I always say I keep it real and transparent. Today is no different and is kind of embarrassing.
I would love to say this blog post is a triumphant tale of winning the battle against the bulge. One where I give you a side by side photo, beaming with pride as I show the weight lost over a period of time. But instead this is different.
For the first time in a while, over the past year, I’ve gained weight. I mean, at least 20 pounds or so. The first few times I stepped on the scale, I thought surely there was a mistake or I was just VERY bloated. But alas, I surrendered to the harsh truth.
I will say that the scale isn’t everything. I know that you can gain muscle mass while losing fat, and the scale doesn’t always reflect that. I work out often so I see a change in areas of my body in a good way. I also know that bloat can come from numerous factors and can send the number higher. But I also know that eating carelessly, youth ministry, church gatherings, late nights, vacations, kids, hormones, etc. can cause that number to rise more than anything. I can’t lie and say I’m not guilty in the above mentioned areas.
At first I allowed it to consume me. I was so ashamed. Here I am a personal trainer who’s lost a lot of weight before only to be the one who is now overweight. I felt like people would notice and judge me. It’s easy in the fitness world to be overwhelmed by the image everyone is trying to obtain. One good thing in my favor is that I gain weight pretty evenly so it’s not as badly noticeable, but either way I knew it.
I realized this was becoming a God in my life. I allowed it to run my emotions. If I wasn’t bloated-feeling, I was happy. If I ate too much or felt heavy, I felt disgusted. It wasn’t a healthy mindset to be in. So I prayed.
God has shown me a few things recently. Number one, this isn’t the first time, or realistically the last time, I’ve dealt with this issue. The first time I went on a weight loss journey, I was 24 years old, had a gallbladder, and only had 1 child. I’ve since had 2 more pregnancies (which changed my hormones as well), my gallbladder removed (this changed my entire digestive system), and I’m almost 8 years older. The fact that I maintained my weight loss as long as I did is actually a huge accomplishment and I have to remember that.
Number two, weight loss now isn’t going to look the same or be as easy as it was before. Remember, this is Dana Does 30 Something, not 20 Something anymore. Unfortunately, I’m only getting older, my hormones aren’t going anywhere, and life is only getting busier.
Number three, I have to reassess and find ways to love myself where I am to get to where I need to be. That’s the ONLY way it works, people. If you hate yourself now and say, “well when I’m that weight I’ll love myself again,” you will only find something else to self-loathe about later. God loves you at a size 2 or 22, but that love also gives you value and the confidence to know you deserve to be healthy (whatever that looks like for your body; one size does NOT fit all).
Look, let’s be real. I’m a Latina woman who has never been tiny and “developed” starting at the age of 9. I will probably never be less than a size 8. That’s ok with me. I just want to feel good in my skin. I deserve that.
So I started back to food journaling and keeping an eye on calories and my protein intake. I try to limit sugars but I have a horrible sweet tooth. I am taking lots of vitamins and supplements like always, but I’ve added a new probiotic to try to “clean my gut.” I cannot be super restrictive. I know I would be setting myself up for failure. What has always worked for me is balance, and I believe that’s what many people lack. This is the land of extreme, either dieting extreme or eating extreme. God loves balance in our lives. I am trying to eat as much organic, clean, and GMO-free food as possible, but my entire pantry doesn’t look that way. I’m just doing the best I can, and I’m already feeling better!
So over the next few months my goal is to lose fat. I will continue to exercise and eat the best I can without letting myself obsess. I have one God in my life and that’s my Lord, Jesus Christ. I don’t need another one to serve. I actually feel very free and determined lately, although I haven’t really weighed myself to see where I’m at now. I am not operating in shame and self-loathing, rather confidence and self-love. I am adored by my Almighty God, I’ve pushed out 3 nine plus-pound babies, and I’ve overcome many battles in my life, including this very one before. So what’s a little weight?!!
I hope I can encourage someone today to step out of the darkness of shame and into the light of confidence. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you, and your health is very important. Again, your healthy may be rocking it at size 4 or 14, but whatever that is, let’s do this together.
Just another adventure for your girl. I got this.