In the last couple of years I have obsessed about my weight. I am pretty sure I have done it since high school – but I do not remember it as vividly as I have in the last few years. I have “tried everything” from hiring an incredibly expensive personal trainer, drank “meal replacement” shakes, taken dozens of pills, started several gym memberships, did crossfit until I literally popped a rib out of socket and had to stop for risk of further injury, owned every FitBit product they have put out, done whole30 ad nauseum… you name it, I have done it.
About two weeks ago I just got SO sick of it ALL. I took off my FitBit, I ignored my scale, I stopped reading labels, skipped out on zumba – just took a mental break from everything weight loss related. I indulged in some treats – and over indulged in some cocktails – all while laughing with my friends to the point of tears.
It. Has.Been. Fantastic.
This week I have had a few very eye-opening moments, and it has made me stop and think about what my life has become and what I actually have been putting value and time and focus on. When I think of all of the time and energy I have put in to my weight over the last few years – it is depressingly sad. And with the exception of the 30 days of Whole30 – the weight has stayed the exact same. (I am proud to say I have not gained any pre-w30 weight back, but I have been within 1.5 pounds of the same weight since I completed it back in August) So all of that time in reality… has been wasted.
I spent a good part of this morning in a group text with two of my absolute closest friends that have known me since high school. The conversation somehow became weight and body image and society and how even though we are all very different in our weight / exercise routines / eating habits, we are all struggling with the exact same issues with our bodies – and our minds. It went in perfectly with how I have been feeling the last few weeks – these two best friends became my sounding board for everything that I have been feeling and surprisingly they have been feeling the same things too.
We said things like “why do we obsess over this crap?” and “why do we care what anyone else thinks?”
We all agreed that in general we are pretty happy with our own bodies – and our husbands are certainly happy with them – so why are we obsessing and letting society make use feel like we are anything less than exceptional? None of us are that overweight, nor does our weight affect our health or quality of life. So WHY can we not just shut up and quit stressing over it all the time? Why have we let this consume our thoughts and rob our joy? And why have we been made to feel bad about our choices? “Sometimes I just want an effing donut.”
One friend mentioned how her mother in law has been on a diet ever since she met her. Every event – every holiday, every birthday party, every lunch, every everything – all has been centered around what she can or can not eat with the particular fad diet she was on. It made me think of just the other day when I asked Mike where he wanted to go to dinner, and he said “well, where can you go?” Now, I know this mother in law and I have always thought she looked fantastic, but I completely get what she has been doing the last 20+ years. She's been doing the exact same thing I have been doing. She has become addicted to dieting. I do not want to be that person. And I wonder if she even knows she is that person, or if it has become such a huge part of her identity that it is second nature.
Yesterday as I was strolling through Publix I saw the table of King Cakes. I passed them… and then turned around. I stood there for a minute – thinking how every Mardi Gras we always have a King Cake. Then I thought back over all of my whole30 training and how I didn't reach my weight loss goal last year and how I have a big event I am training for this year. I thought about how huge it was and wished they were smaller so I could have just a bit and not be tempted by the rest. I thought about how many people I have inspired to do Whole30 – which is fantastic – and wondered if I would be letting them down if they knew I ate a King Cake.
And then… I got the cake anyway.
In that moment I made the conscious decision to just eat the cake. To stop worrying and obsessing over the scale. To stop telling myself what I “can't” have and focus on what I can – and what I want. To stop beating myself up over my choices and to just embrace life and focus on being HAPPY – whatever that means. I am not going off the rails and eat everything in sight and never break a sweat again – but I AM going to quit this awful self deprecating cycle that I have been doing for as many years as I can remember.
Some day I am going to look back on my 30's and I do not want every memory to be riddled with a weight issue and body struggles. I do not want my girls to look back on their childhood and remember every diet their Mom was on. And I do not want to even think about the time I have already wasted thinking about this crap already. I had this goal to “weigh 135 by 35” – and you know what… I really just do not care. I am going to turn 35 this year whether I weigh 135 or not. So why not just enjoy it – especially since I will be eating cake then too.
Today in text my friend said “I am going to be 40 in a few years, and while I do not have the desire to wear a bikini, I do have the desire to sit on the beach with my husband and sip pina coladas and not worry how many calories are in them.”
Me too, honey. Me too.