Today is my two year anniversary from the day that I started trying to lose weight. I got my gym membership on Halloween, which was a Monday. I had seen myself in pictures from a Halloween party that happened over the weekend. I was at work after I had seen these pictures, and the rest of the day I remember feeling extremely fat and uncomfortable. I still have the dress that I wore to work that day, I haven’t worn it since, but I think I will always keep it as a reminder.
Last year I wrote a post about my year of weight loss. I loved writing that post because I felt so damn proud of myself. Last year when I wrote that post I could only imagine how different I was going to be this year. I imagined being so small. I imagined my belly fat gone, my arms toned, and my legs chiseled. I imagined so many things, except for what actually turned out.
I sit here today, and my weight has been in a plateau for 11 months. I am only about 10 pounds lighter than I was last year, which would mean that I lost most of the 10 pounds in November/December. And guess what? I don’t care! I feel incredible! I am still damn proud of myself. I am the happiest that I can remember being in my whole life! Would I be happier if I was 20 pounds lighter? Maybe, but currently I am living in the moment, and being happy with what I have. What I have worked for. How far I’ve come.
I have learned a whole lot over the last year, being in a plateau has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise. I figured I would share some of the reasons as to why I am okay with where I am currently.
1) I have learned to be content. I think with weight loss people tend to constantly yearn for more. You hit your goal weight, and you still aren’t happy so you look for something else that will make you happy. Losing more weight, getting a better set of abs, a smaller pant size, etc. But will losing more weight actually bring that happiness?
I think it’s great to have goals, I have a lot of them, but I also think it’s great to enjoy the journey. I have a lot of life ahead of me, a lot of time to continue losing weight, and maintaining weight. I decided to stop beating myself up, and enjoy the current body that I have, the body that I have already worked so hard to get, and continue to work for.
2) Maintenance is no longer scary. I was always afraid of what it would be like to maintain a weight. All I have ever known is gaining or losing. I have now maintained the same weight for 11 months. This was not by choice because I hit the plateau, but I am glad it happened.
3) The scale does not define me. When I first started losing weight I needed the scale. I needed to know where I started and it was a good way to check progress, and keep me motivated. When I actively start trying to lose weight again I am sure I will go back to the scale. But for right now I avoid it. There are days when I feel thin and look thin, but then I get on the scale and see a number that I don’t love and I no longer felt thin. I feel mad, sad, and disappointed. I can fluctuate 5 pounds and my jeans still fit the exact same way. So for now I avoid the scale and listen to my clothes, and the mirror.
4) I am healthy. For so long I equated skinny with healthy. It’s totally not true. I know for a fact that my chubby, fitness loving, healthy eating body is healthier than a skinny, lazy, junk food eating body.
5) I can eat without driving myself bonkers. For the first 5 months of the plateau I was actively trying to lose weight. Counting calories, and going beast mode at the gym. I was doing everything I had always done but nothing was working. I tried switching things up, and still nothing was working.
I stopped actively trying to lose weight. I still have a healthy diet, and I consistently go to the gym, but I don’t drive myself nuts anymore. Counting calories brings out the worst in me. I am ornery, mean, and short fused. Counting calories was straining my relationships. So instead of counting calories and not losing weight, I decided to eat intuitively and not lose weight. I love food, and now I can eat the foods that I love more freely, and without guilt.
6) I have found a love for fitness. I only started working out to lose weight. I am currently not losing weight, but I continue to go to the gym because I love it. Even though the scale says nothing is happening, I know that my body is changing. I have gained muscle, and endurance. Instead of focusing on the decreasing number of a pant size, or a scale, I now focus on the increasing number on dumbbells and reps.
I might lose more weight if I started running, but then I wouldn’t love my gym time as much. I will spend 2 hours at the gym not because I have to, but because I want to attend a yoga class, and a step class. I think being in a plateau helped me figure out things that I like doing, rather than hating every exercise which would lead to a crash and burn. Instead of feeling pressured to go to the gym and attend a class I hate, I go and do what feels right.
When I set out on this journey to weight loss, I wasn’t sure where it would take me. I didn’t know if I was actually going to be able to stick with a diet. I didn’t know if I would actually keep motivated at the gym. And I really didn’t know if it was going to work. This may not be the journey that I originally envisioned, but it’s mine and it’s been a great two years.
I am happy. I like who I am, at this very moment. I like my body, my journey, and myself. Maybe losing more weight will bring me more happiness, maybe it won’t. But right now, in this moment, I am content with my imperfect body, and I think that is all that any of us can ask for!