You are Beautiful!

What is a perfect body? Through my health journey, I have thought about my body a lot. There are things I have to learn to love about it. Accepting that my body is built differently than everyone else’s. You can read my post on embracing this here.

Something that we are not told. Both men and women are given numerous messages that beauty is defined by young, toned bodies. New mothers, comparing themselves to actresses or other celebrities find themselves lacking. Middle aged men and women are chastised for looking their age. Advised to seek surgery or shots to prevent wrinkles.

We forget that the models are Photoshop. Even their perfection is just not perfect enough. Again we compare ourselves to the impossible. In this comparison we fat shame, skinny shame, age shame. Can I just please stop all that?! When people are “shamed” it really reveals the shamers own fears. For some reason, the fact that someone is thin naturally or comfortable in their bodies brings out the worst in others.

In doing so we forget that our bodies are unique to ourselves. That there is no magical way of eating or exercising to create the impossible. We need to be realistic about our bodies, there are going to be some things about that will not change. Things we have inherited from our ancestors. For instance, I know no matter how many squats or donkey kicks I do, I will never get a booty.

Healthy living is about loving your body. Embrace all that your body can do! Don’t take for granted good health. While many of us are pining away for perfect six pack, someone else is unable to breath properly. Try making a list of all you do just to get ready for the day. Think of much more difficult any of that would be if you were paralyzed or without one limb.

If you do seek out plastic surgery, do so with open eyes. A procedure can not bring you happiness. It is why so many get sucked into returning under the knife. Nothing is ever just right, there is always something else to “fix”.

It is all about perspective and motivation. Essentially what is your heart behind wanting to lose weight? To getting that procedure done? What are your expectations for your life from this? The reality is, these things will not fix your heart, heal wounds.

Our bodies are freaking amazing! Love your body, not some image of what it “should” look like. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Embrace yours, because you are beautiful. Yes, you. Gorgeous, actually.
Go on, tell yourself in the mirror. Post a selfie with the hashtag #gorgeous.

Five Truths After Weight Loss

image

Three years ago I began my journey to getting healthy. Last week I focused on Five Truths About Weight Loss, today I want to talk about maintaining that weight loss.

1- Reaching your goal can sneak up on you.
During your weight loss journey, you may be so into it that you may miss it. I nearly did. Reaching this goal seemed near impossible at the start didn’t it? But you did it! Embrace this moment, you have worked hard for it.

2- You may be at a loss at what to do now.
No longer is the goal to lose weight but to maintain. This means changing your mind set towards work outs and food. I needed a new goal to motivate me so I decided to train for a half marathon. This gave me a new reason to keep going. Find what your goal is, master a new skill.  Whatever you do, keep moving forward!

3- Your diet becomes more flexible
Those foods you have stayed away from can now, slowly reenter your diet. Be cautious but also enjoy yourself. I have overcome a lot of issues related to eating (you can read that post here). If you have had issues please seek professional help. Having a healthy attitude towards food is vastly important.

4- It will take time to adjust to your new body.
This was the most surprising part of this journey for myself. It has only been recently that I became comfortable in my body. I often felt like I was wondering around in someone else’s body, that it truly didn’t belong to me. It is a big change and plus your body continues to change as you gain muscle. Not to mention as it also adjusts to the new you. And this is also the time to replenish that wardrobe! Purchasing clothes that fit you properly will help with adjusting as well. You can read about that here

5- Have Grace for yourself.
You will gain weight and lose weight. Your eating may not always be as healthy as it could be,or your workouts as intense. Or you may stop working out altogether. When this happens, as it did with me take an honest inventory. Ask yourself what you may be missing this time around. For me it was determination and confidence that I can do this. Remind yourself what your body can do and do it. Meet yourself now, at this moment. Then move forward. Ask for accountability, keep track of your food and find a work out that will push you.

What have you noticed about life after weight loss that I didn’t list?

Looking In The Mirror

I have been thinking about body issues lately. More so about the perspective I have about my body. I have been rather hard on myself lately as I have not been running.

I was allowing for the fat girl to return. Someone who I had thought I had let go of nearly three years ago. You can read this post here. I had to put away some clothes that were no longer fit me. Clothes that I had worn since I lost weight. This began my downward spiral in doubting all that I had done. The old fear I had that I would wake up and find myself back at my old weight haunted me.

The thoughts of am I good enough? Did I deserve to be healthy began to pop up in my mind.

So I turned to food as I have always done to find comfort. This time though, it was different. I had no real desire to eat in the way I once done. While I did not always make the best choices, I was making better choices than I would of three years ago. That is where the victory lies.

Maintaining weight is just as hard as losing it. Maintaining for over two years is no easy feat. During the initial weightloss, a lot of attention was given to me. Once people began to notice I was often pulled aside and told to keep going or way to go! It was weird and awkward but thrilling at the same time.

Then it stops because it would be weird and awkward to continually congratulate someone on their past accomplishment.

What I have realized is that my body has finally settled into itself. After the initial weight loss, which was also rather quick, I was simply thin. My mom feared I was too thin. So did a good friend of mine.

At the time,it just felt good to fit into size 4 jeans. It really did. The attention that came along with did too. But being thin isn’t this magical key to the life. I did not become a millionaire or instantly fall in love and get married. Those things are not a “reward” for losing weight.

My body was still changing. I had more muscle to gain. My body was still adjusting to the drastic changes.

It has been three years after I began this journey. Three years of change and adjustment. Both physical and emotional. These days I am more comfortable with myself. I have to remind myself that a my worth is not my jean size.

That as I get older my body will continue to change. As I age what matters is that I take care of this temporary vessel. So that it may carry me to the end of my days for a life well lived.

So look in the mirror and stop being so hard on yourself. Make the changes you need to become healthy. But meet yourself where you are today, right now. And love the person staring back at you.

How have you dealt with your body changing on your journey?

Mid Week Motivator- The Mirror

image

The mirror is a place of complete honesty. There is no where to hide is there? It is just you, staring back at an image of yourself. 

It’s up to you to choose love it. My choice to love my imperfect looking but healthy body.

Next time you find yourself before the mirror,  stop. Take a real long look. Don’t think, just take it in. Acknowledge where you are, right now.  Don’t tell yourself you used to look good or that you will when…

Part of a weight loss journey is loving yourself at every stage. By loving yourself, who you are right now can only help as you continue your journey to health.

Mid Week Motivator- Loving Our Bodies With the Food We Eat

Last week I addressed loving my body. I want to continue that idea for the month of June. All the different ways to love our bodies. Previously I discussed looking at your own body and listing all the aspects of it that you like. State of mind is so important! Another aspect to loving our bodies is how we treat them. Yes that means exercise and food. I do not want to give a how to or list. But more of a mindset towards eating and exercising.

 

This week I want to address attitudes towards eating. This has been so key in not only my initial weight loss but in maintaining ever since. Food is not just there to satisfy. I know that is such a strange concept! Food is not just for me to enjoy, but it is also for my own health. It is also fuel.

 

Now do not run for the hills. I too tend to roll my eyes at this idea too. Not so much the idea that food as fuel but taking it so seriously. Not allowing for that enjoyment of food in that idea. Food is meant for enjoyment. If it were not why do we enjoy it at all? Why when eating something amazing do we make those mmmmm sounds? Or not speak while the delicious food is in front of us?

 

What I am saying is asking yourself how can what I am about to eat help me? How is having donuts for breakfast helpful over that bowl of oatmeal or a protein shake? What good will that donut do for you in the long run? Not much to tell you the truth. This means you will need to put some effort in how you do eat. Planning ahead for instance was key for me. Usually what ends up happening is we end eating what ever is around due to lack of planning. It seems odd to have to plan your food, but it is needed.

 

In my own story, my financial circumstances changed and I was unable to but the kind of food I was used to eating. This meant no more trips through the drive thru or just purchasing what ever I wanted at the grocery store. I was forced to plan what I would eat. Without doing anything else I soon began to lose weight. Slowly, but I lost weight.

 

This forced me to clean out my cabinets and refriderator. No longer was anything that I would be tempted to eat right away. It was all stuff that I enjoyed, do not get me wrong. However what was in there was all I had to eat. Now I understand that this is not the case for everyone. It may be easier to choose the drive thru or but the usual stuff at the grocery store.

 

This can be so tough. A lot of money is spent on food and the thought of throwing something out is painful. You have to ask how is having these kinds of food within easy reach helping me. How is helping your family? Perhaps you think you do not have the time to plan your food. Then ask yourself what kind of time can you lose if you do not?

 

What you put into your body can either help you live a better life or live to eat. I think it is priceless for your children to grow up with you modeling good food choices. That they learn from you how to eat well. It will be an adjustment but in time you will look back and realize how much better life tastes! It sure is something I understand in my own life. I used the app MyFitnessPal to help keep track of calories and serving sizes. The best part is there is no cost to have it! Plus there is a community of people on there who can help you stay accountable. Community is so important!

 

This is one way to show your body some love. Next week I want to discuss how exercising has helped me not only lose weight but helped me in all aspects of my life.

 

 

 

Mid Week Motivator- Bathing Suit Season

It is that time of year when magazines promise to give you tips to have an amazing body in time for swimsuit season. These magazines sell because we have an insatiable desire for that “perfect” body. We want those flat abs and curved behinds just like our favorite celebrities and those models plastered on those pages.

What if instead of wanting to emulate someone else, we strived to embrace our own bodies?

I will begin with myself, my body is beautiful. It is beautiful because it is mine. I will never look like those celebrities or models and that is fine. I work out so I can be healthy. So I can be the best version of myself. Not some pale version of a stranger’s image on the cover of a magazine. One that has been airbrushed and edited. Something that is not real.

Nor will I wait to deem my body as “perfect” to wear a bathing suit. It will never be perfect, there will always be some aspect of my body I think needs improvement. Something that only myself is aware of in the first place. I will not allow this to keep me from enjoying going to the beach or jumping into the pool. I will not allow those images to lie to me that I’m not good enough unless I look a certain way.

The key is finding a suit that you love. Wear the style and color you feel most comfortable for you. Bring along your best friend and have fun finding the best one. It will most likely be less of a chore to shop for it if you have yourself in mind instead of someone else. This also means meeting yourself and your body right where you at right now. Say hello to that image staring back at you. Tell her how fabulous she looks in that suit.

I will wear my bathing suit all summer, I mean how else will I smooth out my crazy farmers tan?