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When I was overweight, I was obsessed with my goal weight. Whether I was going out to eat, hanging out with friends, or sitting in church, I was always thinking, “Life would be so much better if I weighed 150 pounds…”
When I was overweight, I heard plenty people talk about the “best” diets around, the exercises I should be doing, and the foods I shouldn’t be eating, but very few people talked to me about the deeper experience of my weight loss journey. So much of the focus was on the superficial stuff – the number on the scale and what I looked like on the outside. Nobody was talking to me about my identity, my self-worth, and what the real goal of losing the weight should be.
Now that I have lost the weight and I have been living life around 150 pounds for years, there are things I really wish someone had told me along the way.
Here are 5 things I really wish someone had told me 100 pounds ago, at the beginning of my weight loss journey.
1. You Are Enough
Right now. This very second.
Regardless of whether you are overweight, underweight, or average weight.
Whether or not you can do a push-up.
If you can run a mile or just 5 steps.
You don’t have to be perfect, and in fact, you never will be. It doesn’t matter the number of mistakes you have made or how many times you have failed.
Your worth is not defined by:
- your failures
- the way you look
- your amount of willpower
And it is most certainly not defined by the number on the scale.
You are the only person on earth with your unique skills, knowledge, gifts, and experiences. Don’t hide them all away, because there is simply nobody else who can offer them quite like you. And you, just as you are, are enough.
2. It’s Not About The Weight
It’s really easy to place the blame on those extra pounds for all kinds of things in life.
● That guy isn’t asking me out…because I’m overweight.
● I don’t feel good in my clothes…because I’m overweight.
● I don’t like being in pictures…because I’m overweight.
● I don’t want to go biking with my thinner friends…because I’m overweight.
While weight is absolutely tied to your self-confidence, it isn’t the main thing holding you back. Chances are, it has much more to do with your self-esteem and your view of yourself.
Your beliefs about what you look like, what you are capable of, and how everyone else sees you can either keep you trapped in a tiny little box or set you free.
Before you lose another pound, choose freedom.
Choose to stand taller, try new things, and experience life with the people you love.
3. The Goal Is Healthy, Not Skinny
I know how glamorous it appears to have a petite little body without the muffin top and saddlebags, but skinny does not always equal healthy.
There are a lot of ways to get skinny, but many of them are extremely harmful to you, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
- Skinny does not protect you from disease.
- Skinny does not give you more energy, improve your mood, or allow you to live a longer life.
- Skinny does not make you faster or stronger.
Fill your stomach with real food. Move your body.
Instead of focusing on shrinking your body, aim instead for healthy. The rest will fall into place.
4. You Don’t Have To Live At The Gym Drinking Green Smoothies
It’s a process. A journey.
You don’t have to wake up tomorrow morning to go on a 10-mile run and trade in your favorite candy bar for carrot sticks.
Eat fruit and vegetables. Get out there and exercise.
But know that healthy looks different for everyone and it can still include your favorite treats. It certainly doesn’t need to take every second of your time. Structure healthy habits into your life to improve your focus on the priorities and relationships you already have with your spouse, your family, or your friends.
Baby steps add up to huge changes. And one day you might even find that you like green smoothies.
5. You Are Stronger Than You Think
- Losing weight is hard.
- Changing ingrained habits is hard.
- Saying no to cravings and saying yes to exercise in an effort to prioritize your health is hard.
Life is going to go on with all of the stresses that come along with it, but the thing is, you can do it.
One choice at a time, even when you make mistakes along the way (which you will), you can keep moving forward and accomplish great things.
Push yourself past your comfort zone. If you don’t, you’ll never know how much you are capable of.
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