Blog Post #2: "Me Too" Lasting WHOLEistic Weight Loss - Part 2
The following are a few highlights of my weight loss (and gain) journey. If this doesn’t concern you, skip it. For some, your curiosity and/or my credibility is satisfied in certain ways by understanding some of my personal experiences.
At my full grown height of 5’4” (reached at age 15/16), I have been 95lbs to about 145… that’s a 50lb spread! That’s crazy for me to think about. In these years I have been a Pilates instructor, yoga instructor, a party animal, a triathlete and endurance training coach, an insomniac, a nutritional and life coach, a restaurant aficionado, a Crossfit lover, dangerously anxious and depressed, transcendently joyful and connected to spirit… and totally into health and wellness the entire time!
When I was younger, my concepts of health were formed by external forces rather innate wisdom. From the government (load of crap food pyramid, got milk campaigns etc.), to the “health” industry selling me on low fat, high fat, low carb, high protein diets, supplements of every kind, blah, blah, blah. So many of our ideas about OUR bodies are shaped by outside entities that have an agenda. I was no different.
Then there is the stuff you learn from your family. We can all identify some ideas behind health, food, body weight etc. that was formed by family culture and upbringing. Although healthy food and cooking was celebrated in my family culture, so was “mangia, mangia, mangia!” I definitely got lots of positive feedback for cleaning my plate and eating a lot. My concept of “satisfied” was stuffed. I was a peanut as kid so no one thought they were doing anything harmful… it was totally cultural.
What was MUCH more worrisome than my family food culture (which was mostly a positive one) was the beauty standards portrayed in media that had me feeling like I needed to lose weight… SINCE I WAS IN FOURTH GRADE!! Truth be told, I still feel that way today. I just know now what I didn’t know then… the voice in my head that says that isht’ isn’t mine. It’s implanted media brainwashing. I’m not 100% free of it because the environment of brainwashing doesn’t go away just because you know it’s there. The realness is, I’m at a healthy weight and pretty much have been my whole life. That doesn’t mean I’ve always had the healthiest lifestyle though.
At 13, I started eating all the textured soy protein products (veggie burgers, sausages, hot dogs etc.) because I was a vegetarian and it was convincingly positioned as healthy food. The macros looked good “high protein, low carb, low fat” (which in itself is an unhealthy myth). I didn’t start thinking better of this until I was about 25. I now regard the stuff as some of the most unhealthy and harmful “unfood” products on the market.
At 21, I took Xenadrine because of the convincing weight loss adds. It made me feel uncomfortable and speedy but it wasn’t until I had severe heart palpitations that I quit taking it. I didn’t lose any weight and it was later taken off the market. After that, I mostly avoided anything that made me feel that way, but this just one of a million pills I tried to “naturally” lose weight over the years. For a long time I thought if the ingredients were plants, it was safe/healthy.
At 25, I would master cleanse one week, binge drink the next. I wasn’t depressed (oh, but I was), I was just having fun with my friends in the city. It was totally in line with the culture I was a part of. I would do shots at 3am on the condition that my friend would join me at Bikram Yoga to sweat it out in the morning.
I could go on and on with the examples, but I think you get my point. Media sold me the idea needed to lose weight and then it sold me the “solution.” I was definitely misguided along the way and despite my many external efforts, my weight was mostly a product of my mind/emotions. I lost weight when I was 18 because I was drunk on freedom and chose to party over eat most nights. Then I gained it back. I lost weight when I was insecure enough to restrict my diet A LOT. I gained it back when I gave up. I lost weight when I allowed myself to be in a relationship that stressed me to the point of mental illness. Then I gained it back… and so on like this. I also put on weight in the form of muscle, after always being terrified to touch weights because they may make me look “manly.” At that point I was making choices based on how I felt and what I enjoyed doing with my body… but other people made A LOT of comments on this weight gain because they couldn’t understand why I would do this and that made me feel uncomfortable.
Of course, I’m happy I’ve had all these experiences because they have helped me relate to every stage and circumstance my clients go through. But you know what makes me the most happy? In this moment I can say that I truly have clarity on this subject. The years with clients, the personal struggles, the RIDICULOUS amount of reading and research and continuing education. I have come to a place of trust in myself, experience and knowledge to say that my solution to health and weight loss is not a fad. It is not colored by biased marketing. It is not one dimensional and therefor it could work for ANYONE. Bold statement, I know. But I’m making it. Because the hot tip here is:
WE ARE NO LONGER GOING TO TALK ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT
I mean sure, we may mention it from time to time… but the focus cannot be squarely on the weight if you want to take it off for good. When the constant chatter about your pants size takes a back seat to a focus on your health and happiness, you will wake up one morning and realize you need new pants.
Can’t wait to see the shifts that happen when we focus on root causes instead of symptoms. The deeper you go, the better it gets.
Sending you so much love,