Lately I’ve been joking that I’m trying to lose weight for my friend’s wedding, but truthfully I am trying to take off a little bit of unhappy weight. In general I’m good at maintaining my weight and lifestyle fairly easily, but the last few months at my job were really hard on me physically. I was totally depressed, and it showed. I gained about 10lbs: I worked out less, I slept more, in fact I just about fused with the couch, and sought serious comfort in the office vending machine. I’m feeling pretty good about my life now, and don’t think it will be too hard to take off that cranky weight. Still, whenever my pants start feeling tighter I definitely am reminded of the many years I felt like it was me against my body.
A few years ago, right before I started this blog I lost about 30lbs. I didn’t do it by dieting; I did it by simply living. In fact, it was the first time in my life I can remember not being on a diet. I was just really happy, and because I was happy I started making better decisions when it came to food, exercise, and sleep. It was a huge change in my life, and now that I’m looking at 10lbs I want to nix, I can’t help but be reminded of some of the lessens I learned from that experience. They are true for me. They may not be true for you, but I figured I would share them.
In commandment form of course:
Thou shalt not go to extremes. In my experience extremes just don’t work. I love a good diet book (I’m reading two right now), I read them like they’re romance novels. They’re juicy, dramatic, and leave you feeling all warm and hopeful inside. But there really aren’t any quick fixes, well quick fixes that last anyway. My theory about weight loss is ‘easy off, easy back on’. Here’s the deal, and methinks you already know it: Increased physical activity creates lasting impact on your muscle tone—more muscle mass equals higher metabolism. At the same time, if you cut calories too drastically (or burn too many calories to the point where you’re running at too high a deficit) your metabolism with freak out, it will diminish to keep you from starving to death and that will backfire the next time you’re confronted with a milkshake. Exercising and eating within a healthy calorie range for weight loss, is better for you in the long run. It means you can have that milkshake every so often without guilt because your metabolism will be running on all cylinders. Who doesn’t love milkshakes? Mmm, milkshakes.
Thou shalt like you–you right now. It’s pretty silly to hold off on liking yourself until you’re whatever predetermined number you’ve established for self-love. You rock now, you’ll rock then, and you’ll rock all the time in between. I hate to break it to you but all that crap people say about your life not being better when you’re a size X isn’t true. Your life is better when you’re happy, when you’re confident and comfortable in your own skin. People are nicer, you’re more gregarious, the world is a happier place, but it’s not actually because of the number on the tag in your jeans—it’s because you like you. Who hasn’t experienced that blissful dieters high? Why not cut out the middle man and start having all those perks now? No one cares as much about your weight as you do. Really, I wouldn’t lie to you. […]