I’ve been hearing a lot of negativity surrounding weight loss lately. Friends, family, strangers, media. I feel like it’s starting to infiltrate (something must be done!). I, too, am guilty of speaking negatively (why can’t I get through this freakin’ plateau?! How can I be up one pound when I’ve worked so hard all week?!), but I’ve also come to realize that this healthy living journey is worth much more than an illuminated number gleaming from a piece of metal.
I understand the importance of the numbers, both on the scale and on my jeans (and as someone who has been overweight for as long as I can remember, definitely have size and weight goals) but I am learning not to let those numbers define my wellness journey.
My wellness journey is about living – vibrantly, with intention and integrity. It is about having enough energy to explore and expand my horizons. And it is about recognizing how incredibly strong and beautiful my body is. My journey has brought me meaningful relationships, hope, energy and self-growth. As a side effect, it has also brought muscle, the ability to fit into cuter clothes, and more flexibility (both physically and emotionally).
Those are the things I want to highlight. The journey isn’t always pretty, but it is the challenge that makes it all worth it. The challenge is the journey.
With that said, I am excited to kick off Motivational Mondays! I’ll be completely honest and say that I’m really not sure how it will manifest itself, but I’d like to highlight ways in which individuals can make lifestyle changes and develop tool kits to live healthy, balanced lives (whether or not your goal is weight loss). Plus, some of my own greatest motivators will be posting! (Get excited!).
“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.”
My personal wellness journey began when I realized I wanted to live for myself. My main goal was weight loss and I worked rigorously to stick to a diet and exercise every day. Those things helped me to physically lose weight, but looking back, I wish I had someone to help me with the emotional aspect of losing weight (which is more important, if you ask me – without the emotional aspect, weight issues will always arise and there can be no maintenance).
To me, the most important first step is asking oneself a single question: “How has being overweight served me?”
I feel incredibly fortunate to have blogged my way through my wellness journey on Sparkpeople (seriously, the site changed my life), because it is now easy for me to bring up archives of specific moments in my journey (the great, the horrible, and the ugly). The following is an excerpt from December 22nd, 2009, entitled “How Being Overweight Has Served Me”:
I’ve always seen my life as learning grounds for others because it all seems too surreal to take in as my own.
When I was a kid I was surrounded by predators. Drug addicts, molesters, abusers. I honestly think that something within me, some instinct, told me that I NEEDED to be ugly in order to survive–to not bring attention to myself and make me unwanted to these people. The last time I remember being thin was when I was about 7 years old. After that I ballooned. And I never went back. My closest cousin (the only other girl I was raised with) eventually also came to have disordered eating.
My relationship with men has always been sketchy. My best and closest friends have always been guys, but when it comes to relationships, something’s different. Now that I’m starting to shed the pounds I feel these emotions coming up from when I was a kid. That voice in my head that says Be careful! That man is staring at you… What does he want??? Sicko! I see many people on this site say that they ‘want to be sexy’, hear those cat calls, and get looks from men. I don’t. I’m deathly afraid of those looks! I hate when men look at me in a certain way. It makes me want to punch them in the nose and say “WHAT F&^%ER?!”
I’m dealing with it lately with a sense of safety because I now have a ring on my finger and an incredible husband. I feel that the ring actually deters men from flirting with me, which helps me a lot.
Anywho, I really needed to get that out. I need to make this dark secret known so that I can get through it and LET myself lose this weight. It does not serve me anymore. It may have saved me when I was a child but I am no longer a weak little girl. I recognize and am grateful for the time and ways that being overweight has kept me safe. But it isn’t necessary any longer. I am not–and WILL never again be–a victim. I am safe in my body and in my life. It is okay to be beautiful.
I can do this. I deserve safety, happiness, and love in a healthy and positive way. Becoming thin is such a learning process, and as I shed the pounds I am also excited to shed all the layers that have made me the way I am today.
I am emerging bright and beautiful.
Wherever you are on your wellness journey, I encourage you to visit your own past and see how whatever-it-is-you’d-like-to-better (your weight, overactiveness, busy lifestyle, laziness, etc.) has served you. Honor and accept it, and then release it (if you’re ready to do so). Remember, it is immensely important to release the emotional weight, too.
What would you like to see for Motivational Mondays?
Would you like to be a contributor? Comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me your motivational story, who motivates you, and/or your tips.
Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts. Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!