Why Weight Loss Won't Change Body Image

ThatVeganWife-weight-loss-body-image-Cover.jpg

If you're reading this post, I need you to go do something for me. Actually, pull out your phone (or open your camera app) and flip the camera facing YOU. Take a second, look at yourself, and say: You Are ENOUGH!" You can do this in your own creative way, too. Strike a pose. Take a selfie, and then post that bitch* online.

After you've done that… THEN you can come back to read the rest of this post!

--------

Once upon a time ago, when my husband and I were first dating, I realized that this was definitely the guy I intended marrying. I also knew that I when that time would come where my "glory" would be revealed this man… I told myself that I wanted to be a certain weight… Then I would be happy.. At least I thought.

For some reason, I thought that Brandon would love me more if I looked a certain way in lingerie, that if I was a certain body-type, or he’d respect me in a certain way. Accepting my body at its worst was never in the forefront of my mind because all my life, with the help of societal standards of the womanly body, loving myself at my "least" was often looked at as a sense of rebel or ignorance.

Fast forward to my early twenties where I saw a online friend conquering her weight-loss goals while I was struggling with mine. She was literally melting away, at least it seemed, every time she posted her progress on social media, and I wanted to do the same thing.

At that point, I had become severely uncomfortable in my own skin, especially after becoming a Barista at Starbucks where the uniform requirement was to tuck in our polo shirts into khakis, with a belt. Sorry, not sorry but this is the most unflattering combination to wrap my body figure at the time. I was forever thankful for the apron's we were required to wear which hid the “mess" of a body I thought I had.

At my wits end of feeling "fat," I decided to do what my friend was doing and signed up for the same “health” program as my friend. I began to work hard to "love myself" better, but what I didn't realize was that my mind was punishing my body for all it’s imperfections instead of caring for myself in a very physical way. While it’s good to have physical health goals, if you're reaching them for materialistic, or comparative reasons… you WILL exhaust yourself. I know I did.

This was 1 year into my "weight-loss journey" on the former health program I was doing. I lost a total of 30 pounds from start to finish.

This was 1 year into my "weight-loss journey" on the former health program I was doing. I lost a total of 30 pounds from start to finish.

My mind would spin all day long with how much I was eating, when I was eating, how long I worked out, when I would workout, and counting nutrients. I starred as my own worst critic internally yelling at myself to eat better, work harder, go longer, lift heavier. Then I would scroll through my Instagram searching hashtags like, #beforeandafter & #weightloss to "encourage" myself to get to that point where people would be looking at my post wanting the same thing. While this self-deprivation and critical cycle continued on auto-pilot for a few years, I was slowly building a resistance to every fully accepting myself at my "lowest" point of accumulated weight gain I had during my college years.

When I gained 50 lbs in 4 months

When I gained 50 lbs in 4 months

Years later, after deciding to move towards a more holistic approach to health, and four months of adding more produce into my diet, as well as consistent small steps to get "healthier," I actually gained all my weight back… and then some. I was PISSED. I had been working the "right way" towards better health, and yet things seemed to only be getting worse. I would cry in dressing rooms, quietly & mentally bring myself down about the lack of progress, and my closet seemed to grow smaller as my body grew bigger. What I didn't know was that what I had been consuming from the previous "health program" was actual chemically-induced weight-loss on top of intensely working out, so my body was protecting itself from the damage I had unknowingly done to myself.

--------

ThatVeganWife-Blog_Dallas-Air-bnb-maxi-jumpsuit-floral_AmyBeth-9.jpg

Now that I’ve been making consistent mindful decisions & I’ve started to mindfully accept my body “as is,” I have lost all of the weight that I had gained in my rebound phase. Along this whole journey I am finding that health is a process. We know good things come with time.

Because I had chosen to make an uninformed decision based on my "feelings of being fat," I've had to undergo a new process that has now shown me it doesn't matter what number is on the scale or in the back of my pants, I am still enough.

And it’s still a daily battle.

Every single day, I have the choice to love myself more than I’ve ever loved myself the day before. It’s taken work, grit, consistency, and some soul searching, but I am now finding out that numbers do not define the effort and daily consistency I make happen when it comes to my personal health.