Losing weight is hard. There’s no denying it, and I’m not here to tell you otherwise. I can preach about it being worth it, and tell you about my success along the way, but at the end of the day, dropping pounds and living healthy is hard. The truth is that it does get easier, but the work never really stops. And on this journey, you never stop learning.
One of the hardest aspects of weight loss has to be not seeing results after all your hard work and focus goes into making the (sometimes hard) healthy choices. It’s demoralizing and makes us feel defeated. And I’ve been there in my journey, more times than I can remember. I’ve felt that stab of betrayal when the scale didn’t show what I wanted it to. And I’ve been a Leader, reassuring my members to keep going and that their hard work will reflect in time. “Be patient. Look at the big picture. You’re living healthy!” I’d say. In the past, I could tell myself this as well, but in the later half of last week, I felt as though I’d fallen in a hole of hopelessness and wasn’t able to claw my way out.
Last week I started out focused as I engrossed my energy towards positivity and healthful living. I got creative with my food, I made the salads, I did the grocery shopping and veggie preparation. I tracked what I ate, I drank 3 litres of water a day, and when I stepped on the scale on Friday morning, I was down mere ounces from my disappointing weigh in the week before. On top of that punch to the stomach type of feeling when I witnessed the numbers on the scale, I felt like a fraud. I asked myself how I could sit here and post about healthy living and weight loss when I was struggling to maintain this lifestyle I preach about on Social Media.
So, what did I do? I got on an airplane, left my sorrows in Vancouver, and jetted off to Lethbridge for the long weekend. I was determined to leave the stress about my weight at home, and I succeeded. I spent the weekend with my pregnant best friend, enjoying music festivals in the sun (with something called a Vodka Root Beer in hand), glasses of wine (for one) at night, her amazing banana bread baking, and my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season (I asked for skinny, knowing they can’t actually make it all that skinny). I was an entire province away from my life, and what felt like forever away from my troubles with the scale.
On Monday when I returned home, I knew I’d have to face them all again. I read Shape Magazine and Women’s Health on the flight back, preparing myself to start all over again. I went on Instagram and found new accounts to start following for recipe ideas & lifestyle motivation. I mentally planned how much exercise I’d commit to this week (given that this was my first week back at school as well). I got excited for the challenge, and the opportunity to make myself proud. A re-do of last week, I tod myself.
It’s Wednesday, and I’m feeling like I’ve shown up all week. I threw my classic sandwiches and typical tomato and cucumber with feta out the window, and committed to bright and flavorful salads for the week. I made it to the gym last night and have been doing at-home “hot” yoga every morning (thanks to this heat wave in Vancouver, causing my apartment to be 500 degrees). I’m more devoted to meditation than ever, and am feeling like I have a much better grasp on my mental state throughout the day. Waking up an hour earlier every day has been easier than I thought, and I’m loving the impact that 30 minutes of yoga & meditation is having on my life.
These last two weeks have been a journey in themselves. I started out determined and driven, veered off track for the long weekend, and came back this week feeling stronger and clearer than ever. I know deep down that the stress and pressure I put on myself last week didn’t help matters on the scale. This week I’m making a conscious effort to manage my anxiety and focus on the positive that the week has to offer. Today I’m alive, and there’s so much to be grateful for. It’s corny, but it’s working.
So, I guess the moral of this story is that weight loss is hard, and it never really gets much easier. There will always be little successes and what feel like huge steps back along the way. This journey is frustrating, rewarding, challenging, and amazing- all in the same moment. It never stops, and it’s never not a struggle. And just as this journey never stops, your health, your family, your jeans- the reasons why you got started in the first place- they’ll always be there as well. Whether you’re a lifer like myself or new to the healthy living bus, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other each day, do your best to hold on when things get bumpy, and try to enjoy the ride.