I’ve maintained my goal weight for 8 years; however, I have lost and gained the same “last 10 pounds” many times. I weighed in the 140’s once for about a month. I went a little coo-coo for co-co puffs trying to maintain that weight. I quickly realized weighing in the 140s was not ideal for my lifestyle (which includes movie popcorn, chocolate and wine from time to time). 😉
I’ve learned so much losing the big chunk of weight, but I’ve learned more maintaining my goal weight. When I was losing the weight, weekly weigh-ins were a welcome accountability tool. I needed to see progress and it was measured in pounds lost.
Now as I continue into year 8 of maintaining, the scale has (at times) become an obsession. I know myself well enough to know that weighing weekly, sometimes daily, takes my mind into a place that’s not healthy. It puts a number on healthy living and I don’t want to live that way. Now that I think about it, the term “healthy living” sounds so boring. Very House on the Prairie running through a garden with a petty coat on. Maybe I should think about it as “vibrant living”, because that’s how this lifestyle makes me feel.
Here’s the thing, I’ve found a lifestyle that is more addicting than the potato chips I used to eat by the bag. There is no better feeling than the adrenaline and endorphins exercise gives you. If I read what I just wrote 10 years ago, I would be rolling my sleepy eyeballs from my very comfy couch. I’m so thankful that I stuck with it one little change at a time to actually change a whole lifestyle. Eating whole foods feeds my body energy in the same way processed foods sucks the energy away. You want to feel alive? Go for a run in the sun and feel the wind in your hair, feel the trails beneath your feet, feel the pride of accomplishment when you are done and drink a gallon of water to cool down.
Think about those who are struggling with their health, without the ability to run or walk, and how they would perceive a healthy person complaining about exercising. I look back to my days wasted with little movement and I want to scream from the roof tops how thankful I am for this new lease on life.
Back when I weighed 242 pounds, I didn’t understand what healthy “felt” like because I had lived a sedentary processed lifestyle for many years; which had become my new normal. I use to focus on photos of a former “skinny” self; and I foolishly focussed on what skinny “looked” like. I focussed on an external physical ideal that if I could only get back to, it would solve all these issues that had plagued my heart while living life in an obese frame.
I believed that once I hit this perfect goal weight number, my issues would melt away along with my fat. My issues hitched a ride on the back of the treadmill, and once I saw that magic goal weight number on the scale, those issues and insecurities were (and are) still here to deal with. Now I have to find ways to deal with them that doesn’t involve food. Tricky tricky.
Over the summer every year, I gain back the 10 pounds I lose in the winter due to holiday foods and less activity (sun tanning while watching kids play doesn’t burn as many calories as one would think). Every August I return home and run to the scale. Then I panic when I see the gain and I feel horrible about myself when I realize I can’t fit my jeans. I obsess. Weigh daily. Beat myself up for eating ice cream at the best dairy bar in the entire world at Jumbo Beach. Stress. Eat. Weigh. Attach my self-worth to a reflection in the mirror and a number on a scale.
This year, I’ve decided to do things a little differently. I put away my scale. Yes, I was excited to get back to my regular lifestyle and I took the time to think about what this lifestyle provides the quality of my life. I need to feel balanced, healthy, and whole. Because it can’t be about a number on a scale, or a size of jeans, or a physical ideal. All of those ideals fade away and are not sustainable as a goal. Instead I need to focus on a fitness and health goal, which has many levels to meet and new goals to reach.
I’ve had to correct my thought process as I begin my run. My thoughts start out like this…
“pick up your pace, you burn more calories that way. your pants are tight, get more cardio in so you can lose these last 10 pounds.”
Then I check myself.
“I’m not running to burn calories, I’m running because I love the freedom running provides my mind. I love the feeling of euphoria when the run is done. I run because I’m able. I run to clear my mind. I run simply for the love of running”
Same goes for eating. My thoughts go like this…
“cut down your after-holiday calories. you can’t eat that tubby tubberson.”
And then I check myself…
“eat food to fuel your run, you need energy to enjoy it! Eat clean, you know you feel more vibrant and have more energy when you eat that way. Eat to fuel your body to live life the way you want to…with energy and a zest for life. ”
Am I comfortable that I can’t fit my jeans after holidays? Nope. But, I’m not going to stress about it. Holidays were great, getting back to the routine of daily life is great. That’s life! Chill out. It reminds me why this lifestyle is so important for my health and vitality. Balance is so important!!!
I am not a number on a scale.
My happiness is not derived from a physical ideal.
Living vibrantly is how I feel within when I honour my body by making good choices, challenge my mind, and feed my soul with positivity which allows me to give that to others.
So maybe the energy worrying about what my body “could” look like if the last 10 pounds were not kicking around would be better served enjoying this crazy beautiful life.
A few photos from holidays, family is food for the soul…
From my heart to yours,