Love Yourself. It seems like a pretty basic message, and for a lot of us we think “I already love myself, so I’m good.” Along with loving yourself, however, comes accepting yourself. Do you completely and truly accept every aspect of yourself?
When it comes to people, and weight and body types, many of us (myself included) say and believe “Everyone is built differently… everyone has different body types.” I firmly believe this and have been saying it for a long time. But it took a recent visit with my daughter to realize that while I do firmly believe that everyone is different, I really hadn’t embraced the whole concept of self-acceptance.
My body type is very “solid” … no wispy ballerina here. I’m 5’6’’ and have legs that I used to describe as “stocky” but in the interest of learning to be more accepting of myself, have been describing them more recently as “strong”. Because of this, I have always weighed higher than I think I should weigh… and I’ve always kept secret of how much I weigh too. (I’ve been with my husband for over 14 years, and I never even told HIM how much how I weighed until last year, when I started taking active steps to get healthier) And my daughter is built the same way as me.
I spent years and years not liking my body type at all, and because I focused on what the scale said, always thinking I was overweight and had to lose weight, and never accepting myself. When I had a daughter, I was bound and determined that I would do everything in my power to make sure that she wouldn’t be plagued with the same insecurities that had followed me most of my life.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, and she’s come for a visit. And we meet up with several of my friends, so they can see her. Inevitably, my weight loss is brought up, because in 9 ½ months (with a lot of hard work) I have lost 62.6 pounds and made the goal weight my doctor set for me. My goal day was January 8th. As I’m talking about it, and answering questions, I realize that I’m filtering out how much I weigh now, what the goal weight was that my doctor set for me, and even though I’m proud of my accomplishments, what I’m doing feels wrong. And I’m extremely aware of the fact that my daughter is sitting right next to me, watching me and hearing all of this. I started questioning what kind of message I was sending to her: how can I realistically say to her that all body types are different, that everyone has a different “normal” while at the same time very clearly sending the message that I’m not being 100% accepting of where I’m at because I continue to filter out how much I weigh?
I decided that I couldn’t do that anymore. I didn’t want to send mix messages to her, and I didn’t want to send them to myself. “Every body type is different” doesn’t just refer to how we all look… it also refers to how much we all weigh. So…. For my daughter, myself, and maybe in the interest of furthering the advancement of women accepting who they are and loving who they are exactly how they are… here goes.
I set out to lose weight with 100% the intention being to be the healthiest me I could be. I didn’t care about being a certain weight or fitting into a certain size. I did care about doing everything in my power to ensure that I had the most amount of time to spend with my husband, children and grandchildren. The original goal I had set for myself was 150 pounds… however, after consulting with my doctor, he thought that goal would be too low, for my body type as well as long term maintenace in a healthy way. His exact words were “I’d like to see you around 160 pounds.” And that’s what I reached, on January 8th. I reached goal after losing a total of 62.6 pounds. (You can do the math as to where I started) I’ve switched to maintenance on my eating plan (and I’ve completely embraced it as a lifestyle change, not a temporary switch), I exercise six days a week (not to maintain my weight loss, because exercise only accounts for 15-20% of weight loss. Read 85-15 for more information!), and I weigh myself six days a week to help keep myself accountable. My range is usually anywhere from 158-163, depending on the day. (If anyone ever wants to get an idea of how much your weight can fluctuate in a day, I highly recommend weighing every day for just one week… you might be surprised!). I feel strong and healthy, and for the first time ever, in control of what I’ve accomplished. I will always see myself as a work in progress… but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing; if anything, it keeps me accountable.
Love yourself, accept yourself and more importantly… don’t hide from yourself!
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