Losing weight can be really overwhelming. I am sharing 10 things I learned while losing weight that will provide you with motivation and inspiration to continue working towards a healthy lifestyle!
Whether this is the first time or the tenth time… forgive yourself. I started and stopped and quit and failed many times before beginning my journey this last time in November of 2015. Even though I committed to never quit, I still fail. We learn so much with every experience… every time we learn a new lesson and grow in a new way. I say to myself often, “Give yourself Grace”… and I tell others that too. We aren’t perfect. We have to stop expecting perfection and reframe our thinking to focus on the positive changes we are making. Whatever has brought you to the point of needing/wanting to lose weight, don’t beat yourself up about being at the starting line. You have begun and that is what matters!
Listen to your body
In therapy for binge eating I learned the importance of listening to my body. I learned that my body really does know what it wants, if I choose to listen to it. Our bodies will tell us when we are hungry, or full, or tired. Our bodies will tell us when it needs water, or movement or sleep. I’ve learned my body honors my efforts when I treat it the way it needs.
Find a tribe
Whether you have a group of friends to turn to, an online community or a family member… find someone who you can turn to to support you along the way. Committing to a healthier lifestyle isn’t easy, but having a strong support system is priceless. I shared my journey on Instagram and I truly think it made all the difference this time around.
Find activity you love
Exercise shouldn’t be torture. If you hate to run, don’t run! If you would rather play sports (like my husband) you totally should. Just move. I love doing Stepbets and I also love Bar Method. Moving more is the goal. Find an activity you love and don’t spend 30-60 minutes a day doing something you hate. Life is too short to waste time doing activity that doesn’t bring you joy! Wearing an activity tracker like a FitBit is also a great way to start incorporating more activity. Read my tips for getting into a workout routine here.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
It took me 2 years to lose 100 pounds. I told myself when I started that it didn’t matter how long it took. Quitting wasn’t going to get me to my goal any quicker. There were months I didin’t lose, there were months I gained. I never gave up though. Giving up is the only way you won’t reach your goal. The time is going to pass anyways, you may as well treat your body kindly and do your best. Before you know it you’ll be healthier than when you started.
Reward yourself without food
You should celebrate your success along the way, but find something other than food. I love to go get a pedicure or even just go to Target alone! Rewarding with food can get me into a tricky situation usually… food is fuel and I have a healthier relationship with it when I don’t use it as a reward. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the foods you love, but try to incorporate those into your day instead of restricting them. You shouldn’t have to be “good” to enjoy the foods you love.
The scale is information only
The number doesn’t define you or tell you anything other than information. If you can’t get on the scale and look at it solely as information, don’t get on it. If it will ruin your day, put you in a bad mood or make you feel horrible about yourself, stay away from it. This month I’m doing, “No Weigh May”, and haven’t been on the scale since April. I’ve gained a little weight back after reaching goal and I’ve decided to only focuses on the positive health choices I make every day instead of the number on the scale. It’s been freeing to not even think about it!
Ask for help
If you are overwhelmed ask for help. If you aren’t succeeding, talk to someone who can offer nonjudgmental support. We aren’t supposed to do this journey alone and since no-one is perfect that means we are going to need help sometimes! Don’t be afraid to ask for it and take some of the burden off your shoulders.This can also mean not being afraid to ask your spouse to watch your kids so you can go for a walk, or to a workout class. Or asking your spouse to help with meal prep. Making healthy changes takes effort, but soon, it will become habit.
Losing weight doesn’t mean your life is perfect
You will feel better, you will probably be happier… but it won’t fix your marriage, it won’t fix your finances and it won’t make everything perfect all the time. I had to deal with some deep rooted issues within myself along the way. If I didn’t do that, this would only be about weight loss… and it’s not only about weight loss. It’s about becoming better from the inside out. Commit to finding how you can grow on the inside and the outside will fall into place. What I’ve found is when I’ve dealt with some of my personal issues on the inside, in turn it has made me happier which has also made me a better wife, mom and friend. But, I had to do the work to get there, just losing the weight didn’t fix those things.
Don’t compare your journey
Every single one of us has a purpose. That purpose is different for each of us. Comparing our journeys will not serve any of us well. There were people who sped past me while losing weight, it didn’t matter. My journey was my journey. My journey is beautifully broken and I am learning what I need to learn along the way. That is not something that anyone else can compare to. Our lives are all made up differently so none of us can be exactly who the other is. Our bodies are created differently too so we each lose weight at different speeds. That’s ok. Comparison is the thief of joy. If you continue to focus on your own journey and stay the course… you will find hope, success and happiness because you didn’t give up on yourself.
**Since this post was originally shared I have left Weight Watchers and fully embraced Intuitive Eating. You can read more about my decision on my blog post, “Why I Quit Weight Watchers“