Earlier this week a women asked me why my weight loss story wasn't more of a central part of the information on my website. It was the best question I've been asked in a long time. It's true, I lost 50 pounds by changing my relationship with food and doing the work that I now teach. I don't focus on the 50 pounds for several reasons. The first, weight is relative across the board. I talk to women + men every week who want to change the number on the scale. When I was 198 pounds at my biggest I was still someone else's goal weight. Some 148 pound women want desperately to be 115 pounds. See what I mean?
Second, this process has been about so much more than physical weight loss to me. It's been about finding myself. Finding peace and releasing the need to struggle. Oh how I struggled. I would work out like mad for three months at a time doing Body For Life contests and then I'd stop working out and go right back to eating the way I was before. I just recently threw away all of my before and after photos (though in this moment I wish I would have saved some of them to show you). The girl in those before photos felt desperate, gross, pushed to the edge of sadness and hopelessness. I didn't feel beautiful. I felt like I could be if I did X,Y,Z. I'm here to tell you beauty is not conditional. You are beautiful because you are. I can't tell you how many times I'd take a before photo and then sit on the couch and eat ice cream because TOMORROW was day 1. It was madness.
As I was packing and going through things in prep to move into our RV I found old journals. One from my senior year in high school. I wanted to lose 15 pounds. D e s p e r a t e l y. When I read the journal page I clutched my chest, took a deep breath and said 'OH SWEET GIRL - you didn't have 15 pounds to lose.' I was tall, thin and relatively flat chested. I was all limbs and hips and still something inside wasn't happy and so I created a number and decided I'd chase it. I chased those 15 pounds for most of my 20's. I was hyper focused on weight and it was depleting my spirit.
- Infomercial work out videos. OMG my little sister, Kayla, can probably still quote the entire Denise Austin tape, Do It With Denise! And don't forget Tony Little, the guy with the pony tail and the tight bike shorts that yelled YOU CAN DOOOOOOO IT! And then of course Tai Bo. And. And. And.
- Body For Life. Over and over and over again. Those were the days of a cheat day. I would eat as much as I wanted all day long and then the rest of the week was 4-6 meals a day, chicken breast and chalky tasting protein shakes.
- Famine weeks and feast weekends. You know because I'd been good all week and I deserve a break, right?
- I'd starve myself all day and then eat at night. That, my friends, is the worst idea ever. It's the Sumo Wrestler diet.
Those are the most memorable of many methods of self torture. It felt never-ending like I'd always struggle and strive to be something that I wasn't. I thought the weight was the problem but it was merely a side effect of the imbalance in my body and my life.
And finally, the biggest reason I don't focus on weight is because once I shifted focus away from the weight and perceived imperfections and towards nourishment and getting on the same team as my body.... well, e v e r y t h i n g changed. I realized that I'd spent my entire life to that point zoomed in on the things that I wanted to change. We draw to us what we're thinking about. It's creation 101 and it blew my mind! I learned the power of what follows 'I AM' you create in your life. All this time I'd been saying I AM TOO FAT and all I kept getting was the feeling of being too fat. Once I started saying I AM thin, healthy and strong I began to create this space inside. I call it my Can Do (maybe all that yelling Tony Little did planted a Can Do seed). Instead of feeling like a failure all the time I started to feel empowered to make small changes in the direction of thin, healthy and strong.
Do you see the difference? Do you feel the lightness that comes from thin, healthy and strong as opposed to the heavy feeling of too fat?
My small changes were teensy tiny in the beginning. I switched from white rice to brown. I started eating green things. I committed to preparing one meal at home per day. I bought veggies. Notice I said I bought veggies not that I ate them. That was a step for me. I bought them and then they'd go bad in the crisper. After a while I decided that I didn't like throwing money away like that so I actually started to eat them. Every little step has been so valuable.
Along the way too I stopped thinking about losing weight and started thinking of it as releasing weight. We lose things we want to find, like our keys. We release things we're ready to let go of forever, like unwanted pounds. That goes back to the lightness again. Doesn't it feel so much better to think of releasing the weight!
I no longer weight myself or obsess about what size jeans I can fit into. I no longer feel confused by ALL the conflicting health information out there. I no longer feel guilt before, during or after eating. I no longer crave the foods that used to bring me comfort (ice cream, candy and cakes). I no longer look in the mirror and pinch or grab the bits that are a disappointment. I no longer feel frustrated about my body.
Me + this skin suit I'm in are besties. We listen to each other. We are a team (and a pretty darn good team at that). How about you? Are you ready to learn how to listen to your body? If something from this resonated with you and you'd like to take that small step to change your relationship with food, let's talk! You can schedule a free initial consult right over here. There's something pretty amazing about the combination of accountability + support + practical tools for change.
With love, Lacy