When I first started this journey I was convinced that I would be completely transformed in a year. I believed that I could lose one hundred pounds in twelve months and that once the scale proved those results, everything in my life would be rainbows and sunshine. I didn’t realize at the time that those quick results were not going to be the magical answer I had hoped for.
I began my journey with a clean eating and exercise plan. In the first ten months I lost close to 80 pounds, but I certainly was not any closer to finding myself. At that time when I looked in the mirror I was shocked by what I saw. My head hadn’t caught up with my physical transformation and I fully expected to see my face at it had appeared ten months prior. Let me tell you, not knowing what you actually look like feels very bizarre and confusing.
Yet I continued to drag my body to the gym and pushed hard with no appreciation for the work it was doing. I became so disconnected from my body that I became frustrated and angry when my back started to be a problem. I had a twelve-month goal so set in stone that I wasn’t listening or noticing anything else that was going on. I over trained and ended up with a herniated disc and was literally unable to walk. At the time I was devastated by what was happening. I felt defeated and spent the next 6 months gaining and losing the same twenty to thirty pounds over and over again. The year I had given myself was up and I was feeling discouraged by my lack of progress.
But then something incredible happened. I stopped putting all of my value in the number on the scale. I stopped believing that I had some stupid time line to fulfill. But most importantly, I started to listen to my body and treat it kindly. I focussed on all the progress I was actually making but had not paid enough attention to before because it wasn’t visible on the scale. I also began to feel grateful for my injury. I have zero gratitude for the excruciating nerve pain I experienced, but I am grateful for my new found love appreciation for my body, something I have never felt about myself before.
This year for the first time in as many years that I have created New Year’s Resolutions (or goals as I prefer to call them) losing weight is not first on my list. In fact, it didn’t even make the list this year! Of course I will be losing weight and that will be celebrated, but only as a bi-product of the other goals I plan to achieve, and this year there are a lot of them! My focus has changed entirely and one of my many goals is to no longer fear my emotions. I hope to be mindful that emotions exist to serve a purpose and I hope to learn how to allow myself to feel what I need to feel, good and bad. This is also important for me because I want my daughter to know that it is okay to feel how she feels.
A transformation journey is a process meant to not just change how you look but how you feel – all over! How you become more confident, how you become more proud of yourself for every little step you take, how you learn to love your entire self unconditionally (mind – body and soul). Life is a journey; you are supposed to have slips and falls along the way, that is how you learn and grow. Plus, if you rush to get it all together than what will you have left to master and grow from? I have found that it is so important to be patient, forgiving and kind to yourself. The year has just begun! Don’t feel discouraged if you haven’t yet done what you set out to do this month. The time line you set for yourself should never be set in stone. Keep moving forward. Make small manageable changes and attainable goals (ideally ones that are not weight related) and once you have mastered those move on to the next piece. Embrace the journey.