A couple summers ago I lost 25 pounds. It was one of the best things I've ever done for myself.
I teamed up with a coach, and she quickly became a friend. In our online group, I met a lot of other ladies also on the weight loss journey. We supported each other. We cheered each other. We challenged each other. Women empowering women!
I also learned to sweat for something bigger. On days when I didn't feel like doing the work, I worked out anyway for those who couldn't. It was a powerful emotional and physical journey.
Then I stopped sweating it out. I stopped meal prepping. I stopped drinking water and eating healthy. I bought the Dr. Pepper. I drank the Dr. Pepper. I'm still drinking the Dr. Pepper.
Can I make a confession? I enjoyed every aspect of that, too. I did. I wish I could say that I was racked with guilt and shame. I kind of feel like I should because I knew better and I didn't choose better. But I didn't feel guilt and shame. For the first time in my life, I did not equate my waist size with my worth.
So what am I saying? Am I saying I was wrong to meal prep and eat right and work out? No way! It was right. It was great. And, as I said, it was empowering. In fact, it was that experience that helped me lose something more important than 25 pounds. That experience helped me lose my body-shaming mindset.
I can honestly say that I love my body. I truly do. I love my jiggly thighs because they are part of a set of legs that hold me up and move me from place to place. I love my belly because it works. I don't have some of the digestive issues and stomach problems that many of my friends suffer from. I love my arthritic fingers because they remind me of what my Grandma Nina still accomplished with fingers that hung from her hands like limp, crooked sausages. (As a young girl, that's what I thought they looked like.)
I love my body, but my focus shifted from it for a while. But isn't that life? It seems to be mine. I work on my mental heath and self talk for a while. I get it to a good place. Then the focus shifts. I sweat hard and eat clean for a while. Then my focus shifts. I Dave Ramsey the shit out of my finances. Then my focus shifts. I organize my desk like an anal retentive psychopath...wait, Nope. Never done the organizing thing. That one can't hold my attention long enough to separate a paper clip from a pad of paper. But, you see what I mean.
I don't know if anyone else's focus ebbs and flows like that. Maybe I've given up. Maybe I've grown up. I'm not sure what it is, but I have accepted that I don't have enough focus to focus on all of it at once. So, I'm keeping the fat clothes and the skinny clothes. I'm keeping the body love and the positive self talk. I'm even keeping the messy desk. I guess what I"m actually doing is keeping it real.
I know that it's time for my focus to shift again. I love my body, but I'm not crazy about the lower energy levels and the worry that the blood pressure might go back up. So, I'm pulling out the meal prep stuff and throwing out the Dr. Pepper. I know it will feel great, and I'm happy to do it. I like sweating for something bigger. I like losing the weight, but you know what else? I especially love what I've gained.