No Pressure: Body Image and Weight Loss
Courtesy of Julie
Though I strongly support the Operation Beautiful movement, I haven’t been applying it to myself. In fact, I’ve had some serious body image issues for the past few months. I’m not going to lie. I’d like to lose 5-10 pounds before the wedding, so that I look as awesome as I feel in our wedding pictures. And I’ve been putting a lot of pressure and stress on myself to lose this weight over the past few months.
I tried calorie counting a few years ago. While it worked and I did lose weight, I didn’t feel particularly strong, I was eating a lot of processed “light” foods, and I was constantly stressed about how many calories I had eaten and how much more I could eat that day.
Shortly after losing that weight, I suddenly gained even more weight. Quite a bit of weight, for this 5?0? frame. Calorie counting wasn’t working for me anymore. I also felt progressively more and more ill, and I was eventually diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
Since then, I haven’t been able to get back into calorie counting. Every time I try it, I last about half a day before I start stressing about the “numbers,” which just isn’t constructive for me.
So last week, I adopted a new food and fitness philosophy. Ready for it?
Worrying about what I just ate or how I veered from my training plan isn’t going to help me feel strong or healthy. Nor is worrying about my weight or how I look. So I won’t. I’m just not going to let myself be upset about it. No “rules,” no pressure. Just let it happen.
It sounds simple, and is easier said than done, for sure, but so far it seems to be working for me. I think I have gotten to a pretty good place with myself, where I know what makes me feel healthy and strong, and what doesn’t. I know that lifting weights will leave me feeling sore the next day, but also strong, powerful and fit.
I know that a good bike ride will free me of stress.
I know that drinking a Green Monster or eating some breakfast quinoa will leave me feeling more satisfied and energized than something sugary-sweet or heavy in the morning.
But I also know that sometimes, I want a burger and fries while out with friends. And I will be much happier if I don’t beat myself up about enjoying it later. So when I went out with Kristie and Jenn on Saturday and we ordered cheese curds, burgers and fries, did I let myself feel guilty afterwards? Nope!
It felt so FREEING to ditch the “rules.” To let myself believe that if I just stop worrying about it all. the. time, the weight will slowly start to drop off. Because it isn’t about the weight or how I look. It is about how I feel.
I’m really starting to believe that we truly need to let go of the rules, become comfortable in our own skin and love ourselves as we are now. Not only is this a beautiful mindset, but more often than not it seems as though the changes we’re seeking often happens when we just let go and let our bodies do their own thing.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.