I hinted about this post on Sunday and honestly, it’s been brewing in me for days. I just needed a quiet moment to actually collect my thoughts (without a baby in tow) and attempt to communicate them in a way that makes sense. Now that I have that moment, I’m pretty sure I’ll still ramble on excessively. Expect a long one and please forgive me for that cheesy "A-Ha" photo.
As you may know I’ve been trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight for 10 months now. Baby number 2 came almost 6 years after baby number 1 and 5 years after a 70lb weight loss that I have maintained happily (minus pregnancy gain of course.) I not only lost weight back then but I started to find myself. For as long as I can remember weight loss and a bad body image dominated my thoughts. (Read more of my weight history on the My Story page.)
If you’ve been reading for some time you know this. You’ve been on this journey with me. Maybe you were there when I reached goal in 2006 or when I had the tummy tuck or made the decisions to join a gym to or the first time I ran 5k on a treadmill.
*sigh* Running. Now there’s something I never thought I’d EVER do. Yet you were there the first time I ran a 5k and 5 miles and 10 and my first half and, in-spite of a rough year, a marathon. Yes, I ran a FREAKIN’ Marathon. To say it now it still seems unreal, impossible and unbelievable. So does climbing a rock wall and doing a pull-up but I did all of those things.
Yes, now I’m crying.
Over the years my approach to losing and maintaing weight ebbed and flowed. I went from weekly weighing to daily to none at all. I food journaled on paper, in email, twitter and even Excel. I counted points and ate intuitively. My diet has slowly shifted from convenience based foods (100 cal packs, Frozen Dinners) to more and more whole and unprocessed options.
For Pete’s Sake my favorite things to eat now are winter squashes and kale! Who am I?
Who am I?
I am now someone who not only wakes up at 5:30 AM to go to the gym but WANTS to wake up at 5:30 to go to the gym because I know from experience how awesome I feel the rest of the day.
I am now someone who is not afraid to be naked in front of her husband. That may have been a bit TMI but it’s true and I know some of you out there know where I’m coming from.
I am now someone who can wear a bathing suit on a beach and enjoy herself. Not because I’m sporting the perfect body but because I’m having too much fun with my family to care what anyone else thinks.
I’m now someone who can go out to eat and not feel controlled by food, overwhelmed at the menu or anxious about making the right choice.
I am now someone who doesn’t starve herself after eating something "bad" and then sneaks food when no one is looking.
I am now someone who doesn’t shy away from things she wants to do or try or experience.
I am now someone who doesn’t care what the scale says because of everything listed above<–THAT was My A-Ha Moment.
These thoughts all came flooding to me when I received this comment from Tina on my latest weigh-in post….
Roni, did you ever think that possibly giving up the journaling might work in your favor? I see that you go back and forth with it, I think that you know by now exactly what your body needs and doesn’t need. I know that emotions play a huge part in that at times, but I think in my experience that “so called” dieting or keeping track always set me up for a binge at some point. Since I gave up counting points, calories etc. I have seen the most progress in my weight, and I also feel more relaxed with food. Just a thought.
Tina pointed out something I think I’ve been afraid to admit because it takes me further and further away from where I started and for some reason that’s scary. Here I thought I was doing the right thing by following my own example of what worked for me in the past.
6 years ago I counted points, food journaled and blogged my way to weight loss. It worked then so why shouldn’t it work now?
Ohhh yea… because I’m not the same person I was back then. I don’t need to learn what a portion is or that a banana is a better choice then pretzels or that drinking my calories isn’t "worth it." I don’t need a daily limit to stop me from eating because I can’t tell the difference between hunger or boredom or stress or exhaustion.
I’m not saying I know it all now but I know myself and I’ve learned a lot over the years. Why am I forcing myself to do something that’s not working for me now and why aren’t I trusting myself? Oh! and for Heaven’s sake WHY do I need to see some stupid number on some stupid scale when I am everything I ever wanted to be?
P.S. I wanted to end the post right there on a "happy" note (pun intended) but while writing this I got an email from Annalisa and I feel the need to share it in this post.
Hi Roni! This is not an ask-Roni question but really a thank you. I’ve read your blog for a few years and I’ve always found you inspirational. Quick background – I lost 50 lbs a few years ago and kept it off until I had my first baby 9 months ago. I’m struggling with losing the weight. I’m 40lbs heavier that I am used to being and it gets demotivating when nothing changes week after week (I nurse, eat clean, lots of walks, etc). I’m working on it slowly but very little is happening. Anyway, my thank you is for you continual advice to ‘live your life’. I continue to sign up for things, meet new people, be active, etc. even though I am not comfortable in my own skin. I noticed this over the weekend when I signed up for mommy and me swim classes. OMG – I had to wear a swim suit! I thought about not going but I am so GLAD I did! My daughter loved it – and so did I. I sometimes even hesitate to take pictures/videos of us as a family since I’m so much bigger but I realize this is a time in my life I don’t get to repeat so I need to suck it up and embrace everything around me. I don’t think I would have this attitude if I haven’t read your blog all these years. I would truly be a SAHM and never leave the house. Instead, I bought bigger pants and kept going. Thank you!
This blog started out as a weight loss journal but now it means so much more to me and hopefully, to you. I don’t mind helping people lose weight, it’s how I got started on this whole journey. But what I really want to do is change people attitudes about themselves, their bodies and their lives. That’s my real goal. Weight loss is just the byproduct.
Thank YOU Annalisa for solidifying my A-Ha moment. :)