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There and Back Again: An 11 Year Weight Loss Journey

Happy Friday, y’all! If you’ll excuse my Hobbit reference in the title, I want to talk to you guys about something really important today, and that’s this article from Girls Gone Strong. In it Dr. Kara Mohr talks about how your goal shouldn’t be an arbitrary number: the dreaded “goal weight”. She talks about how your goals should be focused on doing what makes you feel great, and strong, and healthy, and happy.

And I gotta tell you, guys. This article made me realize something horrible! I’m turning 22 in a little over 3 weeks, and the realization hit me, that I don’t know what normal actually feels like for me. For the last 11 years, I’ve been trying to lose weight. Either by myself, or being forced to by others around me. If you’re doing the math there, that’s half of my life that I’ve been trying to be smaller/better/thinner/more worthy/more attractive. And in being chained to that mindset, I’ve come to the point in my life where I just don’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to lose weight.

before-and-middle
The before and during pictures. About a year and 30 pounds apart

I don’t remember what it was like to not be worried about my size or lamenting over how my shirts fit me and how I could never seem to stay the same size, always moving up a size every time I went shopping. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to eat differently or work out more. And as a result, I just don’t know what it feels like to be… me. I don’t have any clue what it feels like to be normal, and healthy, and strong. Even a few years ago when I thought I was on track and feeling “normal” I was destroying my body with too much exercise and not enough food – that normal was constant fatigue, headaches, and a cold that never seemed to go away. And I know that that isn’t normal.

middle-and-height
The during to the height of the disorder – another 20 pounds

But at this “halfway” point in my life, reading this article and trying to recognize what “normal” and “strong” and “healthy” feel like – I’m coming up short. And the lingering question is, “Can I find what normal feels like?” Obviously, the answer is yes, I can find out what that feels like. Will it be easy? Of course not, but health and wellness never really is. It will be a long and arduous task to find out what Hass actually likes and feels good about when it comes to her health.

in-between
7 months after the first therapy session – 30 pounds up

But the better question that I find myself wondering, is “Do I want to know what normal feels like?”

1019162103b
10 months after the first therapy session I had half my head shaved. It really shows you how much hair I lost over the years. It’s growing back in patches, but it’s honestly painful to look at

I’ll be honest with you guys… I’m tired.

I’m exhausted.

I am so tired of spending my mental energy on looking up how to eat better, and how to workout more and how to control my sugar cravings and how to be… different. It’s exhausting spending 11 years trying to look up ways to change yourself!  And some parts of me are ashamed to even type this – but a portion of me doesn’t want to take that next step. A portion of me knows how hard this is going to be to find a healthy balance and normal life, but is just too tired to push through the fatigue and start the trial and error process of finding “normal”.

But thankfully I’m not a quitter. I’m not a person that can just let things hang in the balance, and as a result, I’ve resolved to not actually try to be better. Instead, I’m going to let this journey follow the twists and turns as it wants and hop off the “weight loss” path. Instead, I’m going to fall back on all of the health and wellness information I’ve gained over the years and confirmed through therapy and meeting with a nutritionist. I’m going to eat well and exercise the way I love to instead of the way I feel I have to. I’m going to lift weights and stretch because those things make me feel strong and relaxed. I’m going to run less often and play more Zumba because it’s so much more fun and I love the way it gets my heart pumping.

Instead of focusing on the number on the scale or how my clothes fit, I’m going to focus on how I feel. I am tired, yes. There is a part of me that does not want to continue, sure. Honestly, I am afraid to start this journey because I don’t know who I will be at the end of it without all of the worrying and stress and internal body shaming. But I just know in my heart that feeling great and being healthy don’t have to be the mental/physical drain that they’ve been for the last half of my life. And I’m determined to prove that to myself, no matter how long it takes.

1206161816b
One year after the first therapy appointment. I feel big and awkward being up almost 50 pounds. I’m ready to quit trying to lose weight and just live life to the fullest!

 

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One thought on “There and Back Again: An 11 Year Weight Loss Journey

  1. great reflection. I believe all American (not just America I am sure) girls struggle with these issues to varying degrees, often in unhealthy ways. Not just girls -women. Most of us will think like this most of our lives. So being educated and fighting the culture and distorted thinking is key. It is a blessing when the people in our lives validate our worth and beauty despite our pants size. Now if we could just do the same for ourselves.

    Like

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