I can't believe it's almost been a whole year since I started calorie counting. A year ago, I was around 160 pounds and dealing with a frustrating stress fracture of my fibula. Since then, I dropped down to my lowest weight ever (my lowest recorded weight is 121.5 on March 1st of this year); trained the hardest I've ever trained and crushed my 10K goal; felt the happiest I'd been in a long time this spring; then crashed and dealt with post-race, post-goal-weight emotions that I wasn't expecting. It's been a whirlwind of a year (well, 49 weeks, anyway).
Right now, I'm still trying to find that balance--not the super-focused, determined-to-crush-all-goals, me that I was in the early spring; but also not the lost, unmotivated me I've become recently. It's hard to find a nice, happy, medium! But, I will keep trying until I find her.
My Wednesday Weigh-in this week:
I've been hovering right around my goal weight. Considering I've been super emotional lately, I am very happy with that ;)
I came across a post yesterday that seemed like it was written just for me, in this very moment in time. It's called "What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Losing a Lot of Weight", by Nick Eckhart. I could really relate to a LOT of what he'd written, and I felt much less alone. One thing that stood out above all else for me was this:
"When my goals were superficial or external, I lived in a perpetual state of disappointment. It was mentally exhausting, and my happiness was wrapped up in trying to achieve that elusive “after picture.” I didn’t take time to celebrate any of my achievements and instead continued to focus on what I wasn’t accomplishing.
I’ve since developed self-compassion and have embraced being imperfect (a.k.a. human). Find out what makes you feel good and celebrate those things now instead of focusing on what you don’t have or what you’re doing wrong."I let that sink in for a moment, as I read, and then I re-read it several times: "I didn't take time to celebrate any of my achievements and instead continued to focus on what I wasn't accomplishing." Wow. That's pretty much what I've been doing since I started losing the weight seven years ago! I'm always focused on what's ahead, and I rarely celebrate the here and now.
And one more quote, which really sums up how I feel having been so public with my weight loss (as a blogger):
"When I lost weight, my value was reinforced through the attention I got. I still worry that if I were to gain weight I would lose my value, disappointing myself and everyone around me. The problem with this thinking is while a healthy lifestyle is a part of my life, it’s not who I am."I never really stopped to think of it like that, but it's true--every time I received a compliment on my weight loss, that compliment was reinforcing that I was more valued at a lower weight. Also true: I do worry that if I was to gain weight, I would lose my value and disappoint everyone. It makes me wonder how many people who have lost a significant amount of weight feel that way?
Something that I've been stressed over lately is that my weight is no longer at my lowest point--after my 10K, I gained 10 pounds--which actually put me back at my goal weight. Setting everything else aside, if I stop and ask myself, way deep down, "Are you happy at this weight?" The answer is yes. I am not my thinnest, but I feel really good at this weight, and like it said in the article, "it's a part of my life, it's not who I am". Nobody made me feel devalued, and most people have been nothing but helpful and encouraging; but I think I naturally felt that way because my weight was no longer at it's lowest point.
Reading that article made me take a step back and detach myself from that part of my lifestyle--looking at myself as just ME, who I am, right at this moment. Not as a "weight loss success story" or a "runner" or anything else--just ME. In general, I am happy with who I am. I have faults, just like anyone else, and I have goals of things I'd like to improve; but in general, I am happy with the person I am right now.
The biggest takeaway from this article, for me, is that my value has NOTHING to do with my weight. I know people say that all the time, but it never really sank in for me. My thoughts and ideas are the same, regardless of what my weight is at this moment.
On the flip side, if I was to gain back ALL the weight I lost, I wouldn't be the same person. I wouldn't be able to run a sub-50 10K. Hell, I wouldn't even be able to bend over and tie my shoes without getting out of breath! I wouldn't be able to run races with my kids, or be a very active parent (as evidenced from my past). And because of those things, I wouldn't be happy. In that way, I do feel my weight plays a part of who I am--to an extent. But for now, I'm healthy and I'm happy with how I look and feel; and unfortunately, I haven't really taken the time to stop and think about that over the past few months. Reading that article was very enlightening for me!