A few years ago, I completely let myself go. For the first time I got my heart broken and I mean the type of heartbreak that leaves you completely torn apart and you feel like a part of you died.
Besides dealing with severe depression, stress from working two jobs and being a single parent, the heartbreak was just too much for me to handle. I didn’t know how to control my emotions so I turned to food for comfort. I would eat so much to the point I would make myself sick. I completely stopped caring about my physical image.
I started to have health issues.
I would run out of breath doing simple things, like walking up the stairs. Food only gave me temporary comfort, but at the end of the day, I was still sad and depressed and before I knew it I had gained 50 pounds.
I remember looking at myself in the mirror and hating my own reflection.
I finally reached the point where I realized that I was not a woman who simply had a few extra pounds,I was a woman of deteriorating health. I knew that something had to change.
When I started my fitness journey, I didn’t realize the emotional roller coaster that comes with weight loss. There are various emotional stages of weight loss which are not discussed very much. So I am going to talk about them.
First is the initial shock. I kept thinking, “WTF am I doing???” “I’m so hungry!” “I want a cheeseburger!” “How am I going to stick with this?” “I can’t do this!” “This is too hard, I hate vegetables!” You will get a lot negative thoughts like these that will discourage you and will have you second guessing yourself.
Then comes the excitement after losing a few pounds and people begin to notice. Then you start to think, “Hell Yeah!!! I am down several pounds, I GOT THIS!” But eventually you hit a plateau. You are still working out, watching what you eat but you stopped losing pounds. As the weight loss slows down you start to get feelings of frustration and anger.
Eventually things turn around and the goal is achieved, but it is with mixed emotions of joy and sorrow.
The most challenging part of this journey was being strong enough to walk away from the people and things that were holding me back. I had to learn very quickly that if someone isn’t in your corner then you just must let them go. The people who truly care for you want you to succeed! I also had to sacrifice having a social life in the beginning when I knew I wasn’t mentally ready to be around food and drinks without losing control. Not everyone was understanding of this, but I had to do what was best for me and that wasn’t easy.
LOSING 50 POUNDS MADE ME REALIZE, IT WASN’T JUST MY BODY I WAS UNHAPPY WITH
My body had become overweight because I was insecure, so I ate to feel better about myself. My body had become a reflection of those feelings and how I was treating my body showed in my weight. I was unhappy with myself. I didn’t like who I was. I had no sense of who I was. I realized I had been living an emotionless life. Going through the motions of what I thought I should be and believing the size of my body was what was holding me back from bigger and better things when in fact it was my mind holding me back.
Often we think that if we lose the weight, we will be happy, but we are forgetting about all the other things that go with weight gain, like: the habits, the emotional baggage, fear of change, self-esteem. Weight loss is not just external. It’s internal. As you work the internal stuff, you come to realize the external stuff doesn’t matter as much. What truly matters is how you feel about yourself and how healthy you are.
Weight loss can be a happy result – but it shouldn’t be the main focus. You should always work on your inner self as well.
As proud of myself as I am of my physical transformation, I am prouder of my mental and spiritual transformation. Losing weight can actually have a lot to do with gaining mental strength, understanding, and self-acceptance.
Yes, I am 50 pounds lighter again, but I am still me. I still struggle with negative thoughts, I still sometimes dislike what I see in the mirror, but life is a journey and even though I am not where I want to be in life, I am faster, I am stronger and most importantly I am healthier. I have changed my outlook on life and I am focused on being the best possible version of myself.
My weight loss meant that I finally gave myself the love and time I deserved all along.
Featured Image via Labella