughters, and just moving more throughout the day instead of sitting for such long periods.
While I’m aware this is probably way more than you bargained for when you decided to read this post, I just wanted to share that my perspective with exercise has changed. Growing up it was something I really enjoyed because it was an activity. As I got older, it was something I dreaded because there was a result tied to it. A result that can take a while to see and is easier to undo than achieve. Plus I stopped looking for activities and joined gyms which I just don’t enjoy. I’ve had to learn to focus on what I have to gain (good health) instead of what I have to lose (weight). When I look at it like that, it’s much easier for me to opt for yogurt with Chia seeds, granola, and an apple for a spoon than pancakes. It’s easier for me to choose to park a little farther away or take a brisk scenic walk than to drive everywhere and get the closest spot.
This is just my journey in real time that I wanted to share with anyone who might find it relatable and encouraging. I’d like to encourage you to evaluate your relationship with your health and analyze your perspective if you aren’t where you want to be. What things can you reframe that can support you to reach your goals? Feel free to share your thoughts on this post and any tips or helpful perspectives you have that might benefit others. Please be mindful that everyone’s struggle isn’t weight related. I also don’t consider weight the sole indication of health.
Sending you lots of love and wishing you all that you need to support good health in your life!