For a long time weight loss has been a pretty defining characteristic of my blog and my life in general. While this blog (and its former iteration) has never explicitly been a weight loss blog, weight loss has been a primary driving force. It’s been the underlying motivation behind the blog especially. And while I’ve never been super focused on weight loss and getting to my goal weight, I’ve decided I need to be even less focused on that number now.
For me my weight loss has never really been about getting to a specific number. It’s always been more about being healthy than getting that goal weight. When I seriously started trying to lose weight, it wasn’t because I was upset about a number on a scale. I honestly don’t even know how much I actually weighed when I started. I think it was about 195lbs, but it might have been more or less. I don’t think I broke the 200lb mark, but it’s possible. I started losing weight when I realized I was 25 with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and who knows what else. I started losing weight to be healthier, and to avoid being on multiple medications before the age of 30. Yes, I set a goal weight, but ultimately health is what is important to me; I want to have a healthy BMI. My official Weight Watchers goal weight is 140lbs. This is the tippy top end of the healthy BMI range for a girl who is 5’3”.
Truth be told, weight loss have been a pretty easy process for me. It’s been an extremely slow process but relatively easy overall. There have been moments of frustration, but until recently, I’ve never felt like it’s been a struggle to lose weight. Looking back on it all, I realize it’s because my focus was never really on the goal weight. It was (almost) always on establishing those healthy behaviors.
All that said, the last few months have been a huge struggle for me. In the first half of the year, during the peak of my marathon training and in the couple months following, I went from just under 150lbs, my lowest weight since I started this journey, to 166lbs. higher than where I was when I started Weight Watchers in June 2011. I couldn’t get it back together post-marathon, and I started to really struggle with weight loss for the first time ever. The more determined I was to get back to the low weight of 150lbs, the more frustrated I got. It started to seem like the harder I tried the more I failed. I spent about a month and a half seeing huge ups and downs on the scale. I’d be down 3.5lbs one week and the up 2 the next week. This was at least partially a result of going balls to the wall, unsustainable hard-core for a week followed by a week of being much too relaxed. I think the fact that I started working with my training and seriously, consistently strength training also impacted my weight loss.
I finally hit a breaking point 5 or 6 weeks ago. Weight loss truly felt impossibly hard for the first time in my life. I left my meeting nearly in tears of frustration and ready to say fuck it. I was sick of the ridiculous ups and downs. I was sick of gaining weight after having what I thought was a “good” week and losing when I thought I’d fucked it all up. I was sick of feeling like there was no rhyme or reason to my weight loss. And most of all, I was sick of how crappy I felt. Another girl in the meeting and I vowed to both track the whole week that night. I figured it would be more of the same. I’d go hard core, track like a champ, lose 2 – 3 lbs, and then fuck it all up the following week.
I did track that week, and I did lose 2.6lbs, but something also shifted in me that night. I don’t know what it was exactly; I think part of me did give up. But I gave up in a good way I think. I gave up on the obsession with getting to a specific number. I started focusing on the little things again, and I started celebrating the non-scale victories. I started celebrating the ½ inch I’d lost across the board since I started working with my trainer in July. I started celebrating the little shadows of ab muscles I could see if I looked real closely at my stomach. I started celebrating the fact that for the first time in my life I’ve been strength training consistently for more than just a couple weeks. I started celebrating every time I increased my weights no matter how small of an increase.
And you know what, I’ve started losing again. It hasn’t been much, less than ½ lb a week, but I’ve lost every week for the last four weeks, and given the last 6 months, that’s a huge accomplishment. I’m finally back below my Weight Watchers starting weight, but that doesn’t matter to me nearly as much as the fact that since I started with my trainer in July I’ve lost 2lbs of fat and gained 3lbs of muscle.
So for now, I’m done focusing on weight loss. Yes, I want to get to my goal weight, and I know I will eventually. I’m not giving up on weight loss; I’m just giving up on the focus on that number. I’m still going to weigh in every week, but I won’t be posting weigh-ins here anymore. (Though, feel free to check in with me if you’re curious.) I don’t care how long it takes me to get to that 141lbs. (I say that now…) I want to be able to do those 10 push-ups on my (soon to be revised) Mission 101. I want to be able to comfortably fit into the size 6 jeans I bought back in January again, and I don’t care what the number on the scale is when that happens.