I didn’t have a problem with food, I had a problem with myself.
A few months ago I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw.
I tugged and pulled at my skin. I found new stretch marks emerging in new places. I cried a lot and more than anything because I started hating myself. I started hating my body, hating who I became, hating everything in my life. I became miserable and I let it completely consume and destroy me.
I had gained 14 pounds in under a year. In that year I stopped exercising and I stopped caring about what I was eating, and that lead me to stop caring about most things in general.
I became the unhappiest I’ve ever been and I knew I couldn’t keep living like this. I decided it was time to drastically change my life.
It became an obsession.
I signed up for an eight-week challenge and I started spending an hour and a half to two hours in the gym each day. I started turning down foods and going to eat with my friends.
I started getting excited every time I saw the number on the scale drop and I started standing on that scale several times each day. It became an obsession. In eight weeks I lost all the weight I gained and was back down to where I usually was.
Then I quit.
I wasn’t me.
I quit because I still wasn’t happy. I was saying no to things I wanted to say yes to. I was cranky and miserable. I didn’t go out with my friends, I’d turn down going to eat because I didn’t want to be faced with temptations.
I started weighing my chicken and drinking protein shakes religiously. I started counting calories like it was no one’s business.
I wasn’t me.
I wasn’t happy, even when those 14 pounds were gone.
I went from one extreme to the other. I went from eating everything to eating restrictively. I went from miserable to a new form of miserable.
And that’s when it hit me. I spent all that time hating myself and for what?
Losing those 14 pounds didn’t make me happier.
Sure, I felt good every time I stepped on the scale, but I felt bad every time I mentally fought with myself over what to eat for dinner because nothing sounded good.
It felt good when I saw my rolls shrink, but it didn’t feel good when all my friends went out and I stayed home because I didn’t want to risk consuming extra calories.
I can’t hate myself into someone I love.
At the end of those eight weeks plus or minus those 14 pounds the same people still loved me.
No one loved me any more or less because the weight I gained or lost. They loved me and enjoyed me no matter how much the number on the scale reads.
They love me for who I am beneath my skin, my fat and my muscle.
It was important for me to realize that the only love I could change with my habits was my love for my own body.
I couldn’t hate myself into someone I loved – it doesn’t work that way.
I am still the same person I always have been. I am still me, and weight gain and loss doesn’t change that.
But finding a happy medium changes that. I stopped counting calories and started living. I stay active but not restrictive and now I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
Life is all about balance and that balance is key to help you live your best life, whatever that means for you.