I recently heard a podcast episode on weight loss that left me deep in thought on a particular line the host said, “don’t let your weight loss define you”.
Hmm…weight loss has been my battle since I was a kid. But does it define me?
I didn’t want the answer to be yes, but it was/is. Weight loss does define me. It has for much of my life.
I was the kid on the diet. The kid at the gym with a trainer. The kid in the back row of fitness classes. The overweight one.
I was the girl in college always talking about my latest diet and waking up early to kill the cardio machines.
I was the young professional taking my lunch breaks to attend a Weight Watchers meeting. Launching a blog on weight loss and posting pictures of everything I ate, because that is what you do to be successful, right?
And then we were blessed with our first pregnancy with little dude Wrigley.
And becoming a mom confused me. My life could no longer be defined by weight loss. I DID NOT want my kids to grow up thinking that was my thing. I wanted them to see that my life stood for so much more.
But then what did define me……
At the close of 2016 I pointed my feet in a new direction, down a path I had never walked before.
Instead of spending another year focusing on weight loss and letting that be my thing, I set out to build upon my strength, and achieve optimal health. I set a specific, measurable goal to reach a body fat percentage of 22% by the end of 2017, hired macro coaches, and unapologetically committed to my hobby – training hard.
January I came out guns blazing and successfully established a foundation to a new lifestyle. I tracked my macros daily, stayed coachable with my coaches, and made my exercise time a daily priority.
But in February, just a short four weeks after saying no to the weight-loss life, old habits began to creep in. I was settling back in the old highs and lows of on-again off-again, on-again off-again. And towards the end of the month I just wanted to quit. I began questioning my ability to change my ways. My ability to achieve my goal.
And here was the tipping point. I could live in the past. I could do the things I have always done. I could feel sorry for myself for struggling with weight issues my whole life. Or I could push past the moment, use it, and work even harder to create a new lifestyle.
Those who write resources on goals, habits, and happiness, always say that in order to be successful with anything in life, you HAVE to know your why. You have to live, breathe and die that why.
Why do I want to change my life? Because I don’t want my weight loss to define me. I want there to be more to my life than my weight. I want my time to be spent in more meaningful ways.
I want my children to know me for these four traits:
I want them to see me in my element. Lifting weights, running, grinning from ear to ear in a spin class, working out with Dan. Pushing my body to be stronger and faster. I want them to know that these are my hobbies, and to understand the importance of finding your passion.
I want them to see how I commit to myself, and those around me. How I work hard. How I live with integrity. I want them to rely on me to give them strength, when their strength is tested.
I want them to know me for my smile. My laughter. My goofy ways. I want them to know that every day I woke up and chose happiness.
And lastly, I want them to understand the role that health plays in a happy life. And to be a role model to them, on how they can carve a healthy life. I want them to see that health is not achieved through rigid diets or good food/bad food lists, but through balance. And that the only way to create that balance is to find what works best for you.
These are my whys. These are the details in life that matter to me.
While I have hit some bumps that have tested me since the new year began, I know that I am on the right path and should in no way turn around. I am happier than I have ever been before. I feel healthier and stronger than I have ever felt before. This change in lifestyle is doing good things, and I need to keep my eyes locked on the whys.
Weight loss will never again define me. My strength, dedication, happiness and health will.
Oh, and as for that measurable goal, let me not undermine the reality that a progress is a progress no matter how small. 🙂
Before Thanksgiving my body fat percentage was at 33.4%, but since adopting “flexible dieting” and working with my macro coaches to find a style of eating that makes my body thrive, that number has dropped every single week since January 1.
From 32.3, to 32, 31.7, to 31.3, and now 30.9. I am almost in the 20’s!
I am in in no rush. This is a way of life. And in I am in it for life.