Toward the end of this same year is when I took the next step in my journey and decided to go off the pill. Within a few weeks the weight that hadn’t been coming off with all the other lifestyle changes I’d made, started to melt away. I lost 10 pounds almost instantly. But see, that’s the thing. This weight loss was not a culmination of me going on some fad diet and killing myself in the gym for a few months. It was nearly a year of learning what my body needed, and treating it well, that I finally began to see a difference. And so begins loving yourself at every stage: part 2.
I went into 2017 feeling so good about myself. My body felt and looked healthier, and I had just graduated with my bachelor’s. That March I moved to San Diego and took the habits I’d created with me. I maintained where my body was for about a year, with a few fluctuations in between (cause that’s life), but knew that my journey to a healthier lifestyle wasn’t over. We got the news that my Dad was sick that December, which rerouted my journey in an entirely new direction. Sure, I’d been eating decently before my Dad’s diagnoses, but I had never paid much attention to the ingredients I was putting in my body.
I became obsessive about checking labels and only putting things in and on my body that I knew to be healthy. This of course included foods, but also makeup, soaps, lotions, detergents.. pretty much anything and everything I could find that I could switch to a better option. This is where my healthy anxiety and first and only panic attack set in too. There were times I’d go to the gym and feel like it was pointless. I was hyper-focused on our mortality and the fact that none of us knew how long we had left, so why waste time working out. It was another moment where I got mixed up on who was doing the betraying. I no longer trusted my body. I did my best to keep it away from toxins and anything bad for it, but it wasn’t primarily to treat my body well anymore- it was mostly because I didn’t trust it to take care of me.
Early in 2018 my doctor found a lump in my breast and my whole world came crashing down- for about two weeks. I was convinced I had breast cancer and would have a very limited amount of time left (my reality was still very focused on the fragility of life). When they finally brought me in for my ultrasound they were able to tell me right then and there that I was perfectly fine. Relief washed over me immediately, but what was super eye opening was that, immediately when we got home, I began questioning the doctors. I worried that they had missed something and began to obsess. Which is when I realized my anxiety and irrational thoughts like these had become my reality. I needed to learn how to trust my body again because I could no longer trust these thoughts based in fear.
I continued paying attention to ingredients, and still do to this day, but was much less obsessive. I decided that my body and I needed to build our trust back stronger than it was before, and so I did what I could to treat it well, and trusted that it would in turn do the same. After all, that’s all we really can do, right? Staying away from processed foods and filler ingredients paved the way for the rest of my journey. My body naturally lost another 15 pounds overtime, and I’ve pretty much stayed in that place ever since.
With my experience, I truly believe that if you can find that love for yourself to treat your body well, continuously overtime, it will naturally arrive at the place it is supposed to be. And that is real health. Not trying to reach a specific goal weight or body type, but to make daily choices to love yourself and to love your body. That is how you make lasting change. I know if you’re in a place you’re unhappy with right now, that reading this may all just sound like a bunch of bull. I get it. I’ve been there. But losing weight can’t just be about punishing yourself in hopes of looking like some unrealistic image you have in mind. It has to be about acknowledging that the lifestyle choices you are making have not been in honor of your best, truest self, and that they need to change.
It’s not what you want to hear at the beginning of the process, mostly because you haven’t formed that new relationship with yourself or with your body yet, but give it a week. Give it a month. No, it’s not a cold turkey diet. You can still eat and do some of the things you used to. You won’t get to your healthiest place as fast as you want (most likely), but, when you do get there, you’ll stay there. And, let’s not forget, the most important advice: you’ve got to learn to love yourself at every stage. Seriously. I know it sounds cliche, but if and when you reach your goal, whatever that may look like, if you haven’t practiced loving yourself at every stage along the way, you will never truly love yourself. Love does not come from attaining a goal, it is unconditional and accessible at all times. And the more you find that to be true for yourself, the more you’ll love yourself at every stage.
What are your thoughts on this article? Have you had a similar or different experience? Would love to hear more about your journeys!
I also want to throw out there that I am not a health care professional in any way shape or form- this is merely my experience- and that, no matter where you are in your journey, I would highly suggest speaking with your primary health care provider before making any drastic changes.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: Loving Yourself At Every Stage: Part 1.
And, in case you’re wondering, above outfit deets are tagged here.