Weight and Weight Loss: I’m Over It

I don’t weigh myself anymore.  It’s been about a month since I did.  This may come to a surprise to people who have been following me and know I used to be a daily weigher.

Those who really know me should not be surprised though, because if there’s one thing I will always continue to embrace, it’s change.  I know that in order to continue to grow, I will sometimes change my mind.

So what happened?  A couple of things.  The first thing was my injury the day after Labor Day, when I fell and suffered a concussion.  My weight all the sudden meant less to me.  It seemed so silly and ridiculous the amount of time I spent ensuring I always stayed in the same range after losing 120 pounds 2 years ago.  Every day, weighing myself, adjusting what I ate, adjusting what exercise I did… it seemed reasonable at the time.  It doesn’t now.  When I was really feeling shitty from the concussion, I felt like it was clear which things were important and which weren’t.  Spending a lot of time thinking about my weight lost importance, it went into the same category as stressing out about my job.  Not that it’s simple stop thinking about those things, but I’ve been putting in the effort not to be absorbed by things that don’t improve my daily happiness.

I’ve relaxed significantly.  The other thing that I’m dealing with is my chronic back pain which has been constant and frankly getting worse for the last year.  I’ve de-intensified my exercise for this reason.  I’ve been listening to my body, and my physical therapist.  I’ve stopped lifting heavy weights altogether.  I’ve stopped running.  I’ve stopped doing any sort of impactful exercise.  I’ve started doing certain yoga poses specifically for my back.  I’ve started doing the gentle abdominal exercises prescribed to me.  I get my heartrate up by uphill walking, elliptical trainer, or recumbent biking.

I’ve also started changing my daily habits to eliminate long periods of sitting.  I just received a standing desk for my office at work and I’m already sitting less than 4 hours a day at work which is a huge improvement over sitting over 8 hours or more.  I plan to gradually reduce sitting time as much as I can.

I feel really good about my eating habits.  I haven’t changed what I’ve been eating, though I’ve become more aware of eating what I really want to eat and spending less time thinking about whether I “should” eat it.  I’ve found that I often want a hot breakfast with eggs, something I used to have very infrequently.  I’ve found that for lunch, I generally want soup or chili.  I’ve found that for dinner, I tend to prefer a huge pile of vegetables with some sort of grain or pasta.

But I’ve also found that sometimes, I don’t need to cook everything from scratch.  At least once a week, I’ve been having a frozen Amy’s meal (love them!).  Sometimes I stop at Whole Foods and make myself a big salad for lunch or get breakfast from their hot foods case.  I sometimes have Chipotle for dinner.  Starbucks has this veggie artisan sandwich I just love.

I had gotten so adverse to foods I didn’t cook myself, that I was foregoing these things, that I do actually really like!  Yes, I can make decently good pre-made food choices.  I don’t need to be so stringent.  I still cook most of what I eat myself, but I’m just feeling less strict about it and this has released so much stress from my life that I didn’t really realize was building up.

And finally, the tipping event, I started reading the book Health at Every Size.  I plan to review it when I finish it, but the minute I started reading it, I recognized something in myself that I immediately knew had to stop: spending one more second thinking about my weight.  Done.  Over it.  That’s that.

And here’s the real kicker, something I never realized until I started to read this book.  Say what I would about focusing on health instead of weight, I was not entirely doing that myself. 

I am doing it now.  Part of letting go was coming to a place of acceptance that I might gain some weight.  That’s what stopped me from getting off the scale for so long: fear of gaining weight.  In fact, when I stopped weighing myself last April for a month, I did gain weight.

And I’ve been struggling for awhile about this, but not wanting to write about it because I wanted to let what was taking place mentally with me happen naturally and not be influenced by the opinions of others.  I have been vacillating between thinking of trying to lose the bit of weight I re-gained and embracing it.  Every once in awhile I’d fire up the old MyFitnessPal app and start thinking about counting calories… and it just didn’t happen.

I realized something when I got that concussion.  Being comfortable with my eating and exercise habits as they are now, listening to what my body needs, focusing on the medical issues I have, these things are more important to me than what I weigh.  The way I know to lose weight, calorie counting, means giving up something that’s more important to me: my very healthy relationship with food!  I have never had such a reasonable, moderate, and satisfying relationship with food.  To put it bluntly, I don’t want to fuck with a good thing.

In making this decision, I feel so powerful because I am ignoring all the false messaging that we all must constantly obsess about our weight.  Note, this does not mean I no longer work out and I am going to eat a bunch of fast food and gain 100 pounds again.  I get so tired fo hearing that from people: that if you aren’t focused on your weight, the only other option is cheesy nachos, pizza, cake, chips, and television.  That’s just a false choice, a red herring.  I love my healthy lifestyle!  Exercise is vital!  Eating real whole foods most of the time is practically magic in the way it makes you feel.  Don’t worry, I’m not headed to the drivethru.

Our society is so damned overly-obsessed with our weight, losing weight, gaining weight, celebrity’s weight, baby weight, and being on a diet to the exclusion of everything else.  I don’t want to be a part of that.  I definitely love that I can inspire people because I lost a lot of weight, but I’m hoping that instead of focusing on that aspect, I can get people to see that the most profound changes I have made over this journey are much deeper and more important:   my actions, my habits, my internal dialogue, my self-esteem, my self-respect, my commitment to my own physical and mental health, taking care of my nutritional needs, and regularly moving my body.  Without these things, weight loss would be meaningless.

18 thoughts on “Weight and Weight Loss: I’m Over It

  1. Great post! I find it true for myself as well that the “right” thing to do is focus on health, but that vanity seems to slip in. It’s hard to de-program so many years of thinking a “number” is the goal when, in fact, it has nothing to do with anything. Good for you for being able to let go so you can find an even happier place. 🙂

  2. You look great, feel great, and ‘sound’ great. What could be better? Stay with that your body and mind tell you. We weren’t given that little voice in our head for nothing. 🙂

  3. Could have been just as thought provoking without the foul language. Glad your focus is on health, not just numbers. Congrats.

    1. You should hear the way I talk like a drunken sailor in real life 😉 This blog is very much like my journal sometimes and I have no intention of censoring myself for anyone. I like “swear” words and honestly see nothing wrong with them.

      1. I didn’t even notice the swear words. Good for you for not censoring who you are for anyone – written word or otherwise. Be you!

  4. Glad to read this. I have been reading your stuff since back in your FatSecret days. I feel like I have followed a similar arc as you have and now find myself in a place of acceptance and comfort with my weight/lifestyle. I am about 20 pounds above my original “goal weight” and 10 pounds higher than my all time low, but I am OK with it. I eat healthy most of the time without depriving myself or beating myself up about occasional indulgences, I have made exercise an enjoyable part of my daily life, and I feel beautiful and confident MOST of the time. Life is too short to make sure I’m staying under X calories or getting Y grams of protein daily. Your experiences and messages have been very helpful in my own journey. Thank you 🙂

  5. Couldn’t agree with you more! I have recently realized that my motives have been driven by vanity at times-which led to pushing myself too hard at the gym-which led to reinjuring my back injury. And the cylce would just repeat…Once I started practicing yoga and more self acceptance approaches, my relationship to food followed suite. Now, I eat whole foods, practice yoga, and still exercise at the gym but the goal isn’t the number on the scale-the goal is to feel my best so that I can continue to live life to the fullest! Best of luck to ya! ~Linz

  6. Thank you soooo much for writing this. I’ve been on this train for some time now and can’t believe how much happier I am just listening to my body rather than counting calories and obessing with my weight. I especially like the part about just because you don’t focus on weightloss doesn’t mean you’re gonna eat junk food all the time and not exercise. As advocate of self acceptance I get this argument all the time!! It’s soooo frustrating and I get exhausted explaining to people just because I don’t diet doesn’t mean I eat nothing but cookies and pizza. I actually eat really healthy but I never restrict anything, as that just doesn’t work for me. Every once in awhile I take a couple steps backwards and feel like I need to diet and workout like crazy for a little while, but then I calm myself down and take a good look at what else is going on in my life and can deal with the issue of not feeling good enough AS IS. It’s not my weight that needs to change there is usually a change needed else where. We’re just bombarded with so many messages that we need to lose weight, it’s sometimes hard not to listen. I sometimes feel like I’m swatting away these messages that are bombarded their way towards my head!!! I get a little tired of fighting it. I just can’t watch TV or hollywood movies anymore,I’m too sensitive for it cause I always end up feeling like I’m not good enough as is. I love your blog and your post. I know you sometimes deal with negativity but stuff but please keep it going, so many people find it inspiring:)

  7. I hear you!! Personally, I don’t want to keep weighing myself obsessively/religiously entering in my calorie tracker. I want to get to the point where I’m comfortable and can do these things naturally. I don’t want to have to worry about it. I AM doing it currently. There was a time where I stopped and I recall posting something similar, and I received so much flak over it. I felt guilty. It was like no one had faith in my abilities.

    And now that I’m back religiously tracking my food/weighing myself weekly, I wonder if I too don’t have faith in my abilities.


    1. It’s hard. People think they are helping, but I don’t think people really realize how different we all are. When you are stuck in the mindset of “must track and weigh constantly or gain weight” hearing someone else say they aren’t doing that anymore can sound threatening. I think that’s why people react the way they do. I must have really awesome, smart, considerate readers because I honestly expected a little flak over this but got none! Do what’s right for you and ignore the rest.

  8. I’m so glad to hear you say this! I’ve been following you for a while as I love your foodie pictures and your story, but a lot of your weightloss posts, and weight/cals monitoring is hard to read when I myself had embarked on a HAES approach.

    So many people start on the road to weight loss – do all the right things, but don’t see the results on the scale and give up – without realising that a good diet and exercise is doing wonders for them.

    The scale really does not tell the story of your success in adjusting your life for the better. You are an inspiration xx

  9. I’m new to your site, but immediately sympathise with your philosophy. Thanks for this potent and thought-provoking post.

    Please keep writing “on instinct”, whether or not that includes a few four-letter words. Some people are sweary, some naturally fall into text-speak, or dispense with normal grammar… if you write in the way that comes most naturally to you, you’re more likely to maintain candour in other ways.

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