I’m putting on my serious face for this post, since I’ve been in a reflective mood lately.
When I started losing weight, I’ll admit that my goal was to be thin. It was mostly a superficial type of thing. I wanted to lose 30-40 pounds and get back to the way I looked in high school.
My goal in cutting back on pizza, pasta, burgers, etc was to lose weight, not to eat healthier. My goal with exercise was to drop pounds, not to improve my fitness level. The goal was to see physical changes, to see myself getting thinner.
But as I’ve been reflecting on the changes, I’ve realized just how many there have been. Of course, there are the obvious physical changes of losing weight, and I would now say I’m thin, although hesitantly as my mind is still catching up with how I look now. There are other changes too.
Changing my eating habits is now about eating nutritious, healthy foods. I may sneak bites of processed foods on occasion, but I have no real desire to build a meal around them, especially not on a regular basis. It’s completely normal for me to eat lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables at meals now and my goal in doing so has changed from losing weight to being healthier overall. And I know I’m healthier – I have more energy, I sleep better, I”m fuller longer.
Exercise is about improving my fitness level. It’s not just a way to burn calories. And I’ve come so far. I’m running three to four days per week. I ran 2 miles straight the other day. Another day I ran for 25 minutes straight. I’m setting my own personal bests with regards to distance covered and time spent running. And I feel so accomplished every time I set a new personal best. Dare I say that I even feel like a runner? Like an athlete? My goal of running a 5K that once seemed so far-fetched now seems right around the corner. I never thought I would be doing all of this.
I think the most drastic change is how I feel about myself. I have struggled with this a lot, and although I still do, my self-esteem has increased greatly. I’ve gone from avoiding certain social situations and hiding my body to becoming a more outgoing and assertive person with the confidence to do things I never thought were possible before. After tackling the “impossible problem” of losing the excess weight, I feel like I can accomplish so many things. I feel confident in new situations and don’t feel as though people are looking at me in a judgmental way. But the most important thing is that I feel worth it. I feel like I’m worth the time it takes to eat healthy and stay fit.
My goal now is to be healthy overall – mind and body. I’m definitely achieving it and I think it’s more important than focusing on a number on the scale. That’s not to say I’m going to completely ignore the scale quite yet, but once I get used to listening to my body and get comfortable maintaining my weight, I’ll probably say goodbye to it!