No Weigh May

I apologize for being MIA. However, I come to you today with a very good lesson 🙂

I work at a clinic, and they offer a free wellness fair for employees and their families–height, weight, fasting blood work–the works. A few years ago when I did it I had high blood pressure (which I ended up going on meds), my cholesterol was 261, and my glucose was teetering on the edge of a real problem. I worked really hard to get those numbers in check, and before I got pregnant with my son in 2013, I had gotten my cholesterol down to normal, got off the high blood pressure meds, and my glucose was within normal.

My weight was and still is something that hasn’t gone down. I am still considered obese, and even when I was at my lowest weight of 165, I was still considered obese for my height. But I was healthy, and I am still healthy.

My mental health has always teetered. I am a high anxiety and stress person, and with this journey to lose weight I have struggled to find balance with the scale. I still do measurements, but I rely on the scale to tell me everything about myself. So I decided to participate in “No Weigh May” to give my mental health a break from negativity. Basically, you put the scale away for the whole month of May and rely on measuring and progress pictures, and I learned a lesson nobody could ever put a measurement on.

The Con

I’m going to start with the con just to get it out of the way. I have been at this for just over two weeks, and looking back I have realized that the scale helped keep my eating in check. When I’d weigh myself every few days if I saw the scale go up a little, it would prompt me to make healthier choices or at least to really think about what I took out of the fridge or pantry. “Am I eating too much sugar? Sodium? I should lay off the chocolate covered almonds.” The last few weeks I have found myself taking a few chips here or a candy there and not really thinking about it. I’ve worked too hard at trying to eat clean and get down to a more manageable weight to let some candy and chips that I don’t really need get the best of me. It comes to me being strong enough and explaining to myself that I don’t really need it and prioritizing what I want most. Wanting to lose weight and be healthy doesn’t mean that I can’t have something, but it means I need to eat in moderation to succeed, and I have to find a way to get that through to myself.

The Pros

I have more body confidence, which outweighs the cons any day of the week. The last few weeks I have focused on lifting, and I love seeing my arm muscles get more defined. I flex for everyone and everything. I’ll even flex for the cat. No joke! Even when I flex my belly, I can see definition of abs. I am proud of how far I’ve come. Typically when I’d step on the scale and see I’ve gained a pound, I’d instantly see it on my body. It would screw my whole day, even if I had a great lifting day and my arms were looking fly. My brain would seriously tell me, “You definitely look fatter now that you’ve stepped on the scale and saw it go up. See it? It’s right there on your belly.” Every flaw would be identified because my confidence was deflated. Not stepping on the scale has made me more aware of my body, and I often stand in the mirror in the morning admiring the parts of my I like rather than looking for the things I don’t AND not letting a number tell me my body isn’t good enough. On Saturday morning after my shower as I am listening to “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor, I even found myself looking at my curvy booty in my jeans and saying, “Daaayyuumm” instead of “damnit.”

The experience has made me want to find a bold lipstick (and I don’t wear lipstick except maybe once a year for pictures) and go try on clothes that I normally wouldn’t pick out because society might laugh at me or say it wasn’t acceptable for someone my size to wear it. And the age-old comment “Don’t glorify fat. It’s unhealthy” makes me roll my eyes now. People come in all shapes and sizes. I just happen to be built bigger and have more fat on my body. While I am labeled, clinically, as obese, my doctor says nothing because I am healthy in every other way, and my weight does not prohibit me from doing things. My lack of confidence does, and unfortunately there is no way to measure that except to look inside yourself and make the choice to love yourself instead of hating.

I am still on a mission to eat clean because healthy is what I strive for. Whether the result means I’m still fat or perhaps I look lean, I’ll take it. I know I’ll struggle at some point with my body confidence as I think everyone does, but I am making a promise to myself to put more effort into seeing the positive than the negative.

If you like TED Talks and are interested, click HERE. I don’t know a lot about Lillian Bustle, but this TED Talk was really enjoyable and explained a lot about body image. I am starting to look up to her for her confidence and self-respect.

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The “L” Word

This morning as I walked out the door to go to work I told my mom, who takes care of our son during the day, “I never thought I’d ever be the person who would take a hard boiled egg with sriracha and a piece of cheese to work for a snack.” It’s the honest truth too. Hard boiled eggs growing up, unless they were deviled, were THE devil. You couldn’t pay me enough to eat one, and yet, here I am eating them and actually enjoying my snack. I still like my other snacks, but I’ve since modified the kinds of snacks I take. Gone are the days of just a few Cheez-its or candy bar. I buy organic snacks low in sugar, or I take an apple with peanut butter. When you make good choices, you start feeling better and because you start feeling better you love the healthy choices you make.

Speaking of better choices, I started the dreaded “l” word in the exercising world–Lifting. On MFP it seems to be the most menacing form of exercise, especially if you’re a cardio junkie like me. If you had told me a year ago that I’d be lifting, I’d have laughed at you. While I’m starting to see a change by doing cardio, I’m really serious this time and wanted to add more to my workout. I talked to our fitness instructor about personal training, and she was so excited I approached her because she needs a partner to lift with, so she is doing it for free. I am very blessed and fortunate that she is donating her time and talents.

We didn’t add any weight to the bar yesterday, but I was able to do eight squats with the 45lb bar. I felt really good about that, especially since I’ve never lifted before! Lifting was a lot less intimidating that I first thought, and my instructor has assured me that I’ll only get stronger and more confident and eventually I’ll be lifting way more than a 45lb bar. We also did tricep dips, diagonals, chest flies, one-legged squats, and some ab exercises. We did one ab exercise that requires to to lay on your back, heels as close to your butt and reach behind your butt for the opposite foot. I told her this kind of resembled how I put on my pants in the morning, haha!

I have a feeling lifting is going to become my new health obsession, and I can’t wait to see my body and attitude change even more. What healthy changes are you making today?