I have been through a lot in the past year.
I stopped restricting my diet. I gained more than 50 pounds because of it. I saw my temperature soar as my energy came roaring back to life. (That’s just how it goes when you start eating the food.)
And then I saw myself lose it all when I had a breakdown and crisis that pushed me back into treatment for my PTSD related to the abuse and trauma I hadn’t resolved from my childhood. My temperature dropped again, my energy disappeared, I couldn’t sleep, I shut myself off from people, and I gained more weight.
But then, I saw a glimmer. I saw myself climb out of the hole. I was tenderly rebuilt by friends, family, and my truly amazing therapist. I asked for support from the people who loved me, and they stood with me.
My weight stabilized. I started sleeping deeply again. I started getting up off the couch and moving again. I went for walks. I hiked on the weekends. I found Go Kaleo and started talking with her about the possibility that I could have before and after photos like hers.
For the first time (because she has done it herself) someone said to me: “YES. You can absolutely get fit and ripped and not be fat any more.” And I believe her. It is oh so important to have someone believe in you, so that they get it. I can’t just walk up to any trainer and tell them that I want to lose weight by eating the food. They probably won’t get it. But fortunately, Amber gets it. Chandelle gets it. Fit Mama Training gets it. I trust them.
Let me illustrate: I am working with Amber from Go Kaleo behind the scenes. She’s not going to tell me to restrict my calories to the 1200-1500 range (been there, done that), she’s not going to tell me to work out all day long, she’s not going to shame me for being fat or not having enough will power, she’s not going to judge my food choices, she’s not going to send me into Diet Land or Fad Workout land, she’s not going to tell me to do a million hours of cardio, and she’s not going to see my worth correlated to a number on the scale.
So I trust these people. They are my support as I start my body transformation. And it’s not just them. It’s all the other people who are tired of dieting, tired of yo-yoing, tired of restrictive eating (both calories and food choices), and tired of being fat, too.
Are you tired? Do you want some company? I am here. This is where I am. Let’s do this.
See, I didn’t really believe that I would ever slim down again. I’m still skeptical on some days, like when I weighed myself for the first time in a year just a few days ago. 280 pounds. I felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks. How did this happen? The heaviest I have ever been before now was after having my 4-year-old son E and I checked in at 235.
I have tried so many different things, and none of them has worked. It’s time to just eat good food, enough to support the energy I want, and to work out until I am ripped. I want to be strong. I want to feel good. I want to be able to sign up for a dance class, a softball team, to play sand volleyball and tag at the park. I want to have a body that it as energetic as my mind. LET’S DO THIS.
This weight loss story is different. I don’t hate the pounds that I shed. I don’t think I have “let myself go”. This isn’t a punishment. It’s a revelation. Time to get moving.
So here’s what is happening from now on. This is how the weight will come off over the next year and beyond:
- I am only going to eat enough calories to support my activity level. This is NOT less than 2,000. Right now it’s hovering around 2,500 because I’m so tired that I sit most of the day and then get myself moving for 1-2 hours at the gym or walking. And as I get leaner and more energetic, this number may climb as high as 3,000 calories per day, or even more. The proof will be in the pudding: am I leaner, am I losing weight, am I getting stronger, am I feeling better? Then I’m on the right track. I’m going to play with that.
- I will get 8 hours of sleep or more every night. If I miss sleep, I will make it up until it is reclaimed. Sleep is incredibly important to weight loss, metabolism, and stress.
- I am not going to restrict food choices. I will eat gluten, grains, dairy, sugar, veggies, fruits, meat, and even the occasional fast food. Yep, I admit it! Carbs are not the problem here.
- There will be savory dinners, bowls of ice cream, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners filled with a varied, macronutrient-positive kaleidoscope of real foods.
- No going low carb, no going low fat, no going vegan, no going “clean”. Just real food. And no foods are bad foods (though I am talking about actual food here, not frankenfoods that are highly processed.)
- I will manage stress. This means that I will watch my temperature, I will get support when I need to process, I will laugh, I will run around with my kids, I will communicate clearly.
- The point is to MOVE and get STRONG. This is what matters to me. Not a number on the scale, though that is a very useful way to measure my progress.
- I will weigh myself every month and put up an update. You are welcome to do this with me and leave your progress in the comments. Please do!
- I will report to my support people every day to be accountable for what I do that day. EVERY DAY. In fact, I will put a thread on my Facebook page for you to report what you are doing, too. Just comment there and you will have a support group. Yay!
- I am going to do what I like, and I’m going to push myself!
- I will dance to the Wii every day for at least 30 minutes, but more like 45+.
- I will go outside at least once and walk around, play with my kids, breathe fresh air, and just be.
- I will lift weights at least twice a week, but three times is optimal: a combination of free weights and weight machines will do, but I prefer the freer forms like kettlebells, dumbbells, etc.
- A typical weight-lifting day is about 8 of the following, done in the proper form, with smooth motions, as heavy as I can go while still getting 5-10 reps for 3-4 sets:
- power cleans
- calve raises
- lat pull downs
- pull ups
- chest press
- incline press
- bicep curls
- push ups
- dead lifts
- outer thighs
- inner thighs
- leg press
- leg lifts
- and so on
A lot of the references I have made in this post are part of the Metabolism Bundle, which is made up individually of Eat for Heat, Diet Recovery, Diet Recovery 2, and 180 Degree Metabolism. I recommend the bundle, since it’s the best deal and the most informative.
I also recommend reading Taking Up Space by Amber at Go Kaleo. She’s speaking my language.
Finally, please check out my Anti-Diet Challenge, which is growing into something bigger and more meaningful every day. This post is just the latest in my rejection of the diet industry and my embrace of my whole self, both today and tomorrow.
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