Let’s take a trip down memory lane… For a long time I was in a vicious cycle of overeating, gaining weight, and feeling like crap. I was completely out of control- and not just with my weight or what I was putting into my mouth, but with everything. I didn’t even realize that something wasn’t right. All I knew was that didn’t like the way I looked in clothes and I was constantly comparing myself and my body to others. I was very insecure. It wasn’t a good look.
I hate that I wasted the better part of my 20’s feeling so badly about myself and my body. Unfortunately, I can’t go back and change what was, so my hope in sharing this is to shake you awake if you feel this way right now. Taking control of my health was the very first step for me in becoming who I am today. It gave me more confidence because I proved to myself that I could do something BIG. And when I say big, I’m talking about the way I shifted my mindset regarding food. Losing weight can be super easy once you put your mind to it. The challenge really starts when you reach your goal weight– you have to figure out how to maintain it! It requires changes to your diet, your movement and most importantly your mindset. And THAT is a big deal.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back on it I was using food for all the wrong reasons. I was using it as a coping mechanism. Nervous? Eat. Anxious? Eat. Angry? Eat. Sad? Eat. And that isn’t an uncommon theme. A lot of people do that. And that’s OK… sometimes. But you can’t use food as a way to deal with every emotion you ever have (uhh, hi, old me).
Think about the actual purpose of food for one second– food is measured in calories and calories are energy. Calories are meant to fuel you so that you can get through your day to day activities. That’s it. They’re not meant to be consumed in excess or at a deficit. The goal is to consume as many calories from foods that provide you with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as possible. (Rather than wasting your calories on foods that provide little to no nutritional value.) But we all know the truth: the ones that provide little to no nutritional value are the ones that we like most!! Why? Because they taste good! Because they have sugar in them. Because they make us feel good (even if just temporarily).
But these foods are “bad” so we tell ourselves we can’t eat them. But after a week or two or three, we cave. And then we don’t just eat two Oreos, we eat a whole sleeve of them!! If you are constantly depriving yourself of food Monday through Friday and then over the weekend you go ape shit on everything you see… are you really solving the underlying problem? Because at some point, those “cheat days” go from just Saturday to Saturday and Sunday… and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday and before you know it, you’re back to your old habits and the weight comes back on. And then you feel like crap about yourself. I’ve been there… repeatedly.
But one day it just clicked for me: I control what I eat. I control how I feel about my body. I control how I look. I control how I feel about myself. I AM IN CONTROL. And since that day everything has been a lot easier for me. My temperament is better. I have more patience. I am less irritable. I am happier. I am able to be the mom I want to be. I don’t complain that I feel fat. I feel more confident. I have more pep in my step. I feel in control of myself and my life.
Only you can make the decision to take control. Control is a very powerful thing. It’s exciting but it’s also scary. When you finally take control, you can’t use excuses anymore. I think this is why people shy away from it. It’s easier. It’s an excuse. It’s a way out. But if you have that mindset regarding your health, it usually trickles into other areas, as well. Being in control forces you to take responsibility. Ick! Take responsibility for my poor food choices? No thanks! But the cool thing about taking responsibility and taking control means that you can literally do anything you want to do! You have complete control over your own destiny. And that should excite the hell out of you!!
If food is a struggle for you say this everyday, repeatedly, until you believe it:
YOU are in control of FOOD. FOOD does not control YOU.
I know it sounds a little silly to do, but trust me!
It took work for me to get to this point. It didn’t happen overnight. But I had to start somewhere. It started with recognizing that I wasn’t in control. I let myself be controlled by food rather than me controlling food. Then I had to figure out why. If you know me at all, you read my blog, or you follow me on social media, you know one thing about me: I’m not afraid to tell you that I’m a hot mess of a young lady that’s just trying to figure out life (Spoiler Alert: I’ll never “figure it out”). I’m 100% happy to share the experiences of my life because I know that I’m not the only person who struggles with stuff– especially food. And since I feel like I have a pretty good handle on this I’m even more excited to share it.
The day I realized that I was in complete control of my health was the first day of the rest of my life. It showed me that I can do anything as long as I believed I could do it. It taught me I could do hard things. It taught me I could change my mindset and how I thought about food (and everything else while I was at it). There’s not doubt in my mind that I could never have gotten through the last couple of years of my life if I didn’t have the confidence, mental strength and positive outlook I worked so hard for through my wellness journey. I am so grateful that I had the courage to take so many steps over the past few years to get to where I am today. This wellness wave has been an amazing ride and I’ll continue to show up for it every single day. 😉