An open letter to you, dear one, feeling sick and tired of diet and exercise, discouraged, and ready to give up on your weight loss journey altogether.
Dear Discouraged One,
Don’t give up.
I know you are just done with all of this diet and exercise junk. Sick of constantly saying no to all of the foods you actually like and instead force-feeding yourself the good-for-you foods that you can eat a bucket load of and still want that carton of french fries.
You want to quit MyFitnessPal and ceremoniously burn your Fitbit.
I know you are sick of killing yourself working out and being left feeling sore, sweaty, and exhausted…and still overweight. It just doesn’t feel worth it anymore.
I get that love-hate relationship with the scale. Loving it one minute when it shows you have lost two-tenths of a pound and then wanting to throw it out the window the next when it tells you, after a day of carrot sticks and situps, that you gained a pound (even after going to the bathroom and taking off every item of clothing, right down to your hair tie).
It is so incredibly frustrating to put so much time and effort into this healthy lifestyle stuff and not see the results. I know you are tempted to just throw in the towel altogether.
If it’s not even working, what’s the point in putting yourself through the misery?
From someone who has been there time and time again (you can read about my 100-pound weight loss journey here), I am here to tell you…
Don’t give up.
I’m not going to lie to you. The hard days are probably not over. Some days will be fantastic! You will crush every goal and feel like you can conquer the world!
And some days you will spend curled up on the couch binge watching Gilmore Girls in your baggiest pair of sweat pants feeling irreparably fat with a carton of ice cream and a bag of Cheetos in your lap.
When you give in to temptation and eat all the chocolate to feed your cravings, don’t give up. I don’t care how many calories you ate yesterday, you can get back on track today. Yesterday did not undo all of your efforts until now. Don’t feel like it was all for nothing because it wasn’t.
Everything counts. Every time you’ve chosen baby carrots over french fries, every time you’ve decided to get out and walk when you wanted to stay parked on the couch watching Netflix, every time you’ve opted for water instead of soda…every single one of those moments matters.
And those moments add up in ways that you can’t always see. Your weight alone doesn’t tell you how your cholesterol has improved, your muscle mass has increased, or how many more stairs you can walk up now without getting out of breath. It doesn’t celebrate that you can blow dry your hair without your arm getting tired anymore or lift that bag of Costco dog food with ease that you used to have to drag onto your cart.
Celebrate every single one of those victories…and don’t give up.
Don’t let the scale define your worth or dictate your mood anymore. You get to feel good about yourself, even when that number increases. You are more than your weight. No matter what number is glaring at you on the scale today, it does not get to dictate your future. Whether you are 18 or 88, you still have the power to change the direction of your life and your health, starting (again) today.
As much as I wish I could tell you that eating and exercising perfectly today will make you lose weight by tomorrow, that’s just not the way this works. It’s not an overnight fix. It’s a journey and a learning process. It takes time and patience and consistency, but it will happen.
If you haven’t found the way that works for you yet, don’t stop looking. Don’t stop trying new things. Don’t stop exercising and eating your vegetables, even when you don’t see your body changing on the outside. Just don’t stop.
Have a rest day, let yourself make mistakes, but don’t you dare give up on yourself.
Show yourself as much grace and compassion you offer to everyone else.
You can do this and you will do this if you just keep going.
You are capable of so much more than you think you are.
Don’t give up yet. Don’t give up ever.
You’ve got this.
“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31