As Valentine’s Day rapidly approaches, I’m not quite ready to let go of the New Year. I’m still waking up every morning to one little word on my bathroom mirror and I know all of you are still attempting to keep resolutions and annual goals.
I also know for many of your those resolutions included goals for your physical health.
Perhaps you are trying to eat healthier or get more sleep. Perhaps you are letting go of soda or donuts or your favorite fast food treat. Whatever your goal, I thought it was probably time to share my own physical transformation and how I made it happen. Since we only share a virtual cup of coffee and never see each other face-to-fact, you have no way of knowing my little secret.
I’ve lost twenty pounds!
Even as I type that, I can’t believe it. I didn’t set out to lose twenty pounds. Heck, I wouldn’t have even TOLD someone I needed to lose twenty pounds. I think I had become so accustomed to an extra five pounds here and another weight gain there I had lost track of what is an actual healthy weight for me.
Truthfully, I shifted my goal weight to make my actual weight loss goals not seem so unreachable. Five pounds is reasonable. Ten pounds a little more difficult.But twenty?!? Twenty seemed like I was reaching for another lifetime - when I was in college and had endless time to exercise and daily access to a salad bar.
It all started with the Whole30, which I know you all remember. Thirty days with no processed food, sugar, alcohol, dairy, legumes, or grain of any kind. It was so, so hard. Not really because of the foods I did eat (which were delicious!), but because of the food I couldn’t. Either way I lost about 13 pounds in a month.
I had absolutely no plans to continue to eat that way...and I haven’t. I still eat pizza and chocolate chip cookies and pancakes. However, instead of 80% of my diet being composed of these less-than-healthy foods and 20% being composed of healthier fare, I’ve switched the equation. I now look for ways to add vegetables (as opposed to carbs) to my meals and am careful to avoid sugary treats and junk food.
I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I have slowly shifted the way I feel about my favorite foods. Instead of feeling entitled to my afternoon cookie, I began to feel entrapped by it. I felt icky afterwards and never really satiated. A muffin at breakfast led to a cookie after lunch...which led to an afternoon snack and dessert after dinner.
AND I felt crummy, which is the ultimate motivator. I know we’ve all heard the phrase, “Nothing taste as good as skinny feels.” Well, that’s crap and whoever said has never had a piece of chocolate cake still warm from the oven.
Instead, I tell people, “Nothing tastes as good as HEALTHY feels.” I can eat my favorite foods and indulge whenever I feel like it but I will be tired and cranky and groggy afterwards.
It’s just not worth it.
Like I said, I’m not perfect and I fully expected to gain back some of that initial weigh loss. Instead, as I continued to eat healthier (and learned to finally do that damn Chaturanga Dandasana correctly!), I lost more weight.
And I’m not going to lie...it’s awesome. I now weigh less than I did when Nicholas and I got married. Boots I couldn’t zip up now fit over jeans. Styles I thought were off limits now seem doable. I no longer carry a shadow of guilt (or dare I say shame) about every little decision I make regarding what I eat, when I exercise, or what I wear.
While my weight loss was a bit of a secret, there is no real secret to the actual weight loss. Less sugar. Less carbs. More vegetables. More exercise. More water. We eat at home 80% of the time. We eat together as a family. We cancelled our cable so we spend less time in front of the television. I’m sure all of these things played a role.
It was many little changes that added up to a big difference when I stand on a scale ... and when I run around chasing my boys ... and when I work (instead of sleep through) nap time ... and when I finish a meal feeling energized instead of gross.
In fact, the number on thescale is really the least important part.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland