I guess companies couldn’t make any money that way. Could you imagine an infomercial promoting a healthy diet and exercise plan for the sheer purpose of feeling good?! Of course not! That’s not good enough! We all want to shed some fat and mold our bodies into whatever these programs tells us is sexy. Right?! Wrong. Actually my answer was right until very recently when I decided to shift my focus.
I have struggled with body image for as long as I can remember, as I’m sure a lot of you out there have as well. We all want to look good and be desired, we want to feel sexy and unashamed to strut out by the pool in a bikini. And guys want their tanned arms cut with muscles while wearing a sleeveless top and they want their pecks to be more than just some saggy moobs. All of this is fine but how about those of us who are miserable all the time…so uncomfortable in our own skin? We try so hard to eat right and exercise, hoping…waiting for the weight to come off and when it never does (or it does then rapidly comes back) we’re right back to feeling miserable again.
I was recently asked if I considered myself to be healthy. I didn’t have to think very long before I answered “Yes.” Blood work at the doctor later proved this to be right. Every test ran was in the healthy range despite the fact that I am overweight. And according to the BMI chart I’m obese! This is not true however as I have weighed heavy my entire life. Two different friends of mine, who are the same height as me, told me that when they weighed what I do right now they were at least 3 sizes in clothes bigger than me sooooo…I am not obese but I definitely am overweight and could stand to lose some fat…around 20 pounds worth but I do feel and am healthy.
I exercise regularly and eat healthy. So why am I not losing any weight? I’ll tell you why…because I have been “good” for the reason of wanting to lose weight and not to remain healthy. I do like to eat healthy now, just to be healthy (it took me years to get to this point though) but as far as exercise goes, my main reason for exercising has still been to help me lose weight. Boy, what a mistake this has been. When I don’t see results I get very discouraged which in turn affects my eating habits (sometimes even just subliminally) which as you well know, does bad things to body weight. What a vicious cycle I’ve been on for years!
I know how to diet (old definition) and exercise to lose weight but I know it’s only temporary. So I learned how to diet (new definition) to become and then remain healthy and now I need to get my exercising to this point as well. What this is allowing me to do is STOP WORRYING! I’m no longer depressed when I don’t see my weight decrease. In fact I got rid of my scale a few months ago and no longer have any idea how much I weigh. It has been nice. My body is not where I want it right now but at least I feel healthy. And that needs to be more important to me than trying to become “sexy”. Okay, so I have the food part down now what about the exercise part??
Going to the gym without the intent of busting as much ass as possible is going to be tough. That is what I am used to doing. My new intent needs to be to go and do at least 30 minutes at whatever intensity I feel like that day. I know to switch it up to condition my heart and other internal functions but other than that…that is all I need to be thinking about- at least 30 minutes of whatever. No more 1.5-2 hour sweat fests of killing myself every day to try to lose weight. Now if I spend that long at the gym it needs to be because I’m having fun and I don’t care if I lose weight or not, I know it’s a proven fact that exercise is good for my body—both physically and mentally.
I strongly believe that once I start behaving in this way I will become even healthier than I am now. That is probably going to mean losing weight but if it doesn’t that’s okay too. So I’m a little overweight! That’s okay. I know I’m healthy and I know how hard I work to stay that way. The other perks will follow. Until that time I will try and learn to love the body I have now, reminding myself that it’s a healthy body. I do think that one day I will be comfortable in my skin visually but until then I need to be focused and happy with the body I have internally. I know a lot of skinny people who are far unhealthier than I am. Skinny does not equal healthy by any stretch of the imagination.
MY NEW FOCUS: Eat healthy and exercise to remain healthy. Period.
Losing weight will naturally follow. I have to trust this. And more importantly I have to trust that if it doesn’t happen than it’s okay—I’ll still be one healthy broad! :)