Since it's the beginning of another new year, weight loss resolutions seem to be on a lot of people's minds. Weight loss, diet plans, and exercise are the top searched key words on many popular search engines. The television is dominated by W.eight W.atchers and J.enny C.raig commercials. Everyone is obsessed with losing weight. For example, today while at the gym, I heard a fitness instructor telling some of her class participants that she lost a ton of weight on the HC.G diet. Well no crap you're going to lose weight. You're essentially starving your body because you're only allowed 500 calories a day. I'm definitely not a weight loss expert or nutritionist, but I know that one of the keys to successful weight loss and maintenance is a combination of exercise and healthy eating habits. Injecting yourself with pregnancy hormones and depriving your body of nutrients is not the way to go.
Every year I declare that I want to lose a certain amount of weight. Typically my weight loss goal is about 5 pounds. Truthfully, I'm at a weight that's completely acceptable for my height (I'm a tall girl - almost 5' 10"). While my weight is where it needs to be, I still see a heavy girl when I look in the mirror. I'm never fully convinced that I'm at my ideal weight. I'm never completely happy with my progress.
I don't know that I've shared my weight issues on the blog before so I guess I should share my backstory. I always had terrible eating habits when I was younger. My parents were big believers in finishing everything on the plate even if I was full already. We also had access to a lot of junk food - soda, cookies, crackers, potato chips, etc. You name the junk food, we probably had it in the house. While I wasn't an overweight child, I was definitely an overweight teenager and then an overweight young adult.
I really started packing on the pounds during my freshman year of college. I didn't know how to eat properly, so of course I gravitated towards the less than nutritious food options at the dining hall. On top of not knowing how to eat properly, I also had a roommate situation that was extremely stressful, which caused me to eat more. I ate my feelings (and I still do on occasions). I remember getting on the scale at my doctor's office for my annual check up that summer.
The scale read 182 pounds.
I remember sitting down on the table and started crying. I couldn't believe that I let my weight get so out of control. I was embarrassed and disgusted with myself. In addition to being overweight, I also found out that my cholesterol numbers were dangerously high for an 18 year old. Things had to change.
I started going to the gym. I started watching what I ate, how often I ate, and made healthier choices. Unfortunately, the weight didn't come off as quickly as I would have liked it to. I yo-yoed with my weight for the next few years. Since I didn't see immediate results, I would get depressed and turn to food. Then I would realize that I was doing things wrong and tried to eat well and exercise again. It was a vicious cycle for awhile.
After I moved in with E back in 2005, things started to click and the weight started to fall off. It took me about 3 years to lose 40 pounds. Even though people started telling me that I looked good and my clothes started getting smaller, every time I looked in the mirror, I still saw the face of that 182 pound girl.
To this day, I still feel insecure about myself. I tend to avoid the mirror a lot because I still don't like what I see most of the time. I don't take many pictures of myself because I'm convinced I look horrible in most of them. What am I doing wrong? Why can't I see the strong and healthy woman that I've become?
Has anyone else experienced a fairly dramatic weight loss, but still identifies with your old self? What have you done to see the woman you are now?
I'm determined that this year is going to be different in terms of my mindset on my weight. This year my resolution was not to lose weight, it was to maintain my exercise routine and to continue preparing healthy meals for myself (and for E when he returns). I want to see the person I am now when I look in that mirror, not the shadow of who I once was. I don't have to be supermodel thin to be happy. I need to love my body the way it is right now. It's strong and healthy and I shouldn't let my mind tell me otherwise.