When I began my own process of changing my health and losing weight, I trolled the website of the trainer I was seeing. I looked at all the Before/After stories…there wasn’t one I didn’t read. The stories were of ladies who were local to my area so it was even more thrilling to me that I actually saw some of these women at class.
They were real and they had lost weight, it wasn’t some scam just showing me doctored pictures. If they could do it, then surely I could. I wanted to be a Before/After story. Terribly.
As it turns out I did end being interviewed for a Before/After story which felt oddly weird. I was partly excited and partly I didn’t feel “there” yet. At the time I wrote the story about my experience I wasn’t yet at the weight I wanted to achieve–my “goal weight.” I knew I felt much better and had made drastic changes in my health…my self-esteem had improved, too.
I thought losing the weight and being less fat was making me happy. Who wouldn’t feel good when you have tons of people saying “Carrie, you look great!” I didn’t understand it then like I do now, but those compliments (though well meaning and exactly what I wanted at that time) just affirmed what I thought to be true: having a smaller body that weighed less equaled feeling really fantastic.
Time went on, I continued to lose weight and then eventually achieved something I had for years didn’t believe would ever happen: I hit my goal weight! It was satisfying to finally be there, but it was so oddly anti-climatic.
Then I found myself lost for awhile. For decades I had been trying to lose weight and attributing all my angst and troubles to being fat. I wasn’t fat anymore and I was still plagued by some of the same shit I always had been…and now I didn’t know what to do with myself. What was my project now that I’d finally lost the weight?
How was I supposed to maintain the loss? <– That question scared me more than anything!! To have worked so very hard…to believe that I felt good because I was skinny…the thought of gaining the weight back petrified me. No way I wanted to be fat again! What would people think??
Even though common sense told me I would need to move and eat differently during “maintenance” than weight loss mode, I didn’t really know how to do that. Essentially I kept doing the same thing.
Eventually my body gave me signals in no uncertain terms and I was forced to change how I was exercising. Also as months went on people began to get used to the new, smaller version of me. As you’d expect the compliments were less as my body wasn’t changing anymore and people adjusted to how I looked.
As the compliments fell off so did my self-esteem. It’s really scary and embarrassing for me to admit that, but it was a really important learning moment. And what I learned was this: I was still basing how I felt about myself on how I looked…and worse yet, I was still hung up on other’s opinions of how I looked. Ouch!!
The hard truth: losing weight hadn’t fixed my dislike of my body.
Now, that isn’t to say my self-esteem didn’t improve because of losing weight…it most certainly did! I was focused on improvements and as I improved I felt better about myself.
I was learning I could trust myself, that I had the answers to what my body needed, not some quick fix program or crazy diet rules. I had worked hard and achieved what I set out to do. All these “wins” were the start of something…of me wanting to feel good about myself and wanting to feel self assured and good about who I was.
But I was still picking apart my body! How could that be? How could I have lost 70 pounds and STILL dislike my body?
The answer to that question is this: weight loss doesn’t equal acceptance of self.
Discovering that answer has now led me to wanting to show you something different and make certain you understand that the true transformation happens when you learn to accept and appreciate YOU…just as YOU are…at any weight.
The really important and “transformational” pieces of improving yourself don’t come in the form of being smaller. They come in discovering yourself, WWFY, and owning your choices because they make sense for you.
Enter “The NEW Transformation Tuesday” #TNTT!
This is going to be a blog series that highlights women I know (not necessarily clients) and what have been the key pieces to change in their life and health. And, I think you’re going to discover a common theme…a theme that doesn’t center around weight lost.
My first #TNTT interview is with the lovely Melanie Knights. She is a fellow health and lifestyle coach who I’ve met via a business coaching program. Her story is quite similar to mine in that she had been overweight much of her life and had also tried diet after diet without long-term success. She is going to share lots of knowledge and insights and tell more of her experience in changing her health.
The interview is about 1 hour long. Wait, wait, wait….don’t leave yet!! 😉
I know that sitting for one hour at a shot to listen is difficult in your busy life. What I’ve done below the video is give you a breakdown of the questions I asked and at what time they are in the video.
Jump around as it suits you. Listen to it a chunk at a time. Or grab a glass of wine later this evening and just take a listen while you relax. Any way you go about it, I want you to hear what she has to say!!
The true transformation that occurs when you begin to dig into your health doesn’t come with weight loss…it comes from getting to the point of self acceptance and really feeling good about the person YOU are.
Have a listen… The NEW Transformation Tuesday with the lovely Melanie Knights
4:25 – Introduction of Melanie
7:00 – Melanie’s story and background
9:20 – How is your approach to health different now than at other moments in your life?
13:30 – How do you view food and how do you eat now versus at other times in your life?
16:30 – Do you have any foods you can’t eat? Why is that?
20:00 – Discussion of the practices of abstaining and tempering.
24:40 – What has changed for you in how you move and view exercise?
31:50 – Melanie talks about importance of finding movement you enjoy AND understanding what results certain movement will provide
34:15 – Movement doesn’t earn you more calories to eat
37:23 – What are the pieces in your own process of changing your health were the most transformational for you? What were the things that were of most impact on changing you?
45:00 – In the realm of your personal health now are how you eat and how you move an emphasis or compliment to your life? Was it this way previously?
50:00 – How do you feel now? What’s the difference in how you feel NOW versus prior moments?
54:15 – What is a hobby of yours?
55:35 – Where is your favorite place to travel?
56:05 – What is your most favorite food?
57:19 – What are you currently reading?
58:18 – Wrap up and intro of Melanie’s coaching program called Lose Love Learn which opens the end of September
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