I used to say that all the time. I believed it. And if you are reading this it is entirely possible that you believe this too. So take a deep breath because I’m about to share with you a hard truth that hopefully you will find liberating.
A healthy intake of food and effective exercise works. It’s actually an objective science and not a mean trick God or the universe is just playing on you.
100% of the people who have said this to me (including myself) have actually not tried everything, but rather felt like they had because they worried so much about it.
Allow me to explain. When I was overweight I was constantly thinking about my weight, other people’s weight, what I should be eating, what I shouldn’t eat, how I should exercise etc, etc, etc. I “tried” diets. Mostly ones I made up. But I thought about them all the time. I “tried” working out. Sometimes for whole weeks! But “trying” wasn’t a lasting scenario, I did not commit myself to anything for a long period of time. What I did was stress about it. And in my mind, I equated stressing about it with putting my energy into doing something about it. This is not the same thing.
Eating a healthy diet in proper portion sizes and exercising effectively and consistently works. It works. It’s objective.
The trouble is most people don’t know how to do either of those things. And with good reason. There are gigantic international companies devoted to cramming misinformation down our throats about what comprises a healthy food choice, what exercise you must do, or even better- what pills you must take to be fit, thin and ultimately happy. It wasn’t until I committed to getting healthy that I actually took the time to do my research about what healthy food/portion sizes were and began to push myself to exercise 5-6 days a week that I began to see changes in my body.
Some of those changes came fast. I would see lots of weight loss one week and be at a stand still for weeks on end. But because I was committed and knew I was making healthy choices (which was my goal to begin with) I had faith that my body would eventually change and kept moving forward. And it did. It still does.
Think about it like this: we are animals. We are meant to hunt and gather. Our bodies are supposed to be active for survival. And there are foods that our bodies are meant to eat. But our lives look nothing like that anymore. Most of us don’t eat food even our grandmother’s grew up with and we certainly don’t spend our days moving for survival. So we have to re-learn what our bodies need and compensate for all the cubicle/couch sitting with some serious moving around!
And it works. It just does. You are not the exception.
I’m sorry if this seems harsh. But the problem with the mantra “I’ve tried everything, but nothing works” is that it’s self defeating. It serves no purpose for you. And hopefully if you can be honest with yourself about it you can move forward and achieve your personal health goals. But it takes gaining a new education about healthy lifestyle choices, making lots of new habits and committing yourself to the changes. Completely. Forever. And that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t ever take breaks from exercise or enjoy non healthy foods, but it does mean that those will no longer be a part of your routine.
Here is the super amazing news: it’s so worth it. I don’t live a life of deprivation but I did relearn how to cook and how to eat. I don’t run all day everyday but I do workout 5-6 days a week and over time began to love it (which my old self would have thought was completely nuts and for crazy people). And I cannot tell you how much more full my life is because of it. Not because I have smaller pants. My smaller pants do not make me a happy person with a full life. But because I no longer have self defeating mantras. I don’t spend any time stressing about how I look, what to wear, how I need to “fix” myself or if I’m good enough. In terms of my health I feel strong, I have more energy and the work I put in, not the weight loss resulted in confidence I’ve never had. I don’t feel stuck in my body and understand that if I gain a little weight it’s a result of my choices and I know how to adjust if I choose.
Most importantly my weight no longer has me sitting on the sidelines.
I was at a carnival with my daughter this last spring and they had a huge moonwalk/slide thing that she wanted to go down. It was a little steep for my wee one so I decided to go with her. It was a blast. When we were finished sliding, jumping, and playing my Mom said to me, “I bet that’s something you would have never felt comfortable doing before.” I hadn’t even thought about that. But there are so many ways I play and interact with my child that would have made me feel overwhelmingly self-conscious before. I would have never climbed up an inflatable slide with my 240lb behind. And I can’t even tell you what it means to me that my daughter has a Mommy who is physically able to play with her. It’s a big deal.
Which is why I’m not sorry for ruining your mantra if it’s yours. You haven’t tried everything, and healthy living works. And you deserve so much more from life than feeling trapped in your body and stressing about it all the time. You can have better. And you are worthy of it.