Today one of my clients told me about all the cool things that are starting to happen to her body as a result of her intentional weight loss efforts. (I love this so much!) She’s been training with me three times a week for just over a month, and she’s already starting to have major wins! That’s common actually. For that reason, I especially love the first few months with a client. It’s like the body is so excited to finally be doing this awesome work, that it rewards its owner in all sorts of ways.
When I started envisioning “Pudge” I realized I wanted to be about so much more than just being skinny. I want to be about the promotion of health and well-being, and helping people get in bodies they love. Even though I’m not about “skinny”, there’s a lot that is just really crappy about carrying too much weight. Anyone who wants to lose some (or a lot!) knows it.
There are so many things that changed about and for me as I lost 100lbs. This surely isn’t all of them, but here are some of the most memorable ones. These things have absolutely made it worth all the work– and were what kept me going when I wanted to quit. Even the crappy things were kind of a kick in the pants, so I can appreciate them now. Here’s my list of grateful-fors, shockers, and heart breakers.
- How much my weight was affecting my joints. I had some ugly knee and low back problems– all of which have disappeared since losing the weight. A knee doctor told me I’d never be able to jump or squat, and I happily prove him wrong every day.
- How tired I was just from carrying my own body around, and from not fueling it properly. Every day, I was completely worn out by about 10 a.m. I have no idea how I managed to work, but I’m very certain I wasn’t nearly as productive as I could have been.
- That my immune system was pretty compromised from all the stress I was placing on my body (which was made worse by my crappy eating.) I caught every cold and flu and bug that went around– and when I did, they really knocked me down… sometimes for weeks. These days, I get sick so much less, and when I do, my body comes back in a day or two.
- All the things that were limited by my extra pounds. I couldn’t walk up a whole flight of stairs, walk a whole block, or change a shower curtain without having to rest and catch my breath. Now, I am very careful with my body, but there’s nothing I can’t do because of my weight. In fact, I regularly push my body to its limits– and do previously unimaginable things like chin-ups. When I stayed at the beach this summer, we were on the 4th floor. I was running up and down the stairs all week like it was nothing… and evening carrying the luggage up the stairs was no problem. There was a time when it would have been a major ordeal to navigate an airport, but now it’s not even a little bit of a struggle.
- That “But she has such a pretty face” is pretty much a left-handed compliment. Every heavy person knows this, but it’s easier to pretend that it’s a real compliment. People might notice my eyes or my smile now, but when they comment, it’s entirely different. I think this is the part of “feeling comfortable in your skin” thing.
- That shopping for clothes is actually fun when you don’t hate your body. It’s a completely terrible feeling to always cry in the dressing room, or to continue to stuff yourself into clothes that make you feel like a sausage because you don’t want to admit that you need a bigger size.
- That I was that seat partner– the one that people on airlines or in movie theaters hope they don’t have to sit beside because I was taking up my space and infringing on theirs.
- How crappy I was really feeling. I had no idea how good I could feel, and how that would change my whole disposition on life.
- That despite all appearances to the contrary, I actually was born with Collar Bones. Who knew?
- That society does actually make all sorts of judgements about you when you are heavy. I’m sure people find plenty of reasons to judge me now, but they rarely make it back to my ears.
- That I could finally break the binge-guilt cycle and make peace with food. I never expected to enjoy such freedom when it came to eating. I always felt like food controlled me, especially sugar. These days I feel like I’m the boss.
- That there is so much amazing in me. I don’t in any way mean that to sound arrogant, but I think so many of us struggle to know that we are really awesome–as if our worth is in any way related to our weight. It’s not, of course, but it’s hard to believe you’re awesome when you have such a great desire to hide from the world. I could never see the awesome. I never believed I was strong or capable or that I had a real purpose. I was just sort of on autopilot, waiting for something, anything.
I tell my clients to find their “why”– because that’s the only reason this will ever become a lifestyle. Your why has to be bigger than your excuses, or it just won’t work. But really, when someone says they want to lose weight, it’s rarely about just taking up less space! There’s always something more, something bigger, something deeper.
I’m posting the Pudge-list, but I’d love to know what awesomeness you have experienced, or what you’re most looking forward to about rewriting your story! How can I help you get there?
“Make sure your WHY is bigger than your WHINE!” There are so many benefits to taking charge of your health, and yes, even losing the weight. It’s not about being skinny, it’s about feeling truly comfortable in your body.