Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Things I've learned with weight loss...

I know it's been awhile, but here I am! I sort of broke up with the 21 Day Fix. In true Redhead fashion, I found ways to "cheat" while still staying on the plan. I hired a friend of mine who was sort of doing nutritional counseling. Basically I started tracking my food, eating super clean, focusing on the glycemic index, and on gut health.

Combined with my efforts starting in January, I've now lost around 46 pounds.

I know. I KNOW. I can't believe it. Until tonight when Timehop showed me a picture from 2 years ago, I didn't see the weight loss. I saw that my face looks thinner, but I didn't see everything else shrinking.

I can't believe I'm about to put this on the Internet, buuuut here goes:

I was determined to not be a "fat AND sad" person in my "before" pics. :) 
So here are some things I've learned while losing weight:

1. I physically take up less space. Sounds like a "duh" statement, but if you don't notice you're shrinking, why would you know that you take up less space? I was at a nail salon a few weeks go that had particularly cramped stations. I saw the technician was guiding me towards an inner station where I would have to walk in between 2 clients' chairs. I cringed inside. I wasn't looking forward to the inevitable bump of my posterior and stomach against the chairs. I held my breath, slid between the chairs, and... nothing. There was no bump. I didn't nudge anyone, and I sat down feeling relieved and kind of proud. I. Take. Up. Less. Space. 

2. It's really exciting when you can fit into a store you haven't shopped in since high school. I was shopping with my bestie last week and we went to NY&Co. I haven't shopped there in years.. But as I gazed at the gorgeous colored pants, and admired the beautiful dresses, I thought "What if...?". I found a pair of cropped kelly green pants, grabbed what I thought might be my size, and nervously entered the fitting room. They fit. I'll be darned, these kelly green crops that were 2 sizes smaller fit. I danced in the fitting room and did a victory high-five with the bestie. It was awesome.

3. I have a lap. Ok well technically everyone has a lap, so maybe I should say I have a functional lap. As in, I can set things on my lap: plates, trays, computers, children.... Before, I'd set things on my lap and it would start to slide off, or it would rest on my stomach instead of my actual lap. But now I have a bona fide lap for things to rest upon. THAT was a pretty cool realization.

4. Compliments can get borderline awkward. People mean well. If they've known you any length of time, they're SUPER excited for you. Sometimes in their excitement they just take the compliments too far. "You look GREAT! No seriously, like amazing. Like I can't believe how much weight you've lost." Uhhh, so how did you think I looked before? A friend of mine was complimenting me on the weight loss and said something to the affect of "You're seriously crushing it. I mean, I was there the night you got engaged, so, you know..." Yeah. Thanks. This friend truly didn't mean anything rude, but it still hurt a little. Can you make sure not to belittle my former appearance by complimenting my current?

This before pic I was joking pretending to be a super sad fat kid. :) 
5. It's way more emotional than you think it'll be. When I saw the before and after progress pics up there, I cried. I literally sat at my dining room table and cried. I didn't realize how big I'd gotten after our wedding, and I also didn't realize how much my body had shrunk this year. I was heartbroken for myself 2 years ago, but so proud and happy with myself today. It's a lot to take in. Years of having a certain mindset have to change. Years of thinking that you'll "always look like this" have to change. Weight loss is such a personal, intimate thing.

6. It truly takes time. People aren't lying to you when they say it takes time. They're not trying to belittle or discourage you. I've lost 46 lbs since January, which is on average ~4.6 lbs a month. As in just over a pound a week. That's slow. But you know what, I didn't get this big overnight (though sometimes it feels like it). But that's OK. I'd rather lose it slowly than not at all.

(Edited to add!) 7. It doesn't always feel worth it. It just doesn't. Sometimes you eat squeaky clean for the day, you drank all the water, you even worked out, and... you still gained weight. Or nothing happened. Some days it's really, really hard to say no to the cookies or the pizza or the gigantic burrito. Social events can be a drag because you can't go or you have to eat before you go, then watch everyone else partaking. But then that day comes when it feels like it's all been worth it and hasn't been a total drag. I think it's different for everyone, because it's gotta be something that's special to you. For me it was the day I tried on the kelly green crops from NY&Co. in 2 sizes smaller. That was when I knew for sure that I was going to keep doing this and keep moving forward.

My rolls *rolled* away. BA DUM CHHH! Get it? No? Moving on...
This is a constant fight meal by meal, day by day. Every choice I make will affect my weight loss journey. Sometimes I don't care and I eat something junky. But that's OK as long as I get back on the horse and focus.

I think the biggest thing I didn't expect with weight loss was... That I can do it. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I've really proven to myself this year that I don't always "have to look like this", and I don't have to settle with feeling awful all the time from carrying so much excess weight, and that I can lose the weight without some crazy surgery (trust me, I've thought about it).

I'll keep you guys posted more than once every 4-ish months. Pinky promise. :)

A Redhead