I've had a lot of people ask me about weight loss recently. I believe two things:
1. If you are looking to your body weight to determine your worth, you are in for a lot of unnecessary suffering. Or if you deem yourself "not good enough" because of the number on the scale, you haven't yet understood the power this lie has over us. The truth is, we are loved, accepted and good enough at any weight, shape, size, etc. If you do not yet know that, there is internal work to do, at the heart and soul level.
2. The direction at which you are traveling is important. For many years, after losing about 50 pounds, I hung out at a comfortable weight. I could eat and drink socially, have some fun, stay active and feel really good. During this current injury, however, I started heading in the weight gain direction. This does not feel good. It's not just the tight pants and stuff like that. It's knowing that I am out of balance. If I am gaining weight, something is out of balance within me. And if I keep heading in the direction I am heading, I will gain more weight.
I will share with you what I do when I am headed in the wrong direction.
First, I start looking within my heart and soul. I stop beating myself up and I start reminding myself of my true identity, my worth and my light. I pray for the wisdom to see what has come out of balance in my life, and I ask that it be gently restored. I pray to regain my peace of mind. I pray for the miraculous faith to see that no matter what, all is well.
Then, I have a little chat with the liar inside of me. The one that says the ice cream, or wine, or chips, or Girl Scout cookies, or lack of cardio, or lack of activity doesn't add up. Then I start writing everything down.
Now, you know I am not a fan of lifelong point or calorie counting, or dieting. It doesn't work. But I am a big fan of honesty and empowerment.
What I found when I started adding up my calories IN, was I was underestimating in certain areas of my food. That handful of blue corn tortilla chips I was having was actually 3 servings, not one. (That's 420 calories vs. 140!) Liar, liar pants on fire! Or I guess I should say liar, liar, pants too tight.
I had also allowed myself to be a nightly ice cream eater again. Do you know what a damn 1/2 cup of ice cream looks like??? It's two bites. If it's Graeter's, that means about 150 calories per bite! Uh oh, no wonder I'm heading in the wrong direction. Because I can assure you I do not stop at two bites.
The issue: I've been lying to myself, and I don't want to keep heading in the direction in which I'm heading.
The antidote: Radical Honesty
I am on day 11 of adding up all my calories, and I feel so much better already! I remember how accountable this makes me. How I start choosing more mindfully. How I stop choosing so mindlessly. How I stop lying.
But the other benefit? It's wildly motivating to get moving. I can see from my numbers that to start heading in the right direction, I have to cut calories way back. Too low really to sustain my activity level. I remember now! I would much prefer to create my calorie deficit with exercise.
Click here to track your calories IN/OUT for April.
I included a copy of my tracker, and how I calculate my net calories. If you need help with this, let me know.
Here's what happened when I started tracking. I had a few days where I actually had almost 500 more calories burned than consumed. I should have lost at least ten pounds by now!! Right? No, it's like the Titanic. The crew has seen the iceberg. They've called down to the engine room for full stream. They've turned the wheel as far as it can go. But this ship turns slowly, and these changes take place over months, not days, and only if you keep shoveling coal into the engines, and keep the wheel turned in the direction you want to be heading.
I have a digital scale that I rarely use anymore, mainly because I am typically at a happy place. And who cares what I weigh! But I want to see if the changes I make are truly getting me heading in the right direction, so I wanted a measurement to start. But the scale and I have a history together. It's like an ex. I have to be careful I don't let it make me feel bad about myself. So, I get my scale out of the closet and turn it on. I step on, close my eyes, and say this prayer. God, please don't let me make this number mean ANYTHING about me. Info only. I opened my eyes and there was my weight. In KILOGRAMS, which means absolutely nothing to me because I don't know the conversion. I resisted the temptation to look it up, filed my kilograms away in my mind, and made a promise not to revisit the scale again until May.
I won't need it. I'll know if I am being honest or not. I'll know if I've been working out enough or not. I'll know if I've been eating one or four servings of chips and ice cream. I already know! I just needed to admit it, get a plan in place, and get to work on it.
Here's my plan: Be radically honest, take accountability, be mindful, stop overeating junk food, lift heavy twice a week, and do cardio every day!
That's it. That's the direction in which I want to be heading. For the rest of my life. Even if I've been drifting in the wrong direction for a little while. The engine is firing. The wheel has turned. All is well.