Last week, I wrote about my life changing epiphany that you’re not going to hate your body into being something you love. I had that realization in late 2017. It is 2019, and I still struggle with my body image.
Lately, several acquaintances of mine have shared the great success they’ve had losing weight on this or that diet, how they’ve really seen results with a certain exercise plan, and have shared other stories about how they’ve changed their body with hard work and will power.
I know these people mean to be positive and encouraging, but I feel like it’s important to acknowledge that every body is different and just because you got great results and feel awesome on your gluten-free diet, and you feel great on your all meat diet, and you feel amazing on your vegan diet – different things are going to work for different people.
Last Friday, I went for a 6 month check in at my health club to measure my “progress” since I joined last fall. (aside: the membership fee is included in my ACA Marketplace health insurance plan, and I think that is SO smart). In that 6 months, I have been diligently exercising 2-3 days a week. I have mostly been eating healthy home cooked meals (I go through about two bunches of kale per week). I look noticeably more healthy (more than one person has asked me if I’ve lost weight). I have more energy; I’m more flexible; and I feel like I’m really learning what it means to love your body and take care of it.
Still, based on last Friday’s health assessment, I’ve gained 5 pounds. I think that the 5 pounds is more a factor of what I ate for dinner on Thursday, how much water I’d drunk, and the clothes I was wearing compared to the first time I was weighed. But, I think it’s honest to say that very little about the number of pounds that my body weighs has changed in the last six months.
I actually think it’s okay.
Yesterday, I wrote about how Millicent Garrett Fawcett spent 50 years working towards getting women the right to vote in England. I’ve been marveling at her patience and perseverance ever since. One super important thing I noticed in the articles I read about her was that she did other things in that time. She married a man she loved. She had a daughter. She raised the orphaned children of her cousin. She authored and co-authored books and articles on economics, political theory, and human rights. She traveled the world doing service for the British government because she wanted to prove that women could not only vote for their government, they could participate in it.
I think that when you’re in something for the long haul, you have to be doing it in a way that you can maintain for the long haul.
I know that I could give up bread. I’m sure I could make myself train for and run 100 half marathons. I could probably drink carrot juice for a month. And I would probably see results. I might even be able to rearrange my life around those choices and be super happy.
But, probably not. Whatever lifestyle choices I want to make have to fit in with my job, my family life, and my budget. Or I’m just going to give it up in 3 months and gain another 10 pounds from where I started.