I haven’t had a scale in exactly 6 weeks. My weigh in will be the moment of truth when I see if I can successfully do this without the obsession of my scale. Already, in my head, I’ve been doing the math on what numbers would be acceptable to see. What numbers would upset me. What numbers would mean success vs. failure. I’ve been wracking my brain with why I’m still letting this control me so much. Somewhere deep in my head the thought of, “What if I’ve gained it all back” resonates. I go to the Doctor for my annual lady exam tomorrow. I am ridiculously nervous. Alicia said to just not look at the scale. I can’t do that. Why I’m so anxious about this? I am eating an 80/20 diet and exercising regularly. I should not be anxious. I FEEL GOOD. I FEEL HEALTHY. This should be all that matters…
And then a friend of mine messaged me today and told me she was starting her weight loss journey, but wasn’t sure where to start. She asked for my advice. So, I stopped and thought about it. What do you tell someone changing their lifestyle?
At no point did I say, “Well, the only way to succeed is to weigh yourself at least 10 times a day. Oh, and make sure you pee before and after, too. It’ll change the numbers drastically enough that it should determine how you feel about yourself and your self worth. And remember – regarding whatever you lost that week on the scale – it always could have been more.”
I also didn’t say, “The first thing you need to do is stop eating everything you love. In fact, go to your fridge and pantry, throw away everything you like in there. Actually, it’ll go smoother if you obsess over EVERY single calorie and contemplate not eating meals so you can eat later, and then when you do go out to eat, please make sure you spend more time tracking your food in your phone than actually enjoying your company.”
What else didn’t I say? Oh – I also didn’t say, “When you work out – NEVER eat before you go. You want to burn as many calories as possible. Also, pro tip – if you don’t drink water during your workout you might see a lower number on the scale IMMEDIATELY after you finish, so definitely don’t drink water. And don’t listen to your body…it doesn’t know what it’s talking about. ALWAYS go – regardless of sickness or injury. You’ll gain it all back if you have a rest day.”
Those are all things I was doing, but would NEVER tell someone else to do. It just sounds ludicrous!
So, what did I say? Advice I wish I’d taken at the beginning of my journey:
Think of your body like a car – you need to fuel it. You wouldn’t put water in it and expect it to run or only fill the tank half way for a long trip with no gas stations in sight. You also wouldn’t put crap that doesn’t belong in your body.
An easy rule to live by, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the box or it can’t go bad, don’t eat it. Eat whole, real foods that will fill you up. Empty carbs will only make you hungrier.
You ultimately have to find something that will be doable for the rest of your life. Remember that you’re changing your lifestyle for HEALTH and not pounds. Focus on your clothes and the way they fit, not the number. Focus on the way you feel. Focus on the new lifestyle. The body can retain 4lbs of fluid so you could flux 4 lbs in ONE day and if you focus on the scale and the number, it’ll be discouraging. Weight loss is slow and steady. But most importantly, please do not lose the current confidence you have. You are beautiful and your confidence radiates.
What do they say? Hindsight is 20/20?
Her timing couldn’t have been better.
Food is fuel! I love that. I’ve found that sometimes the differenace between an amazing athletic profromance and a garbage preformance is the food I put in my body the day before. Garbage in Garbage out!
This resonates with me in a big way. I have done all of those ludicrous things you listed… But you’re right- I never would recommend them to someone else. While I have about 20 to lose now, when I was in college I would constantly obsess over the 8-10 lbs I gained. My brother one summer told me randomly “I have 8 lbs I need to lose” and I could tell it really bothered him and all I could think was – you’re crazy! You are my brother, the Same you’ve always been. Nobody judges us the way we judge ourselves, that I’ve come to know for sure.
This is amazing. I abolsutely love it. People always ask for advice and sometimes I don’t take my own. Thank you!