I have cried over the number on the scale.
I’ve lied about it, too. (Even to treadmills at the gym. It’s almost 2016 and machines totally have the ability to judge us).
I have Googled the number and stressed over the number, desperately wishing it were different.
I’ve spent most of my life trying to lose 10 pounds. A lifelong diet, if you will.
The number on the scale has always been an issue for me.
I am not considered heavy by any means, and if you looked at me you might even roll your eyes that I even struggle with this, but due to a muscular build and a wider, athletic frame, I have always weighed a lot more than I would like.
I have learned a lot from being on a lifelong diet. I am still a work in progress, but have come a long way since crying over the number on the scale.
Here are some things I have learned from always trying to lose 10 pounds:
- Maybe this is the way my body is supposed to be
We are all made differently and no matter how many times I stare at a picture of a supermodel, or no matter how many times I choose broccoli over brownies, I am simply not going to look like her. My body was not designed to look like that.
Perhaps being healthy and average is what my body was made to be. I love to push my body physically, but even in the best shape of my life, I am only going to look like the best version of myself. No one else.
2. Celebrate what my body is, instead of what it isn’t
I have stood in front of a mirror for too many wasted hours in my life.
I could pick apart a dozen things I would change about it. Over the years, I have learned to re-focus that criticism to reflect and celebrate the things my body is. I have strong legs that run and squat.
I have wide hips that will someday make child-birth possible. I have a body that does amazing things every second of every day.
When you look at your body for what it is, an incredible machine, it takes the focuses off the things you consider imperfections.
3. Just eat the cookie- The broken pieces still count as calories
I am the ultimate grazer. I won’t actually sit down and have a piece of pie, but I will wander into the kitchen with a fork and take a few bites out of it every twenty minutes. I am known to skim the top of the carton of ice cream with a spoon (seven times a day).
I’m a smart girl, and I don’t know who I think I am fooling doing this. I have these little rituals that prevent full enjoyment.
I could sit down with a beautiful piece of cake (yes, beautiful is a totally acceptable word that describes cake) and enjoy it. Talk with family, lick the frosting off my lip.
Instead, I deprive myself of the experience, and then get a cheaper, less fulfilling version of it through sneaky bites.
Those calories still count. Just sit and eat the cake.
4. Life is too short
It really is. I am an absolute advocate for healthy lifestyles and everything in moderation (though I don’t always take my own advice), but living a life of constant restriction and fear of gaining weight robs you of so much joy.
I can’t tell you how many times I ordered a small salad while my friends enjoyed a nice dinner out, and instead of being present in the moment, I was obsessing about the food I was putting into my body…and stealing fries and onion rings from my friends’ plates.
When you struggle with eating issues, food has a way of taking residence into every part of your mind.
Once, I was so deep into my unhealthy, low-carb diet that I struggled to even take communion at church. I wasn’t supposed to eat carbs and that small wafer was certainly not on my food list, and don’t even get me started on the sugar in the grape juice.
It’s a joy stealer. Be present, order a meal that you love, and enjoy it.
Life is too short to obsess over every calorie you put in your body.
5. Unconditional Relationships don’t change
As far as I know, my mom still has extravagant love for me even when my pants fit a little tighter.
My best friends don’t see “gross” or “fat” when we are rolling on the floor belly laughing over something we heard on TV.
Despite how you may feel about yourself, the people that love you in your life don’t see what you see. They don’t. And even if they did, they would love you the same.
6. If you don’t love yourself 10 pounds heavier, you won’t love yourself 10 pounds lighter.
I have been ten pounds heavier than I am right now, and I have been ten pounds lighter than I am right now.
My clothes fit me differently, but how I feel about myself at the core does not change.
If you don’t love yourself how you are in this very minute, I can promise you won’t love yourself ten pounds from now.
You might look a little better in a bathing suit.
You might have a few less rolls.
But losing ten pounds will not make you love yourself.
You have to love yourself exactly where you are right now.
Learn to love yourself now and make your decisions for your body from a place of love, and not a place of self-hate and criticism.
I am not saying that trying to lose weight is a bad thing. In fact, after this holiday season, most of my pants don’t currently fit me, and it is time for me to start watching what I eat again. However, what I have learned trying to lose 10 pounds is that the condition of your mind and heart is everything.
Like millions of Americans, I am going to try to make healthier choices this coming new year, but unlike my mindset for most of my life, I am not doing this to impress others or finally accept myself. I love who I am right now, bulging pants and all.
I am doing it out of a place of love for my body and a desire to feel good about how I am treating it.
So, if you’re thinking about losing a few this new year, please keep in mind that you are beautiful and accepted no matter what that scale says. If you succeed and totally dominate your resolution, be proud.
But your worth does not change based on what you weigh.
You are beautiful on January 1, and you are beautiful on February 17 if you throw in the towel and head for the cheese fries.
Count blessings…and calories in moderation.