Along with the changes of putting Mason back in public school, I've also been mulling over my overall health and wellness.
I've been a huge supporter of the Body Positive movement in the past, and I still believe it is an important movement; however, I find myself moving in a different direction.
Our bodies, our health, our wellness, our attractiveness or lack there of, our gender, the color of our skin, who we marry if we marry, how we present ourself... all these "things" seem to be cause for constant commentary from ourself, our loved ones, and society as a whole. I feel like I've been so caught up in research, what everyone else thinks, and different movements that I haven't taken time to really figure out how I feel about my health and body overall.
In a nutshell:
I have been dieting since I was 10 years old.
I have had LapBand surgery.
I have obsessed over food, calories, macros, exercise more than I'd like to admit.
I stopped dieting temporarily years ago.
I secretly joined WW this past year because of the amount of weight I gained while stopping dieting.
Since approaching 40 years old, my blood pressure has gone in the wrong direction.
I decided to come out of the Weight Loss Closet, and it hasn't been easy.
I understand that by working towards weight loss, that the odds are stacked against me, but I also am doing something I haven't ever done before, and that is investing in my own wellness plan. Let's be clear, I don't hate my body. Weight loss is just a piece of my overall wellness master plan, but it is a dividing factor among fellow body positive folk and this is why I feel the need to talk about it.
Body positive folk do NOT believe in intentionally losing weight and will quickly kick your ample ass to the curb if you talk about it, say that you're struggling with it, or just have a weight loss thought. What I also find interesting, is that most of the professionals in the BP movement that push intuitive eating, a non-weight loss focused approach to food, are thin white women. So its cute for a thin white woman to say "eat a doughnut", but society sure reacts in a hateful manner when a fat woman of color says the same thing. I've seen the comments on the good ol' internets, and I can't imagine the hateful private messages (and probably death threats, no I'm not kidding) these women are receiving. To me the professional thin white woman doesn't have a whole lot in common with me. Yes, I'm white, but I can't go around eating whatever I want and be "thin". I receive lots of negative consequences for this behavior where, the thin white woman seems oblivious to these types of consequences.
But here is my question, is everything really so black and white when it comes to health? Can you change your eating habits with the intention of improving your overall health AND some weight loss? Yes, weight loss is part of my wellness plan for very vain reasons, and that's because I'm tired of all the bulk! I want to fit into chairs better, I want to know that I can FIT into an airline seat and not ask for a damn seat belt extender!
I'm not focusing on a goal weight. I'm not even trying to be a "normal" BMI! I honestly want to improve my blood pressure, my overall cardio health, and fit into an airline seat.
So what does one do when they want to improve their overall health and lose weight to fit into an airline seat?
After looking on the internet for answers, I came across Corinne Crabtree's podcast "Phit-n-Phat". Corinne lost over 100lbs 15 years ago and has kept it off. THIS is who I needed to learn from.
My biggest gripe with the weight loss community is the ridiculous food plans, expectations, and that THEY are the guru you need. I refuse to eliminate food groups, do anything extreme, or rely on someone else to tell me what to eat. Corinne is a weight loss unicorn because not only did she lose weight, but she kept it off for over five years. I say she's a unicorn, but she's been able to coach other people into becoming unicorns themselves. Corinne's formula is simple. Create your own food plan, drink lots of water, and get lots of sleep. That's it. She doesn't count calories, macros, or anything like that. She does have her own meal plan she follows, but it's HER plan, not one she says anyone else needs to follow. I don't understand why more health professionals aren't learning from her??
I haven't joined her membership group and I probably won't. Corinne basically said and has lived what I've always known deep down, that you have to create your own wellness plan and you have to take time to invest in yourself. Most of us know how to eat healthy, but its very inconvenient to work on changing habits and getting out of the victim mindset. Also, who wants to be uncomfortable??? Change isn't comfortable, but necessary to create the new habits needed.
So this is what I've been up to since July of this year, investing in myself. I've lost some weight, nothing extreme, but more importantly my blood pressure has improved, I'm able to shuffle (slow run/walk) 5 miles in an hour and ten minutes and not feel exhausted, I have much more stamina to mow our 1.5 acre lawn with the ditches from the 7th circle of hell, and my anxiety has settled down.
I hope that if you are considering improving your health that you'll take a chance and invest in yourself. Check out Corinne's podcast or join the course Mindie and I are running in October: Lose the Weight - Body, Mind and Soul.
I'd love to hear from you and your thoughts on this topic: email@example.com
P.S. Make sure to check out my latest podcast with Mindie Adamos, Fearful Heart! http://fearfulheart.libsyn.com It's available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify & More!