This is going to be a super vulnerable post on weight, weight loss and all of that related stuff. To be honest this is a bit of a mind dump of things that have been swimming around in my head for the last few weeks. As usual I hope by sharing this, some of you who may be experiencing similar thoughts and feelings will relate and be comforted by the fact you’re not alone.
So I weighed myself for the first time in months the other day. I wanted to weigh myself as, for me, just getting on the scales once a week helps to give me a bit more focus with eating. I’ve talked all about the pros and cons of using the scales before, so I’m well aware of the downsides! However it wasn’t as ‘bad’ as I’d expected and since January 2015 (the last time I weighed myself and recorded it) I’ve only gained 3lbs which isn’t bad at all and is a big indicator to me that this is my body’s sticky point.
At the same time, I know I’m only just getting back into good routines with exercise and eating, and that although I eat pretty healthily and balanced, that if I’m honest with myself, I could eat less. I feel like I’m at that point again where I want to actively work on weight loss, a reminder of which has come in the form of the intense unworthiness (that’s the first word that came to mind here) when I was asked to attend a photo shoot for the book I’ve been working on. I imagine showing up to these things and people thinking something along the lines of ‘blimey she’s not what we were expecting from someone that blogs about health and wellbeing’ or ‘urgh she’s going to be hard to photograph and look good’ etc. Some really bloody horrible stuff.
I’ve spoken before about the added pressure to look a certain way, being someone who writes about health and wellbeing, and while my logical mind knows that I am what I am and who cares about what other people think, the other part feels so unworthy.
I had a revelation the other day about some mindset stuff. I say in the Mindset Makeover Course that once you become aware of things like upper limits and self sabotage, stuff can come up for you out of the blue and this is a great example. I was thinking of what might be holding me back from losing weight and what came up felt super uncomfortable. *vulnerability alert* I’m self sabotaging my weight loss efforts because while I’m bigger I can blame my lack of (self perceived) success on not being thin.
What the actual fuck.
Now I’ve done a lot of internal work on what success looks like to me and I’m happy to say that I really am living out my dreams. My life is pretty amazing and I have worked hard at creating it that way. But sometimes it’s hard to see others who look like models (beautiful, thin, popular women – huge school girl trigger for me) living incredible lives and enjoying a crazy amount of fame and I do compare myself to them, even though I’m very happy with my own life. Usually self comparison, jealousy and getting triggered is a sign that something is out of whack in your own life (it’s never, ever about anyone other than yourself) and it’s taken me a while to figure out what that is for me when I genuinely do love everything I have.
See the link there to the unworthiness?
Confidence is something I’ve struggled with a lot in the past, and I have come a long way. I can do public speaking pretty bloody well, in fact it’s one of my favourite things to do! But confidence in my worthiness is what is missing. Something that links back around to my body and weight. The women I compare myself to seem to be unapologetically confident, and part of me says ‘well of course, they look like a fucking model!’ I really hate how toxic I feel when I think those thoughts.
Another self sabotage ‘excuse’ that popped up for me is that I’m afraid to lose weight and become infertile again. Logically I know I’ll never have that same relationship with food and exercise as I did back then, but it’s still something lurking in the back of my mind. Part of me is also scared that I’ll try and lose weight and won’t be able to and then I’ll have failed. So I’m self sabotaging myself by not even trying.
So there’s a lot of really uncomfortable thoughts I’ve had recently. The good thing is, now that I’ve actually got comfortable with the uncomfortableness, I’ve been able to start moving past them. This is the magic of mindset work. Once you bring those thoughts to the fore, you can dismantle them piece by piece. When I see myself acting against my conscious interests, I’m able understand that it’s just my ego trying to protect me and keep me in this small, ‘safe’ space.
To be honest, I do think that trying to lose weight this time round would be very hard. Reading this brilliant article has reminded me of how well I’m doing having not gained all of my weight back plus more. As a woman who has always been on the curvier side, is this not just my best healthiest, happiest body? And if so, when am I going to start living in confidence that I am worthy of a place amongst the green juice drinking yoga models? Or better, that I am worthy of standing alone, in my own space as an example of a woman with a real life, living her balance and loving her body within the health and wellbeing world? Or am I upper limiting myself by believing that I’m just always going to be curvier?
I’ve overcome a lot of limiting beliefs before. The unsporty girl who came last in the cross country race at school has become the woman who has run 3 half marathons. The shy girl who didn’t like to talk in front of people happily speaks in front of groups. The girl who was weighed at primary school and told she was the biggest in the class (don’t even get me started on that!) and the puppy fat that never went away, became the woman who lost 6 stone and now makes a living talking about health and wellbeing. I can handle limiting beliefs.
After all of that thinking I clearly have some things to work on, but I’ve decided my weight isn’t going to be one of them. I believe that life is so much more than a number on a scale. While life naturally ebbs and flows, I want to strive to be balanced and healthy, but most of all happy, because without that what’s the point? I don’t look like a model and I don’t have 100k likes on Instagram, but I have you, reading this blog right now, and hopefully many more women who are relating to what I’ve just said and need to hear this.
It’s ok to love your body right now, it’s ok to love some parts of your body right now and not others and know you’re beautifully imperfect, it’s ok to stop the battle of the diet and just eat fucking food without having to analyse and count every goddamn bite, it’s ok to go and hula hoop in the garden instead of dragging yourself out on a run.
Instead of striving to lose weight, I’ll be working on my self sabotage (which might result in weight loss anyway, we’ll see), toxic ego thinking and my confidence. Those are the things that are actually going to make a difference in my life, not the number on the scale or the label in my jeans. I’ve been round the diet merry-go-round more than enough to know that losing weight isn’t a magic wand, the real changes are in your head and you don’t need to see a change on the scale to make that happen for most things in life.
It’s time to start feeling worthy as I am right now.
*Edited to add: it’s been a few days since I wrote this post and my thoughts have certainly settled down a lot. I’ve reminded myself that healthy looks different on each of us, and I’m more certain now than ever, that this is what healthy looks like on me at this point in my life. I need to stop the comparison game and have some confidence in who I am and how I look because both of those things are a clear demonstration of my values and beliefs when it comes to health and wellbeing and probably why many of you read this blog! Hilariously, I’ve just come back from a shopping trip and tried on an old pair of jeans I bought in the New Year sales that wouldn’t zip up back then. They do now so I must be doing something right!
*Also: I went to the photoshoot yesterday and had a blast. I never felt judged at all, everyone was so kind and down to earth and I got to wear a beautiful figure hugging flattering dress for the possible front cover shot. I felt fabulous!