Hello! It's been so long. I know. But I'm here now, and that's what is important.
It's currently 7:23 a.m. on a foggy Saturday morning and I'm sitting on my deck because I need to write this. First, it's important to note that I have not been awake at 7:23 a.m. on a Saturday morning for probably all of my adult life. I took my mom and her husband to the airport this morning and normally I would have fallen back into my bed the second I walked in the door, but instead I began texting my BFF Breanne, and I told her about this moment I'm having and she said "BLOG THIS NOW!"
So here I am. I have so much to tell you.
Here I go.
Ok, so as you know, I've been REALLY struggling with my weight, body image, self-love, and self-esteem for the past 10 years. Like, in a bad way. I've pretty much become a shut-in and I've undervalued myself and ignored what I have to offer this world for way too long.
About 1.5 years ago, I quit a job that just wasn’t serving me anymore to follow my dreams. It was a huge leap of faith and I believed with all of my heart that by quitting my job, all of my food issues would just magically disappear and that I’d live happily ever after. I believed it so much that I told my husband that would be the case. I told him that over and over again.
And boy, I honestly couldn’t have been more wrong.
In reality, this past year and a half has been one of the hardest AND best periods of my life. I’ve never before gone deeper inside of myself and really attempted to understand what the HELL was going on in my head and my body. I knew something was really wrong, but I had been operating on the belief that going on a diet and exercising until I collapsed were the only way to fix me, and that I just wasn’t doing it. So that was the issue, right? I knew what I had to do, but I just wasn’t doing it. Simple as that.
And again, I honestly couldn’t have been more wrong.
First, I just need to say that diet and exercise are not connected to self-love. That’s a myth that we really need to bust. You do not have to diet and exercise in order to love yourself. In fact, I’ll say that you need to love yourself first in order to be healthy and move your body. We are doing things in the wrong order. And diets are so dumb. But, I’m really getting ahead of myself so I’ll stop there.
My Journey To This Moment:
So pretty quickly after quitting my job, I was shocked that my extra weight wasn’t just falling off. I was still eating more than I should and drinking three glasses of wine a night, but still, man I was shocked. Wasn’t this all supposed to get easier the second I quit? Wasn’t that the ONLY REASON why I hadn’t achieved my body goals?
Well, much to my surprise, I realized that no, it wasn’t. And slowly (R.E.A.L. slowly), I began to understand that my reasons for overeating and over drinking ran much deeper than I ever could have imagined.
And so then I began my journey to self-love. My journey to this fucking incredible moment.
I started asking myself questions. I began wondering why I needed a really huge plate of nachos instead of just a regular portion. What was I getting from the chips that I wasn’t getting from life? Why did I like eating four brownies after my husband went to bed? What was the joy in that? Why did I need to stop at In N Out after leaving my friend's house when I had eaten a perfectly healthy dinner while I was there? Was I still hungry? Or was it something more?
The key to these questions was that I didn’t judge my answers. I just answered. No matter how shameful or gluttonous or sad. I became ridiculously curious about myself and for the first time ever; I stepped into my issues instead of running from them. And then I started this blog to bring my problems to light even more and to share them with other people who I thought were struggling with the same things. I wrote here consistently for a couple of months, and it felt really great. And then I left to go on this journey by myself for a little bit longer.
Another key thing to note is that while I was asking myself these questions and blogging, I was still trying many different ways of eating exercising, but nothing stuck. And I was feeling so frustrated, but I knew I was on the verge of something good, I just didn’t know exactly what it was. This felt different than anything I had ever done before, but I still had such a hard time continually kicking the conventional diet and exercise knowledge out of my head.
The conventional diet and exercise wisdom was my comfort zone, even though it had never helped me before. It was cozy and warm and I knew a lot about it and I kept running back to it when my inner work would get too hard.
But I pressed on. I knew that I needed to figure myself out. And I knew I needed to learn how to love myself totally and completely just as I was.
I know I keep saying “key thing” but I have one more of them for you to note. While I was doing all of this self-reflection and having an unreal amount of “me” time, it looked to everyone on the outside that I was literally doing nothing to “help myself” in regards to my weight. I wasn’t really eating that well, I was rarely exercising, and I was spending a lot of time by myself thinking about myself. Not really what other people would think is a successful “weight loss plan.”
And honestly, they couldn’t have been more wrong :)
One of the hardest things I had to do during this journey was STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE PEOPLE. I had to worry about me, and me alone, for the first time. I had to really stop caring about what everyone else thought. I had spent the last 10 years doing what everyone else thought I should do to lose weight, and I was real real real tired of it. Because that shit didn't work.
Some days I cried, some days I felt like a failure, some days I texted Breanne (BFF mentioned above) to ask her if I was crazy, some days I felt amazing, some days I told my husband I felt different than I ever had, and other days were just good. But, I pressed on. For the first time in my entire adult life I didn’t quit what I had started. My introspective journey kept going...and going.
I started some “Happy Habits” in October of 2015 designed to maintain my happiness and health and I’m SO proud to say that I’ve kept them up. That is so not me. I mean, it IS me now, but I’ve never kept a good habit before.
BUT, again, you guys. I’ve had some REALLY bad days throughout this journey. Days that would have caused me to quit before. Days that would have overridden all the progress I made in this journey to self-love, but I just kept going. I had to see where this was going to lead me.
I kept trying to love myself no matter what, and if I made a choice to overeat or drink too much or spend too much money, I just made a different choice the next time. And doing this over and over again gave me the confidence I needed to trust that I could keep doing it.
So, what am I trying to say with all of this?
I’m trying to say that I now know what I have been missing. I’m wiping the sleep out of my eyes after this 10-year slumber. I feel like I’ve been hiking up this mountain for a year and a half, and now I’m at the top and the view is more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.
I honestly feel as though I've shed the last of my self-limiting shit and I’m now FLYING.
Ok, I have to say some real words now and stop speaking in metaphors.
This past Monday I woke up feeling different than before. I felt great. I came out to my deck to work, and I got so much done. Then I walked inside and looked at my indoor cycle and then…I GOT ON IT. AND I RODE IT FOR 20 MINUTES.
Ok, that was weird. I hadn’t felt compelled to exercise in…well probably ever. But after, my muscles were twitching and it felt so good.
I also ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full.
And then, it was National Margarita Day and my husband brought home all the stuff to make them and we drank way too many of them.
Tuesday came and I woke up without my normal "too many drinks" shame and I ate a good breakfast and decided to do another workout.
What?!? So weird. But I went with it.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday followed suit.
You guys. I worked out five times in one week. I never forced myself, I never went longer than I wanted to, I never hated it, and I just did it because I love myself and because it felt good.
It was really a mind-blowing experience. To see that something I’ve hated so much for all of my life could be something so good was just really amazing. This may seem so simple, but to me nothing could have been more powerful.
And I had a similar experience with food and wine. I ate what sounded good, I never felt compelled to overeat or drown my sorrows with wine. I didn’t even drink from Tuesday to Friday.
Two times I ate pancakes for breakfast and each time I gave my husband one of the pancakes I was planning to eat because I decided that I loved myself too much to overeat. Not because I was worried about calories but because I loved myself. In the past, giving one of my pancakes to my husband would have literally been a painful experience for me. Because I would have considered the pancake like my arm, and giving it to him would have been like cutting it off. That’s how much food has meant to me. But this week, there was no pain, there was no regret, and I didn’t think about it for longer than 5 seconds. I’m not sure if you understand the magnitude of this, but it's really really huge.
I’m feeling genuinely hungry and I’m feeding myself with delicious and healthy foods and then I’m feeling satisfied.
What I’m trying to say is that I am no longer feeling like I have to stuff myself with food and wine to feel full…to feel whole. And I'm not have to push those feelings out, I’m just genuinely not feeling them. I want to shout it from the ROOFTOPS.
But also, I know that there will be days in the future that I eat too much or drink too much and that will be OK too. I won’t need to hate myself or punish myself for it. I’ll just move on and make a different choice the next time.
I’m not following any diet or any plan, I’m just living, and it's incredible. I finally feel like I’ve found what I’ve been looking for and it’s really so simple and all about trusting myself to know what I need. There is no one size fits all plan, people. It’s all about what sounds good to you.
Why Am I Sharing This?
Because I want you to see what it took for me to get here.
I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be healthy once and for all. I hope I conveyed this correctly, but I spent this past year and a half treating myself with kindness (most of the time…sometimes I had to be reminded to be gentler) and understanding. I got curious and travelled into a place that I had been avoiding for so long…inside myself.
And even then, I had to stay there for a long time to figure out what was going to work for me.
And after that, I had to try some diets and meal plans to REALLY make sure they didn’t work before I could get comfortable with trusting myself to know what was going to work for me.
My point is to hopefully inspire you, beautiful soul, to get curious about you. Go inside. Ask yourself what you are missing. Ask yourself the questions you’ve been avoiding. Start this journey right now. Take your happiness and your health into your own hands and tell the haters to back off.
Only you know what you can do, and only you know what you’re capable of. Trust that. Honor that. Appreciate the hell out of that.
I can promise you you’re capable of way more than you can imagine in this moment.
And I can promise that your soul is craving the self-love you’ve been holding back from it for so long.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.
I’m so happy to be back here.