We all have a history. Sometimes it’s our childhood, our 20’s, a weirdly obsessive ex… sometimes it’s our weight loss.
Man, oh man, do me and my weight loss have a history. In high school I barely had to think about it. I was more concerned with the drama my family was always having or with ignoring it by focusing on the drama my friends were having. It was easier to think on things like the boy I liked at the time or on my friend’s most recent fight with another friend than to dwell on anything else.
I knew I wasn’t a stick figure, but I knew I wasn’t fat, so I ignored my weight and ate what I wanted. I did my Senior Pictures in the December snow of 2012 and then headed off for my year-long missionary program.
Three months in Montana with my missionary group was a blast, of course. I went to Bible classes, made close friends with the other 11 members of my class and prepared to start the six-month middle leg of the journey in Costa Rica. I ate and ate and ate at every meal. By the time I returned I felt overweight for the first time.
However, six months in Costa Rica quickly changed that. I was outside and in the sun daily, drinking tons of water, eating nearly nothing but fruit and vegetables from the local farmer’s market, and playing with kids 6 out of my 7 days a week. By the time I returned from Montana, without doing anything on purpose, I was the smallest I had ever been.
I felt amazing! Everything fit beautifully, I could put on anything I wanted and feel comfortable, and I had done nothing on purpose! I headed back to live with my parents in November and stayed through January, celebrating the holidays with gusto and returned back to my normal right before college.
College brought its own set of insecurities, and while I’d love to talk more about the people and moments that brought some of that on, I feel that it may still be too fresh for the people I know and would be out of taste. Regardless, my first year of college brought my first year – ever – dieting. I did MyFitnessPal and lost 10lbs for my banquet dress, and then relaxed again, reinflating over the summer. I lost again another 10lbs before the holidays, and reinflated even more after the holidays of 2014 and following. So on the cycle continued until I began to date my now husband, Matthew.
We found that we were a lazy couple – we loved video games, TV shows, card games, strategy games. We loved driving around and going to eat. Every year I would start to lose some weight – a max of 15 lbs at a time – and immediately after gain it back.
When we got engaged, I was convinced that I was going to lose weight for the wedding. #sweatingforthewedding I called it, of course. I used MyFitnessPal, I joined FitGirls, I tried Advocare and Smart Coffee. I hit 150lbs in 2019, not quite what I was post-Costa Rica, but so close, and all the wedding events leading up were getting in the way of workouts and spending money on more expensive food. I also couldn’t really afford to lose any more, as my wedding dress would have need torn apart to make it any smaller.
When the wedding day came, I had regained 5lbs, going back to 155 lbs, but I felt great in my dress. Of course, I always take advantage of any time I get to post a wedding photo, so enjoy:
Since our wedding and honeymoon, we’ve hunkered down like true newlyweds, doing all of our favorite things and eating all of our favorite things. Before we knew it, we had gained what we’re calling “the marriage-30″(+).
I can tell you that I never expected to regain all of the weight. I had hoped that with my greater loss, when I bounced back I would just go up the normal 10-15lbs, and then I could lose it again afterwards and it wouldn’t take too long once I decided to nose-to-the-grindstone. LORDY WAS I WRONG. It all came back with a vengeance.
Now I say all this (boring) history because our history is usually a good indicator of what I am calling our Body-Blueprint. Our habits and our ways of thinking typically follow a blueprint that we’ve created long ago (on purpose or not), and when we let an aspect of ourselves go on auto-pilot, we follow the blueprint to a tee. This also applies to money and the way we spend, but here I found it helpful to really examine the way I handle my body – and to see the way my weight loss journey has twisted and turned.
My habits are:
- Find a special event to lose weight for. (Banquets, Dances, Summer, Wedding, Vacation, Birthday, etc.)
- Lose the weight as intensely as I can in an all-or-nothing attitude. (Calorie restrictions, 6 days a week exercise, etc.)
- Immediately jump into my “life back to normal” afterwards. (Little to no exercise, eating what I want when I want)
- Ignore the damage I’m doing until all my progress is gone. (“5 lbs is easy to lose” “I can do this this weekend and I’ll diet next week”)
- Feel terrible about it.
Clearly, my problem is not losing weight, but in making it unsustainable and then having no plan to keep it all off. I’m tired of fitting into my favorite clothes for one trip or event! I want to fit in them for the rest of my life! It’s time for me to dig deep, and find some lasting strategies.
Check out my Instagram for some “before” pictures. I am going to be putting on the clothes I want to keep for the rest of my life and use them as my signposts for success as the months go on.
What do you find to be your biggest roadblock in your blueprint? What in your blueprint needs a red line markup? Thanks for reading and let me know what strategies you find helpful.