Weight Loss Thoughts: 50 pounds down!
Being able to write this gives me so much joy! As of this week I’ve officially lost 50 whole pounds and while I’m not to my goal yet, I am getting there. I just wanted to take some time to document all of my thoughts, feelings, and the things I’ve learned on this journey.
One thing that has been on my mind lately is how important it is to not compare your journey to other people. I am in a few different weight loss communities and find that I often struggle with feeling bad that it has taken me 8 whole months to get here when other people lose 50 pounds in 2 or 3 months. I’ve had to remind myself that slow and steady is totally okay and the habits I’m forming now are sustainable in the long haul not just for a few months.
Weight loss and self love are things that go hand in hand with one another. Weight loss has helped me to feel so confident in myself and enabled me to try new things. At the same time, learning to feel comfortable with my body and stop being so hard on myself has helped me to keep going instead of just giving up because I feel like I will never look perfect. I feel like there are these two weird sides when it comes to discussing weight (especially for women). One side wants you to think that you have to lose weight to be happy the other is trying to tell you that if you try to lose weight it means you don’t love yourself. Any body in a swimsuit, is a swimsuit body and working towards goals and improving yourself, doesn’t mean you don’t love and feel good about yourself.
Framing food in economics terms has been an oddly helpful thing. This sounds weird I know but bare with me. Because I want my weightloss to be sustainable and stay off in the long run, I still incorporate treats and splurges into my life. One way I’ve kept those splurges from blowing through my calories for the day is to think of those foods in terms of diminishing returns. At some point, my ice cream will stop tasting as good as the calories that I would use eating it. Continuing on past that point, causes further negative impacts because instead of being a nice treat I enjoy, I feel guilty about it later on and now my splurge has gone from being a positive experience to a negative one. The sunk cost fallacy also applies here. It is okay to stop eating something you don’t want to use the calories on even after you open a package, take a bite, or order a meal.
Getting rid of the “all or nothing” mentality is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Countless times throughout my dieting history I would have a day where I ate something I knew I shouldn’t and just say to myself “screw it, I’ll just start again tomorrow” which would inevitably happen again…. and again until I was 3 months down the road and no further along. It is really easy to feel like if you aren’t eating perfectly, there is no point trying at all and that is simply not the case. For the last 4.5 months I have tracked my food Every. Single. Day. Regardless of whether or not I’m happy with what I ate and that has made such a massive difference because I’ve stayed accountable instead of just telling myself I’ll start later.
Arbitrary benchmarks matter. Giving myself little things to celebrate has helped me push on and not get burnt out because I’m pretty much always just 2-3 pounds away from my next goal (weight loss percentages, weight lost in pounds or kg, hitting weights that I haven’t been since x date, etc). I’m currenty just 3 pounds from having a “healthy” BMI and while that isn’t the end all in terms of defining health, I’m really looking forward to getting there. Alongside that, rewarding myself along the way has been really helpful. Usually my rewards are things that help me be more active (snorkel mask, workout clothes, running shoes, etc.) and while they aren’t the driving motivation for me it is a good way to space out purchases for the things that I want (and would probably buy anyways) while celebrating milestones.
The health and diet industry can be incredibly predatory and create a lot of misinformation. I know this is kind of a “duh” thing but being in weight loss groups it is SO frustrating to see the endless stream of posts pushing some diet plan, supplement, oil, or work out program without any actual backing in reality. You don’t need to pay any program to lose weight. You don’t even have to go to the gym. You can be healthy without any of that stuff as long as you burn more calories than you eat.
Developing a healthy relationship with food has been so important to me. I feel in control of my food instead of feeling like food controls me. For the most part, I’ve stopped eating emotionally or rationalizing treats to myself. When I eat a treat it’s because I’ve made the consious decision to and I know that I can fit it into my calories for the day. I can keep junk foods in the house without eating them mindlessly now and that is a pretty big deal. I’ve also learned to love new foods and to incorporate a wider number of foods into my life because I know that they are good for me. A year ago I HATED poached eggs, cucumbers, mushrooms, and raw tomatoes. Now I will eat all of those things and actually buy them on a weekly basis.
Learning to incorporate more activity into my day has helped with no only weight loss but also my general well being. What I mean by activity is NEAT, non exercise activity thermogenisis. Even on days I don’t run or work out I still hit at least 8,000 steps every day and do more to be active in my every day life. That includes walking to the library or grocery store (and carrying everything home), taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and doing more to keep up with the house. Being better at these little things helps me to have a more positive outlook because the house is neat and clean every day, I’ve left the house at least once for some fresh air, and I feel like I’ve accomplished something with my day.
Thanks for sticking with me through this lengthy and somewhat scattered post, just wanted to get all of my thoughts out. I’d love to hear yours as well, and if your someone struggling with weightloss, you can do it!