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!
Laura this made me cry! It’s so brave and honest. This post resonates so much with me, and I’m sure with so many others. We see you – a gorgeous attractive smiley person. That has nothing to do with weight or size. The message that we are each individuals and that comparing ourselves to others can only result in completely unnecessary negative feelings and loss of confidence in ourselves is vitally important, but a very hard thing to achieve, as you say. This is one of the things you do best- you are amazing in your ability to help us each to find our own way through the maze of conflicting, confusing and unrealistic ‘advice’, “easy fixes” and pressures that are so insidious and that we are continually exposed to. Your story is so inspiring. That balanced, realistic and achievable attitude to health, weight and overall wellbeing is something I aspire to- to get there would change my whole wellbeing and my life! Thank you for sharing this. x
Aww Ruth, thanks! I know that you’ll get to that balanced and realistic attitude to health and I can already see that you’re making so much progress towards that. Sending big hugs! xx
LOVE this – Laura – thank you for being brave with your story:)
Thanks petal! xx
Oh Laura, sometimes it’s like you jump into my head and write exactly what I’m thinking, especially the bit about success and weight. This is why we love you, you’re honest, real and share the wobbles – so we don’t feel like we’re failing if we’re not on point all the time. That’s why I read your posts rather than those green juice model’s, because you’re inspiring and relatable (and I have no doubt that everyone else will think the same when they see the gorgeous cover photo).
Thanks so much Emma, I was genuinely nervous about sharing this post but it certainly appears I’m not alone in feeling like that at times! I think success and weight can be a real hang up for so many of us x
This is one of the few blogs I actually enjoy reading. This post resonated with me SO much. I am about to embark on a career as a Naturopath and a large part of this is nutrition. I’m not the most healthiest or slimmest either. I have 3 children under 5 and a lot of baby weight to shed. Your posts give me inspiration on how to use this to my advantage!
Thanks Julia! You need a bloody medal the size of a dinner plate with 3 under 5! How exciting that you’re training as a Naturopath, best of luck and so glad this post was helpful for you x
I can totally relate to all of this, especially with the photoshoot for my book, however I always remind myself that health is not a size and that is something I am trying to share with the world, so I have to believe it and live it too.
That’s it in a nut shell really, I needed to remind myself that I practice what I preach!
Being slim is certainly not the key to happiness and success. You are so successful and blessed in my eyes in so many better ways – you have a fantastic husband, beautiful child, amazing business and super cool blog. You are ROCKING life. But I can understand that you want to feel confident and good about yourself – we all do, whatever our size or shape. But seriously though, you rock.
Thanks Anna, you are very sweet and lovely and I think I needed that reminder, thank you!
I can relate to this so so much so thank you for posting this! It actually hit me a while back when you posted your weight in one of your posts and I was a bit shocked because you weighed more than me (this is a compliment comment I promise!) and you’ve always been the ‘stylish, confident, curvy, beautiful woman’ that I looked at and thought ‘I’ll be happy when I look like her’ – it totally brought it back to me that weight is such a personal number and the same weight can ‘hang’ differently on different people. It also brought it home that I should be focusing on the overall picture that I see in the mirror and how that makes me feel rather than the number on the scale – I LOVE your blog (I’m originally from the North East too so it’s lovely to hear a ‘hometown’ accent again and you always seem to write about what’s going on in my head – keep it up you’re pretty awesome!
Oh thanks so much for that Hannah! I totally get what you mean about weight, as you say it really changes it’s meaning depending on the person. So lovely to hear that you enjoy the blog and especially as a fellow north easterner!
Laura I relate 110% as said below are you in our heads ???? Thank you x
My pleasure Emma! Glad the post resonated with you!
I’ve always loved and respected you as a blogger for your complete honesty. I’ve struggled with a lot of similar thoughts – I think its hard to change who we are in our heads. I still feel like the girl who hides in the loo instead of doing PE when I’ve run a marathon but in other situations I feel awkward mentioning that I run as I’m convinced that people will think “well, she doesn’t LOOK like she runs…”. It’s definitely about mindset and not size or weight and, anyway, you look glowing and awesome in that picture! x
Thanks Lily! It’s certainly hard when we’re still playing those same records in our heads of who we were, coupled with the worry about what other people think or how they might judge us!
I’ve only seen this with your updates, and so it’s great that the photoshoot went well and that you are feeling more confident again. I can very much relate to this and it’s good (?) to see others feel that way too- now it’s how to battle those feelings and make sure they don’t win.
Thanks Maria, yes I was chatting to someone about that, it’s realising that perhaps those thoughts and feelings are always going to pop up, as you say it’s how you manage them and stop them from affecting your life that’s the trick x
I’ve been reading (and enjoying) your blog for years. I can relate with your story on multiple levels-I too went through a period of somewhat obsessive”healthy” living that resulted in amenorrhea, which resolved itself through weight gain, and I have been working on self acceptance at my “set point” for the last couple of years. It is really hard, having spent years practicing self loathing in this arena. I so appreciate your courage throughout your years of blogging to chronicle your journey towards health through all of the stages. In a way, I think this is where the real work comes in: meeting (all of )yourself right here with love. Thank you for opening up and sharing. I found this post really helpful today :)
Thanks so much for this Monika, lovely to hear that we’ve had similar journeys, although I wouldn’t wish amenorrhea on anyone, it’s good when you know you aren’t alone. Set point weight is such an interesting topic and I’m glad that I’m getting to a place of being able to accept mine :-)
Just catching up after being away and just want to say I love this, I love you and I love your blog so much! Health looks different on all of us indeed and I really am starting to fully believe that our minds, lack of confidence and worthiness etc are what need to be healed and then everything else will follow (I think that is certainly my case anyway). We can’t keep focussing on things “out there”, like weight, clothes size, perfect diet etc to heal and “fix” things. Like you said “working on my self sabotage, toxic ego thinking and my confidence” is the important part. This post is amazing and brave and I know you will get through this just like you have admirably smashed all your other limiting beliefs and self sabotage. Also, all those people we compare ourselves too will not be living this “perfect” green juice yoga life our egos are perceiving. Who wants to be perfect anyway ;) Keep being you :)
Thanks so much Lauren! This means a lot to me :-) I was reading an article on Mind Body Green today that was saying just that, we can’t fix ourselves from the outside in, it has to come from the inside out :-)
What a great post, Laura. After ditching diet mentality myself a good year ago, embracing the health at every size concept has been a life changer. I’m so glad you’ve stopped looking at weight as a gauge for health and happiness when you clearly have a billion other things to gauge on, which are much better indicators.
PS. I’m very behind with my blog reading, the new house is looking great!
Thanks Alex! The health and every size concept is so important, I’ve been following some ‘plus’ size models on Instagram and they’re a huge inspiration to me in that front. Thanks for that on the house, it’s been a long time coming but we got there!
I never normally post on things like this but…. I have just left Facebook & Instagram because of how cr*p it was making me feel to look at all these people that were supposed to be inspiring me, but inevitably making me feel rubbish about myself and more than inadequate!
Laura your blog, attitude to life and REAL balance is the only new years’ resolution that’s stuck with me (that and giving up coca cola!!). You actually are inspiring, you’re real and I love that. Don’t become like those other “perfect” (**cough** fake?! **cough**) Instagrammers – you’re so real and that’s what’s inspiring me to keep working on the same challenges and riding the same rollercoaster that you are. Thank you. x
Good for you making that decision to leave those social networks! It takes guts to do that and take responsibility for what you let into your life. Thanks so much for those kind words, they mean so much to me they really do!
Fantastic post Laura – chimes in exactly how I feel a lot of the time! Still working hard on my own confidence and definition of what healthy is – but you are totally right, that it is not a size. Keep up the inspiring work.
I read you BECAUSE you aren’t model thin and all that. I read a few of those blogs too, but you’re my favourite as I’m on the upper healthy side myself. 5 5 and 11 1.2 stone with another 1/4 stone of boob.