Life After Major Weight Loss

MeI can relate to this blog post by Josh of Slim Palate.

I lost over 100 pounds but always felt like I needed to lose more. I cut carbs out and would stress over everything I ate, feeling guilty when I had carbs or like a failure if I indulged. I didn’t see what others saw when I looked in the mirror.

I worked out two to three times a day. Getting up at 3 AM for a run and lifting before work and then lifting again after work. Often going for a second run in the evening. I was logging 6 to 10 miles a day running plus hundreds of pounds lifted in weights each day. Everyday. I pushed my body to the limit and I still wasn’t happy with myself. I felt like I needed to do more.

Photo: Henry House Photography
Photo: Henry House Photography

Gradually I came to accept the achievements I had made. I began to enjoy my food and not feeling guilty for eating carbs, because I NEEDED them. We all do. I stopped working out 7 days a week and only going to the gym once a day. Granted injuring my PCL last year, hello overdoing it, pushed me to rest more than I would have otherwise, but I did start taking rest days.

Yes. I gained weight. But not the fat I carried around before. I gained muscle. I started to appreciate my body for the journey it’s been through and how strong I was becoming. I’m in a much healthier place now than I was before. I still struggle at times when I see a photo I don’t like or clothes don’t fit a certain way. But I’m nicer to myself.

I focus on whole nutritious foods, including carbs. Balancing work and workouts. Building a strong base and foundation of strength. Rest and activity. Stress relief through favorite activities such as reading, taking an epsom salt bath, going for a walk, meditation, and laughter. I no longer focus on food or let it rule my life.

We expect life after weight loss to be magical and that if we just get to a certain point… but it’s not like that. There is a lot more to life, health, and our bodies than numbers on a scale.

Beautycounter. You deserve better beauty.
Beautycounter. You deserve better beauty.

Weight Loss Series: Part One, Why?

For the Weight Loss Series: Introduction, click here.

WhyBefore you start on a weight loss journey, or any journey, you need to know why. Why are you doing this? What is your motivation? What do you want to accomplish? Why do you want to accomplish this?

The responses don’t have to be deep and philosophical. They can be simple, one word, one sentence, one paragraph, responses. But they need to be established before you set off on your journey. You’re going to need them to help you get to where you want to go. We’ll talk about goals in the next part of the weight loss series, for now we are just focusing on the whys.

At this point you may be wondering “Why do I need to know why?” Or “Why do I need to think about this?” You already know you want to lose weight otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. You need to know why you want this other than “I just want to lose weight darn-it” because it’s going to be hard. You are going to have moments when you question why you are doing this or you lose your motivation. There is no magic program or special pill to get you to where you want to go overnight. It’s going to take time, there will be setbacks, roadblocks, life stressors, and more that you will have to adapt to as you work towards your goal. When you hit those moments you need to know why you are doing this, so you can remind yourself why you are working so hard to change your life.

photo credit: threefatcats via photopin cc
photo credit: threefatcats via photopin cc

It is okay if the whys change as you progress on your journey. For me it started out as a little bit of vanity, I wanted to look better, but it also went back to how I felt. I wasn’t full of energy, I was sick a lot, I was diabetic and had other health issues, and I couldn’t give my children an example of how to live a healthy long life if I wasn’t doing that myself. I wanted to be around for them fully, for a long time. I wanted to be able to run and laugh with them or go swimming with them. I just wanted to be there. When I would get frustrated at a weight loss plateau or when I was tired and just wanted to sit on the couch with a box of Cheez-Its and watch crap TV, I would go back to why was I doing this in the first place. It would re-energize me and enable me to get through those moments or give me back my inspiration to keep going.

If I only knew that I wanted to lose the weight, but not why I wanted to do it for myself, then it would have been easier to give up. Because it is a lot easier to just sit on the couch and binge watch a whole series of this TV show or that TV show eating all the things, than it is to get off the couch and cook whole unprocessed foods. My quality of life improved greatly when I stopped buying those foods, started cooking for myself and my family, and started going outside or to the gym instead of being a couch potato.

Start right now by making yourself a mental, written, or typed list of the reasons why you want to change your life. Other than losing weight as the answer, think about the following questions in a larger sense as you answer them openly and honestly. Why do you want to lose weight? What is your motivation for yourself in doing this? What do you want to accomplish or do? Why do you want to accomplish this?

Only you can do this for yourself. You have to be ready to accept the challenges that come across your path. Because life will happen, and that is okay. When you are prepared for those moments they will pass much easier so you can get back on track and in control. Step one is knowing why you are doing this in the first place.