Your belly is sitting on your lap…
I have heard it plenty of times before. All of it.
I was never very happy with my body, even from a young age. I have also never been one to shy away from a giant bowl of home made mac n’ cheese (seriously, who would do that??).
I look back now at pictures from when I was in high school, the height of when I was a subject for body shaming, and I think “wow, I am 40 pounds heavier than I was in high school and I was still called fat.”
The lovely thing about the present is that more and more people are starting to understand that everyone is beautiful; thick, thin, anything in between. So why do I still have insecurities about my body?
As I get ready in the morning, I look in the mirror and, 85% of the time, I feel super confident about how I look. But then, if someone takes a picture of me, I feel like I look like a completely different person.
Granted, I am still not fully satisfied with how my body looks, but I wouldn’t categorize myself as fat. A close friend told me once that I might have body dismorphia, and I think she was right.
This comment actually kickstarted me into looking to living a healthy lifestyle rather than trying to lose weight.
Yes, I still want to lose weight. I have tried different fad diets for years trying to lose weight. I would start one up, go for a month doing really well, then, all of a sudden, my body would just plateau.
It was not until the last couple of years that I needed to shift my perspective rather than focus just on weight loss and here is how I did it.
I paid attention to how my body was feeling after eating different foods and found out what works for me
One of the biggest issues that people have is that they compare what other people eat and how they lose weight. I know, I was one of them. But what I discovered is that something that might work for one person might not work for you. That is why healthy living is a journey; you make discoveries as you go.
I had done keto and tried different weight loss supplements, but I found out that the way I was doing keto was extremely dangerous for my heart and the weight loss supplements I were using were overhyped and overpriced for the little results I was seeing.
It is also very important to figure out what works for you because you could discover that you have a food sensitivity. I have never felt like I had any, but being that I have keratosis pilaris (“chicken skin”), I looked into if it had any relation to food sensitivities. I discovered that it might be partially caused by a gluten or dairy sensitivity…which sucks because I love mac n’ cheese.
After doing some research, I decided to try paleo for a while to see if that would help. Paleo focuses on removing grains, dairy, and processed food from your everyday diet. I saw a little improvement in my skin, but man oh man did I feel amazing! And I was losing weight!
This is the healthy lifestyle I am consistent in now. The more I focus in on it, the more I see and feel improvements with my body and my skin. Sure, every once in a while I will treat myself, but I mainly focus on staying away from those foods by following the 80/20 rule.
I focus on taking care of myself rather than “dieting”
As I mentioned before, I have participated in fad diets hoping that they would help me lose weight fast (I hate to admit it, but I fell for the “ItWorks” pyramid scheme). Here is what’s wrong with that:
First: losing weight takes time. You can’t rush it. If you do, you will end up gaining all of the weight you lost and more once you are off of the diet. I learned that the hard way.
Second: focusing on creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself is much more satisfying. It took me a while to realize this (even though I have heard it time and time again), our bodies are temples and we need to take care of them. Everything that God gave us, he gave to us to take care of. Once I shifted my perspective, my view on weightloss changed: I focused on lifestyle rather than losing weight.
Third: participating in fad diets is giving into societies view of what beauty is. I am not a size 2, I have never been a size 2, and I will never be a size 2. It is not how my structure is built. But women everywhere are continuing to give into the idea that being a size 2 is the only way they will be seen as beautiful. That is not true and we as a society need to break that mindset.
Once I shifted my focus, losing weight became an achievable goal.
I am consistently working on my mentality
Mentality is a huge part of healthy living. Remember how I mentioned that I am still not fully satisfied with how my body looks? Well, that mentality is super unhealthy, and if you want to commit to a healthy lifestyle, you need to be aware of that.
One thing that has helped me grow and focus on the lifestyle is telling myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. It is helping me to love the body that I have and understand what a gift it is, no matter what shape!
I know that going forward in life, there is going to be a possibility of me getting bigger and smaller based on a few things: hormones, kids, stress, etc., AND THAT IS OKAY! So one of my main focuses is learning to love my body for what it is in the moment. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the creator of the universe; why should I not celebrate that?
Healthy and wellness should not be categorized as “one size fits all.” Everyone is different. I love knowing that, as a society, we are getting better at seeing every size and shape as beautiful. We are building up and supporting one another in healthy living.
Don’t think that you need to deprive yourself, either. That isn’t a healthy mindset. We need to enjoy life! God gave us taste buds, so you are allowed to eat the things you enjoy!
(so here’s a bomb mac n’ cheese recipe from momontimeout.com…go nuts!)