Over the past year and a half, I have (unintentionally) lost about 15 lbs.
I know you may be thinking, “Tessie, forget the why it matters, why it doesn’t… tell my How?” Which is exactly why I’m writing this.
No, not to teach you how to lose weight, or tell you that you need to, even if you think you do… Strike that – Especially if you think you do.
I’m writing this to let you know that learning to love your body EXACTLY how it is now will contribute to your body relaxing into it’s happiest weight, and will help you expand into your highest potential if your body already IS at it’s happiest weight… notice I said learning, not ‘just do it’. And, notice I said ‘contribute’, not ‘The one and only thing you should do”.
Ok, now that that is out of the way, let’s talk.
My entire life, I’ve had others commenting on my body. Often when someone says this, we may think “Aw, were you pudgy as a kid?”
I wasn’t pudgy (well, ok yes as a toddler), but at the age of 4 I started gymnastics and grew into a very muscular, athletic body for which I got a lot of praise. Now, we all can probably think back to positive or negative treatment we’ve gotten for what we look like, and depending on how we interpret that, it can lead to certain unwanted beliefs/habits, consciously or subconsciously.
I allowed the praise I got for what my figure looked like to be connected with my self worth. So when that ‘body’ even slightly seemed like it was changing, I would do sit-ups, go for a run, feel shameful, etc.
After my junior year of high school, my former boyfriend and friend I trusted more than anyone, passed away. I started binging on ice cream late at night. I got puffy. I pretty much blacked out when I was eating, to escape, and would try and hide the bon bon wrappers. My parents never directly said anything to me. I felt like no one did. I felt like my actions were screaming “HELP” but my words were always “I’m Great!” … and although I secretly wished people would listen to my actions… they listened to my words. I didn’t create an environment to truly receive help.
I probably gained 10-15 lbs my senior year of high school. I share this as an example of the result when something is ‘out of whack’ emotionally or in life, some times we turn to food, and it’s really quite normal and makes sense. Food, especially the sugar I was eating, literally brings us pleasure in the moment and releases endorphins so we feel better… temporarily at least.
After college, and until very recently, I still had this unhealthy need to try and keep my body ‘looking a certain way’. I found CrossFit, which was very empowering and positive, but I was still finding that I spent some energy waiting around for people to affirm “Lookin’ lean Tess”. Then when they did, I would think… “Well, what did I used to look like?”
There’s more to my story around body image and weight, but for now I will go into my postulation of some possibilities (weight is a very complex phenomenon and I can only share here from my education and experience) HOW I recently lost 15 lbs.
REASONS I MAY HAVE LOST WEIGHT
- I stopped lifting heavy, and switched from doing a lot of CrossFit, to doing more HIIT workouts
- I don’t think this means everyone ‘gains weight’ or ‘gets bulky’ doing CrossFit – I was also training to compete, so yeah, I got big intentionally 😉
- The weight I lost from stopping, unfortunately, is likely all muscle lol
- I’ve been in a relationship for a year and a half (coincidence? I think not!)
- Weight Loss (especially for women) can be deeply connected to pleasure, intimacy, and just relaxing
- Having Brucey, the love of my life, as a partner and comrade, has noticeable reduced my emotional eating, and has added a sense of safety, joy, and fulfillment to my life. Thanks Bae.
- We also eat a lot of our meals together, which creates an environment of community, slowing down, celebrating and nourishing. All of which we need as humans.
- Doesn’t mean you ‘have to have an intimate relationship to be your healthiest weight’! Have a girls night, host a dinner party, pamper yourself, and you can create better health!
- I started drinking more alcohol
- Yep… you read that right. Again, this just has to do with letting loose a little more and not being so isolated and stressed out.
- I started paying attention to my appetite, and enjoying my food more
- It takes up to 20min for the brain in our belly to tell the brain in our head we have had enough
- When we sit and eat in a state of gratitude and relaxation (as opposed to in a frenzy, standing up, while on our phone, working, and stressing about eating too much), our bodies will be physiologically optimized for digestion, calorie-burning, nutrient assimilation, hormone balance, and more.
So, now that we’ve covered potential reasons… here’s
WHY IT MATTERS
(Or, I suppose, the up side)
- I feel like I’m following my heart.
- It was a really, really, really hard decision to stop competing and give CrossFit a bit of a break, but it also felt like I had a heart-calling to focus my ‘competitive energy’ on career and different movement
- I feel like my body has indeed settled into a weight where it feels a little more natural.
- I like the workouts I am doing
- Regardless of the ‘weight change’, I feel the past year and a half has overall just been a great period of personal growth (again, coincidence? I think not 😉
WHY IT DOESN’T MATTER… AND WHAT’S NEXT?
(Tessie, there couldn’t possibly be a downside to this!)
- It doesn’t mean I am overall more ‘healthy’ just because I’ve lost weight!
- I want to be very clear about that. So for instance, it doesn’t mean I’m more fit.
- My cardiovascular fitness is NOT as good as when I did CrossFit, so there’s a thing
- I’m not nearly as strong as when I was lifting
- I actually have a little low back pain because I could be doing more core strengthening exercises
- It doesn’t mean my diet is perfect!
- Along with the more alcohol, which yes helps me relax more, I also eat a little more junk food than I did when Not in a relationship. Ugh, thanks Bae 😉
- I am currently experimenting with improving my Macronutrient Balance, and eating every 3-4 hours because I get really low energy and sleepy some days, and I’m noticing that helps!
- Losing Weight has NOTHING TO DO with my worth, purpose, gifts, intelligence, and creativity.
- Even if I am ‘praised’ with “Woah, Tessie, you look thinner”, it’s a practice for me to remind myself “just say thanks, and take it as a compliment that you are glowing from the inside because you are happy and working on becoming your best self” and that helps!
- We can’t blame people from commenting on appearance, or let it get to us with our ‘interpretations’, because, let’s face it, as a society, we are trained to judge, comment, praise and assume a lot based on someone’s appearance.
- The best way to transform this, is to start with you! Notice your thoughts about others based on looks alone, and notice when you are assuming based on those thoughts. You can also take an inventory of how often you compliment someone based on their body. (Clothes, makeup, accessories, hair, etc. are a gray zone because I actually do believe those can be things we use in a positive way, not a I-need-this-purse-so-people-like-me way, to express our personality.
- My Body Will Change Again
- As I mentioned at the beginning, the TRUE success here is the practice of loving my body no matter what!
- It’s going to change as I get older, it’s going to change when I have children, It’s going to be right there with me in all my glorious life adventures and seasons.
- To me, this kinda helps me relax and not obsess about ‘what to eat, how many calories, ugh I didn’t workout today’, and instead know “I am taking care of my body the best I can right now, and I am so grateful for everything that it does for me everyday. Even if I don’t always show you the love you deserve for giving me life everyday, Thank you for being there for me, body!”
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
For me, personally, I continue to practice loving my body as it is. Now, I know I’m saying something that may sound like “hey I did these things and lost weight, and I don’t care that I lost weight, and you shouldn’t want to lose weight even though you feel frustrated reading this because you’re like ‘ugh, all I want to do is lose weight and it will fix everything. You know nothin’ John Snow’ (John Snow = Tessie. Reference = Game of Thrones” lol.
Bless you if you follow my writing personality, btw. But what I’m trying to say is. If you believe you do have some extra weight your body would like to lose (not just ‘that extra 5, 10, even 15 lbs of vanity weight’), then I hear you, and I hope this helps. And if you are realizing you may not ‘need’ to lose weight, but rather work on your positive self-image, I also hope this helps.
So let me say this as well. The beautiful paradox.
I think it’s totally normal, healthy and human to want to feel ATTRACTIVE, SEXY, CONFIDENT, and STRONG in their bodies. I think it’s an evolutionary desire to want to, for lack of a better way of saying it, attract a mate. Does this mean you should spend all your mental energy trying to change the way you look in order for someone to love you?
No way! In fact, you should boycott dieting to lose weight if you’re doing it for this reason, because if the person you love won’t love you if you gained a little weight… do you really want to be with them?
The other reason that’s valid is, I want to change my diet because I want to live a longer, healthier, vibrant, purpose-filled life with a sound mind and functional body. Amen! That’s a beautiful reason and purpose to change your eating and exercise habits. And, again, if this is your #1 intention, and you happen to lose a little extra weight, cool. But having weight loss as THE ONLY REASON to change your eating and fitness is toxic, unsustainable, frustrating, and unfulfilling. And it doesn’t add to your growth as the beautiful, expansive, gifted person that we need you to be in this World!
In conclusion, it’s up to each one of us to uncover what works for us when it comes to food and fitness. It’s great to seek out education, set goals, and work toward eating ‘healthy’ food. I invite you to do this with curiosity, relaxation, and fun. There are a lot of complex factors when it comes to our health and weight. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help however I can. You can leave a comment, or sign up for a free Discovery Session with me.