I have struggled with my weight my whole life.
How many people have you heard say that? “My entire life…I have battled with my weight.”
I was an early bloomer and always one of the biggest girls in class. I hid my premature figure with poor posture and extra pounds. Food has definitely been an escape for me for a long time.
When I hit my teenage years I began dieting and exercising. And thus the beginning of the oh-so-familiar cycle of losing weight, gaining it back, binge exercising, and depressed periods of sloth.
I’m so bored now with this story. It’s so cliché. But at 40 years old I was still living it. I was still buying in to the story that I if I were 10 pounds lighter I would be happier. If I could fit in those jeans from 4 years ago I would feel good about myself.
I dressed it under a veil of “being healthy,” but really I was measuring my self-worth by the numbers on the scale, the tape measure, and the tag on my pants.
So I decided to go on a “numbers diet.” For some people, weighing themselves every day keeps them in check, it influences the choices they make for that day. For me, it was like a shame machine. Every day looking at a number that fluctuated between 8 and 14 pounds higher than the number I wanted to see. Even trips to the doctor’s office had me anxious…”how do I compare to where I was last year?”
I started to tune IN to my body. I realized what I wanted to feel was confident and sexy and content. I wanted to end the struggle and the battle around my self-image. I wanted to focus on how I felt and not surrender my feeling good to some mode of measurement outside of my body, outside of my self.
I stopped going to the gym. I’m a nature girl—I’d prefer to be outside, with the exception of the harsh extremes of winter and summer. The gym felt like pushing and grinding, and that feeling wasn’t serving me. I have been hiking a lot. Walks in the woods, runs through the neighborhood. And I got back to my yoga practice. All of these activities not only get my blood flowing and muscles firing, they center my soul and strengthen my connection to that divinity within that reminds me – I am enough.
What I’ve seen over the past months that I’ve shifted to choices that embrace more ease (not that hiking trails or a good yoga class are easy) and less force, is that I’m less bothered by the physical. I still don’t look at the numbers. There are still things about my body I’d like to improve. But I’ve felt more content in my own skin than I have in a long time. My internal dialogue has changed from borderline abusive to more loving and accepting.
Sexy and confident come from within—that’s something that radiates from self-love and self-respect. Ultimately that manifests in an outward physical beauty that doesn’t begin at a certain weight threshold or at the perfect single-digit skinny jeans. Confident, sexy, and content are states of BEING. No matter where we are in our journey to strong bodies and healthy lifestyles, including more ease and less struggle is toning from the inside out.
A final note: the past couple of weeks I’ve been craving something deeper, something stronger. I’m back to the gym a couple days a week now, lifting weights and really getting my heart pumping. It has been exhilarating, and that feels oh-so-good. The point is, I’m tuned in to myself, I’m listening, and I’m doing what feels good to me. That’s the whole point.
Look what I found! A scale that always tells the truth! Yay Scale So cool!