What’s making you fat

I used to be fat. There were a lot of things that contributed to this. Some of these things were knowledge deficits. Like I literally didnt know how to eat healthy. And with all of the contradictions in the diet industry it isnt any wonder how I was mislead. So I would alternate between trying everything (going hard core into a diet method for a time period, losing weight and gaining it back) and giving up completely (eating party pizzas and velveeta). I did the same with working out. I would go periods of time where I would do lots of cardio or pilates or whatever and then when that failed me (I didnt get immediate results) I would quit and go back to couch sitting.

Those behaviors around diet and exercise surely contributed to my weight. My metabolism was not working for me because I was so inconsistent in my behaviors and my weight fluctuated in really unhealthy ways.

But it wasnt the food and the fitness plans that made me fat. Those things were simply the symptoms of the bigger problem. I was fat because I didnt know and believe 3 things. The knowledge of these 3 things is what keeps my weight sustained, and why Ive been able to keep the weight off for almost 4 years.

1) My body is a good body. I didnt get a defective one. It will respond appropriately to my behaviors. It doesnt need to be fixed or bullied. It is good. Not knowing that caused the constant mean spirited attack in my head, You will never be good at this, Your body is a lost cause, This didnt work last time so why would it work this time, You are worthless, etc. These were messages that caused me to go back and forth from trying really hard and giving up abruptly, each time a little more worse for the wear from my own bullying.

2) Eating healthfully (which in my opinion is a whole-foods based diet with reasonable portion sizes and no restrictions on whats good and bad but rather this makes me feel good and this doesnt make me feel so hot) is exciting. So is proper exercise (moving in ways you enjoy most days of the week). It doesnt have to be perfect and you have to shut out all of the nonsense about how some forms of exercise are pointless or some foods will make you gain 20lbs if you eat them but eating whole foods (most of the time) mindfully and exercising in a way you enjoy ENRICH YOUR LIFE. They are amazing for the sake of themselves. Working toward improved health, if you have weight to lose, will result in weight loss that is slow and gradual. That will not come back if you improve your most of the time behaviors. And if your weight fluctuates (like most peoples do) it will continue to settle back in a healthy range when your focus is feeling good and maintaining healthy behaviors.

3) Your body is smart. It knows what it wants and needs. Re-building your trust in your own body makes a world of difference. I learned this when I was pregnant. I thought I was further along than my doctor did (by two weeks) and she laughed at me, Everyone wants it to be over faster. I would have strong cravings for things my body needed for a particular growth period and then see it in my pregnancy nutrition book *2 weeks later.* I felt connected to my body (bc that meant connecting to my child) in a way I hadnt allowed before so I was intuned to when I needed to move/rest or what foods would make me feel best. Lola was born 2 weeks early. This confidence gained from reconnecting to my body signals has allowed me to do that with food and exercise. I can take so much better care of myself because I can listen to my body signals instead of mistrust them. I stopped listening to the noise about what foods would rid me of belly fat. Your body is smart.

Yes, party pizzas and velveeta were not good for my body. Couch sitting wasnt good either. But what made me fat is that I was disconnected from my body, bullying it, and wanting to force diet and exercise plans to fix me in an immediate way. NOW I have so much less stress about my body. I know its good. I know it simply responds to how I treat it and that changes do not happen overnight. I am my own cheerleader to keep myself moving and eating well. And I do those things because I deserve them but I also do them because they FEEL good. Being connected with my body allows me to enjoy the endorphins of high impact workouts and the peace of stretching and long walks and allows me to simply take a rest when I need one. That same connection allows me to simply be curious about and notice how different foods make me feel and choose the ones that make me feel best. And leaving the bully behind, when I falter in any of these daily goals I dont have to kick myself anymore. I just go right back to choosing what makes me feel good.

I realize this kind of inner work is not glamourous and doesnt get you into smaller pants in a rapid manner that looks so sexy in diet pill commercials. But even those bank on your misguided truth that you got a bad body. It takes time to establish new habits and even more time for those new habits to result in measurable changes in your body. But here is the biggest pill to swallow: If you dont begin to wrap your mind around the simple truths above you will never be happy in your body. If a workout or a food choice is always about a pant size you will miss out on the energy, the vibrancy, the life affirming feelings that come from taking care of yourself. If you are guided by the bully in your head and not a cheerleader your body will never be good enough. Ever. The bully that helps you lose weight will not be satisfied when you get to goal. But loving your body, connecting with it and seeking health for the sake of it to feel good. Those inner changes will make any other goal you set or plan your embark on so much easier. You can get off the merry-go-round to crazy town and start living your life. Every step you take, you can make with more confidence and enjoy the journey for the sake of it.

Or you can ignore all of this and stay on a diet and exercise plan disconnected from yourself, bullying yourself along the way and missing out on how good you might be feeling. But I guarantee you will still not be satisfied. I wish better for you,

xo, Mama

Category: Other Stuff