I love a good inspirational weight loss story! If you have one, please email me at Amanda@B105.com
Here’s Tricia’s story…
Choosing to Love
My original transformation photo:
“When on a weight loss journey, choose LOVE not FEAR.”
I’ve been on this journey for almost 10 years now. At age 18, I found myself heading to my senior homecoming, in a size 22 dress, and having to go with another girl’s boyfriend due to not being confident enough to find my own. (He was super sweet, but c’mon, we all know that didn’t end well!) Topping the scales at 270lbs, I did not know that I ever had the ability to change and completely started this journey out of FEAR of what would happen if I didn’t change. I have to admit that my weight loss journey didn’t really start for myself, it started out of FEAR that I would never get my own boyfriend or never be good enough to be in a relationship. I operated in this mindset for the next 10 years and it served me well for that time. Fear was enough to drive me to pay for a trainer, learn what I could about nutrition, and focus my priorities around my health. It led me to a great journey of losing 90+ pounds and starting to feel better in my own skin.
About 3 years ago I hit my plateau. You know what that is, that number that you stay at (+ or – 5 lbs). I have struggled for these past 3 years and could never understand why. Some days the FEAR around my struggle with my weight would subside and I find myself enjoying life, fueling my body for energy, and loving the workouts I was doing. The other days I found myself constantly beating myself up in my head. With every bite I took, squat I did, or workout that I couldn’t get myself to do, I ended up spending most of the day telling myself that “I would never hit my goals” or “I am just not strong enough to do this.” This has led to years of believing that I was not good enough and therefore stuck.
Then, I hit the jackpot! I started reading the book “Mastering Your Mean Girl” by Melissa Ambrosini. After only the first few chapters, my life changed! How about I start living this journey out of LOVE for myself instead of FEAR of not changing. What does that look like for my workouts, my daily food choices, or my relationships? What does it look like for my mental health? It means freedom. Working from this perspective has allowed me to find healthy ways that work for me. So many times, you pick a journey because it “worked for my BFF, mom, coworker, or a girl on Instagram.” At the end, you realize that you are at the same place because it wasn’t the plan that worked for you! Choosing LOVE means examining the tools that fit with your personality, passions, and relationships and let you enjoy your health journey instead of FEARing it. Check out the 4 things that I now do to live my journey out of LOVE instead of FEAR:
- Fix your relationship with food and change–This is number one! Losing weight or staying healthy is what you hear: 90% in the kitchen. You have to recognize your relationship to food. Do you fear every bite you take and how it will affect your body? Look at the food options and see what works for you. Recognize that what has worked in the past may no longer work. For me, there was a time that Weight Watchers worked, right now it doesn’t. Be okay with learning, developing and changing the way you eat. I hear so many women say, “I need to get back to counting” or “If I could just count my calories” and then 3 weeks later they feel like a failure and quit. I also think there is a FEAR in trying a new “diet” or way of eating and then failing. Different life stages might lead you to one style of eating versus another. IT IS OKAY! You are allowed to change and experiment with new things! It does not mean you are not strong enough or dedicated enough to your health. It means you are an ever-evolving human being and therefore you are healthy. I now do intermittent fasting and focus on high fat/medium protein/low carb way of eating. It leads me to freedom and feeling more satisfied with eating 2-3 meals in an 8 hour period. This model of eating is working with my work schedule and lifestyle and allows me to not focus on food every 2-4 hours which is optimal for my mental health too.
- Stop FEARing judgement in exercise (and life ☺) Have you ever been scared to try something new (like a yoga class or new workout class) out of fear of the other people judging your ability? This holds so many of us back from the things that will bring us to optimal health. For years, I was scared to try CrossFit. Those people are scary with their fast movements and heavy weights! However, I finally got myself to a class and it was the most supportive and friendly workout environment I had ever tried. I was literally the last person in class to finish the workout and the guy who finished first came back and finished with me, encouraging me along the way. I went to that gym for about a year and it taught me so much. If you limit your experiences, you are missing out on becoming the healthiest version of you!
- Schedule Time to Commit to LOVE— Loving ourselves along a new journey is not natural and will not happen without some devoted time. It’s like any relationship, you have to dedicate quality time or risk the relationship failing. Feel like you have no time? Agreed. So, I started to find pockets of time devoted to LOVING myself. I listen to personal development books in the car on the way to and from work that allow me to spend time learning new skills which build my confidence in myself. I also schedule my workouts. I put them on my outlook calendar and they are just as important as that meeting with my VP. This has been life changing and created a space for me to work on me without devoting hours in an office alone.
- Create Positive Relationships–Lastly, but most importantly, you have to let others join you on your journey that also operate from LOVE not FEAR. If everyone around you is constantly putting themselves down and living their journey from fear, you will follow suit. Fill your life with a community of people who live in growth, truth, and vulnerability. Your life will become rich from those around you. Start to remove yourself from toxic conversations that leave you feeling empty. And finally, watch your social media intake. We can fill our minds with Instagram models and fitness gurus. Yes, I do it too, but remember this great quote “Comparison is the stealer of joy.” Embrace your journey and each day with the openness to love yourself.
I hope something in this blog resonates with you. All of us are on a journey and may find ourselves flowing in and out of self-love. If today is the start of your journey of self-love, Welcome! You can do this and in a few short days you will already see how this perspective is life-changing. The most important thing to me has been to be able to be open about my journey and struggle so I don’t feel isolated in my situation. I would love to connect with you on Instagram or through e-mail to hear your story and encourage you on your journey!