Why I Stopped Trying to Lose the Weight, and You Should Too.

So since January of this year, Corey and I have been working hard to improve ourselves every single day in one way or another. One of those pursuits is a life of health and fitness. We both knew that we wanted to do it differently this time around, but what that meant at the time---we weren't exactly sure.

We are about seven months in, and I never would have guessed the shape that this part of my journey would have taken, ESPECIALLY because I have spent nearly my entire life obsessing about my physical appearance and weight, and I never imagined that I'd be satisfied without having achieved those goals.

Like I said, this time around we wanted it to be different, and it absolutely has been. So, below I want to share what that has meant for me this year, and I hope that it will help you to find encouragement if you are on the journey as well.

First of all, I just want to state the obvious...it's been seven months and physically, I look just about the same. Seven months is a significant amount of time to lose a significant amount of weight especially for someone my size, and I haven't really. 

I have only had maybe ONE remark about how I look "smaller," and normally the lack of this would have killed me and sent me on a downward spiral, but this time around things have been...different.

"Different" has been tough, but different has been really, really good. "Different" has required me to dig really deep and shift my thinking as I am learning to shift my focus off of the number on the scale, and onto more important things. I've done my best to step up and do this work.

You see, I spent more than three years trying to heal my physical self after my second kid, but the majority of that time, I defined that by losing pounds.  I was unhappy with my body, very over weight, bloated, grumpy, and as a result those things affected my marriage, my parenting, and every other aspect of my life---especially when the scale didn't budge. I constantly told myself that "If I just lost the weight, I'd be happy."

So, time after time I restricted my food, punished myself with exercise, and felt shame for not being my ideal body weight. I could not understand why despite the fact that I spent weeks and even months at times doing all the "right" things, I seemed to be getting even further from where I started in the first place. I wasted hours, days, and even weeks of my life literally obsessing about this and being angry over it.

I looked around and saw all kinds of people who worked hard just like I was and the weight just came off.

"I'm just not doing enough." I'd tell myself. "I need to be more strict with my diet and work out even harder."

So, I'd implement an even more exhaustive plan only to find myself even more frustrated when I had nothing to show for it.

The journey was frustrating, but I wasn't ready to give up. So, I decided I wanted to reach out and dig deeper into what was going on inside of me to uncover why this journey had become such a struggle. Maybe I was crazy and did need to just work harder, but something was telling me that there were other things going on...so I started to reach out.

My first visit was a flop. I had tons of labs out of wack, but the doctor basically told me "You're unhealthy because you eat bad." (After I had told him I'd been eating clean months prior to meeting with him.) I was frustrated because I felt like he looked at me as an overweight person, and wrote me off as someone with poor lifestyle habits. Still, I wasn't ready to give up on myself.

I felt compelled to take one last shot and reach out to different professionals to help me.

I met with a Naturopathic Doctor who was amazing and got me on the right track. She took blood work which gave me some answers that I needed. We found a lot of things out of wack that helped to explain why I felt like an anxious, irritable, 87-year-old on her death bed at the age of 27. We started to correct those problems with some supplements and tweaks in my lifestyle, and once I realized how good I was feeling, I decided to look into a functional nutritionist to dig even deeper and learn about food and lifestyle as it pertains to me individually.

This next step was the catalyst in what is now my journey---not to a beach body, not to a size 8 jeans, not to anything pertaining to weight loss---but to healing.

I am going to share about who I worked with, but I want to let you guys know, this is not an ad. I am not being paid for this OR discounted. I am simply sharing because my life is changing because of this program.

After a good amount of research, the program I decided to go with was called Reform Wellness.  I started with a free 15 minute consultation, and decided to move forward with a package that was recommended to me.

This program has been a crash course on nutrition, a therapy session (they aren't actually therapists), a breath of fresh air, a road to healing, and as a byproduct, a journey to weight loss as well.

Notice, I put the weight loss last because although it's happening (finally), this is the first time I haven't even had to think about it...yet the pounds are coming off. For once I am focused on improving the right things.

You see, when I started this program, we didn't start on the weight loss...we really haven't even focused on it at all. But we started on the areas that were keeping me from healing, and that healing allowed me to make necessary changes in many areas of my life, and let go of a lot of emotional weight I was carrying.

What I think the most extraordinary thing that I've realized on this journey is that sometimes, you can do all the right things...

You can work out multiple times a day, you can eat right, you can go to bed hungry and drink all of the water, you can fast, exercise some more, and none of it...none of it will work because you've started in the wrong place.

You see I spent all of this time focusing on my physical self, and by obsessing and stressing, and self-hating, and restricting, I was taking steps backwards and destroying myself and as a result, destroying any chance of losing weight or more importantly, healing.

I'm so happy to say that I have had so much success on this journey to holistic healing, and its changed me both mentally and physically.

The process has been long and it's been painful, but as a result, I am better.

What did that process look like? Nothing I'd have ever expected to encounter on a normal "Journey to health and fitness." But here's a little glimpse.

When I began the program I met with an absolutely amazing nutritionist. After our first hour meeting, I finally felt heard. I told her I was doing all the right things and not getting the results, and she believed me. She didn't stop there, but continued to help me dig deeper. Each week we worked through different things, and I was sent off with homework to work on for the next couple weeks. Through this journey I realized that I had it all wrong.

My body was damaged. 
It was holding onto weight. 
I was gaining weight at even the slightest taste of something "unhealthy."
And it wasn't because I had no self-control, it was because my body was broken. 

The following weeks were a lot of work, and I'm still on the journey, but the things I worked on were the exact opposite of what I had been doing.

I was told to rest and not work out.
I was told to avoid foods that some would consider "healthy."
I had some tough conversations to have.
I realized I needed to allow myself to grieve rather than acting like I was okay.
I had to put my phone down, and pick up my bible.

Not your typical weight loss regimen, right?!

And none of the things that were working for me fit into the box of, "Work harder, sleep less, eat cleaner."

But guess what?

I started to feel better and the better I felt, the more I wanted to do. The more relationships I wanted to heal.

As a result, I am better, and not just physically.
My marriage is better.
My relationships are better.
My outlook is better.
My energy is better.
But also, I am physically better too.

Life is messy, but it doesn't have to be heavy.

I promise.

What are you holding onto? What's stopping you from healing? Are there apologies that need made, or hard conversations that need had? Don't ignore whats quietly eating away at you, because I promise it's not just eating away at your emotional well being. It's eating away at your physical well being too.

Diet and exercise only go so far.

This journey is hard and it's uncomfortable, but I promise you it's so worth it.

Sometimes you have to heal your emotional self before anything else physically will improve.

Don't wait another day.

And don't give up on yourself. Don't let people tell you that "you're fat because you eat bad." When you know dang well that's not the truth. Be your own advocate until you cross paths with someone who is willing to advocate with you.

If you want to have the life you dream of, you have to do the hard things that you might have never even had on your radar.

Like talking about the frustration instead of burying it.
Or listening to the song that's too painful to hear so that you can let your emotions process and heal the wounds.
Maybe it's visiting the grave site and pouring your heart out until you're completely exhausted but walking away with a little more clarity.

Setting the boundaries.
Drinking the water.
Swallowing your pride and accepting that you cannot possibly hold it together for even a second longer without recruiting help.
It might be wiping the fake smile off of your face and confessing you are far from ok.
Or asking someone to be brutally honest with you so that your blindspots become more visible.
It could be seeking forgiveness from God or a person or both.
Or letting go of a door that slammed in your face long before you were ready.
It might be grabbing someones hand and walking through a new and very scary door.

I feel like I'm now understanding why they call it "holistic health." 

Because it will take you places doctors never will, and get you places medicine never can.

Peace is on the other side of discomfort. And much to my surprise, my peace had nothing to do with weight loss, however, it's been a wonderful byproduct.

What's holing you back from truly healing? Whats chaining you down from truly living?

Be your own advocate, and take the next steps.

Check out our youtube channel for more health and life updates on our journey to a better life!

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