Lose the weight! These three words echoed in my mind the entire year of 2014. This was going to be my year. The year that I was finally going to lose that twenty pounds and have everyone say “Wow Jade! You look great!” My friends have inspired me so much with their own weight loss accomplishments since college so I thought I can do it too.
I started out small with adding more water consumption to my daily routine. I downloaded a calorie counting app that helped me learn how many calories I needed to eat on a daily basis to lose weight. I became more conscious of what I ate and when I ate it. I gave myself cheat days because I’m a total foodie and I still wanted to enjoy food the way I wanted to. Sounds like a pretty good start, right?
Scott and I trained and ran in the inaugural Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon. Five weeks later we both ran the Broad Street Run. I felt great to have kept a semi-consistent gym schedule to run both races and have a supportive boyfriend and gym partner. However summer came and I looked no different than I had in January. I am not a perfect person and I will admit that I became upset about not losing any weight. However, I tried to move forward with my quest for weight loss and the body image I desired.
In the beginning of the fall, I switched from calorie counting to Weight Watchers. I did see some small improvements with my figure but nothing was budging with my current weight. I used a FitBit to track my water intake and daily steps so I could stay active and hydrated during the work day. When I felt a moment of remorse about still looking the same, I would reach out to friends and loved ones about their own weight loss. Even with reading countless articles, meticulous planning and tracking, I started to resent the way I looked. I cried a lot about how nothing worked, I weighed the same and I didn’t want to live my life anymore through calorie counting. It was a hard decision to go cold turkey and stop counting calories or points, but I knew in the end it would be the right decision for me. I was starting to get upset whenever someone mentioned weight and that’s not the reaction I wanted to have. The lifestyle I had for most of 2014 wasn’t making me happy anymore. So I stopped.
Now that I’ve gone through the cycle of living my day to day without calorie or points tracking, I had to get gutsy with accepting my body image. Of course I still want to lose weight, who doesn’t? However, I needed to learn to accept and love the body I have right now in order to work towards a healthy and fabulous future.
By working on having a positive body image and still having a focus to a healthy lifestyle I did a few of the following things:
- Enjoyed the holiday season. Goodies and all!
- Really listened to my friends and loved ones when they have a compliment about the way I looked. Instead of ignoring compliments because I felt I looked different, I embraced their kind words.
- Taking what I learned from Weight Watchers and still implementing a lifestyle change with what I ate and when.
- Work out in the comfort of my own room. I have a small elliptical machine (thanks parents!) and I work out while watching TV or movies.
In 2015 I will still focus on leading a healthy lifestyle but I will continue to work on my positive body image. It’s true, you only have one body and you should treat it right. I believe this means treating your body right with food, words and physical activity. I hope that this essay might be able to help anyone else who struggles with body image because it’s a tough process to learn to be okay with how you look. I’ll say “You look great!” because I’m sure you do and you should know it.
Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.