I’m pretty sure no one, at the end of his/her life, thinks, “I really wish I wore my skinny jeans one more time!” Or “Damn, I never fit into a size 6 (or 8 or 4 or 2 or… whatever your dream size is)!”
I don’t know. I’m pretty sure I won’t, anyway.
No, not because I did that already. Because, in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter what size you were ever?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes weight loss so hard. A woman’s weight really impacts how she feels about herself in the present. It’s daunting and overwhelming to think about losing weight. Especially if it’s more than 5-10 pounds.
For me, it became this mountain that I didn’t really believe I could climb. I kept looking straight to the top rather than breaking the trek into manageable little hikes. It was so daunting that I just told myself it was too much, continued to eat what I was eating, avoid exercise in my too tight workout clothes, and tear myself down in the mirror every time something didn’t fit me well. The things I said to my reflection were awful and completely unhelpful. Even exercising, I was the worst drill sargeant ever in my head, screaming at myself and saying things I would never say to or even think about another person.
I am undoubtedly my own worst critic as I believe are most women. We’re really mean to ourselves, aren’t we?
I believe what I may wish at the end of my life, is that I was in better shape. I’ll probably wish I’d treated my body better each day, recognized its strengths, and given myself some compassion for its weaknesses. When I look at my grandmothers, I already know I would regret not keeping up my muscle tone and leaning on unhealthy habits to stay slim. My one grandmother tells me every time I see her to never even think about smoking. It’s so not worth how I’d feel at the end of my life.
I think it goes beyond the more obvious bad habits, though. It’s everything we put into our bodies. How do you feel when you eat clean, unprocessed foods and get exercise? Don’t you feel lighter? I do.
Changing my thought process was really how I lost my weight. After reading the first few chapters of a book called The Willpower Instinct (thank you Amber!) I realized I needed to change how I was thinking. I was focusing on the outside and not the inside. What we eat affects everything about how we act and feel. You want to lose weight and keep it off? Focus on health and well being and the rest will come. Get rest, make time for quiet reflection and meditation, get exercise and avoid foods that will make you feel heavy. Focus on how you want to feel.
Want to know why I’m writing this? Because I need a pep talk. I haven’t gained weight, but I’ve gone back to old habits, I’m pretty sure I’ve lost muscle, and I can feel the difference. I may be able to wear most of my favorite clothes, but it doesn’t matter if I don’t feel any good.
Ladies, let us support each other and encourage each other, but more importantly, let’s promise to be kind to ourselves.