5 Pounds Away from Happiness
Lying has never been a strong suit of mine...so I must confess that I cannot take credit for this title...full copyright goes to my mom. (Although, I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing!)
HOW MANY women are truly 5 pounds away from "happiness?"
I want to share a little of my story. Which is totally out of my comfort zone. (Insert clammy palms) But I do so in an effort to HELP you out there....I hope you find some of yourself in my story, and know that the grass is greener on the other side. I am ALWAYS here to help.
I seem to find it necessary to mention that I was a math nerd growing up. And a math teacher for several years. I love numbers. I love equations and math problems; there is always a solution. A way to "make it make sense." Perhaps it is my justification, but I believe it plays a role in my story.
I was the QUEEN of...calorie counting, eating low-fat, and managing my weight. They are all numbers, equations. Calories in = calories out, right? It's simply balancing an equation...
Or at least I thought that was how "health" worked.
For whatever reason, I thought I had to weigh what I weighed at my high school graduation for the rest of my life. If I gained any weight, it was all downhill from there.
My freshman year of college was quite the opposite. No lunch ladies were telling my mom I was eating the 300 calorie ice cream cup for lunch anymore! (like, how embarrassing is that?!) Ahhhh, freedom. Control. (Funny Gretchen Rubin says an Upholder's motto is 'Discipline = Freedom' because thats exactly how I felt.)
I experienced the college 15, but the other way....I lost about 15 pounds in the first 3-4 months of school: type A perfectionist + stress + control = severe constipation (like 5 weeks long...shivers), low WBC count, amenorrhea (loss of period), and more. It was awful. That year could be its own novel.
Regardless, my parents were concerned (rightfully so) and said I had to put on weight to be allowed to go back to school. I loved Penn State - I loved that my boyfriend (now husband) was there, I had wonderful friends (that I still get together with 2x or more a year), I loved walking around campus, studying, the library, projects...I was born to be a student.
I graduated about 10 pounds heavier than I did when I graduated high school. I look at the pictures and shake my head - my face was SO puffy and swollen. It makes me sad to see how much inflammation my body was carrying around. I didn't know anything about food sensitivities then...but I'm guessing a week of no finals and plenty of bars didn't help.
Post college, I worked to get my weight back "down" to MY - key word here - "acceptable level." But guess what? My periods were never regular. (Clue number 1 for a woman...if you do not have a regular period, something is wrong with your body.)
Last year (end of 2014 into 2015), I thought I was in the best shape of my life.
I had the most muscle I've ever had (although I wanted more).
I was working out more than I ever have (but I always tried to get in 1 more class).
I was "eating cleaner" than I ever have (but I beat myself up if I had a "cheat meal" or ate "off plan").
And I was at my HS weight, but of course then, I wanted to just be a few pounds less.
And why did I still have so many health problems? And why didn't I have my period regularly?
Then my adrenal fatigue diagnosis came in April 2015. I had never heard of it before then. My NTP recommended I stop my intense workouts (WHAT?!) and add in more carbs. Hold up...I couldn't do Insanity and I was suddenly supposed to eat more carbs? Without working out?? Wouldn't I gain weight?!
Thankfully I was at the beginning of our nutrition program and had knowledge to understand some of these recommendations. And since nothing from my past ever helped me reach optimal health, I listened.
I stopped all my intense, HIIT workouts. I walked a lot. I did some gentle flow yoga if I felt fiesty. I took plenty of rest days. (!!!) I ate starchy carbs at almost every meal. I supplemented to help my adrenals. I tried not to let my blood sugar get to low (a constant battle I still have). I added in a lot of podcasts (hence why I wanted to start one of my own - I believe they helped save my health and my mental state around food and my body) and I read countless books on nutrition and women's health.
But one of the biggest changes I made...
I did not step on the scale. I JUST listened to my body.
And I trusted it would do what it needed to be healthy.
Almost 8 months later, I am amazed at my progress. Since then, I have stepped on the scale. AND BIG NEWS: I'm 5 pounds heavier than what I have always wanted to be. But I'm SO much healthier. SO much. I have an (almost) regular period...which makes sense because our endocrine system is the LAST system to catch up with our changes. And I still can let stress get the best of me. I'm working on it!
And you know what is crazy? I can eat pretty much anything I choose. I can go out with friends and have wine and dessert and when I eat regularly the next day, the inflammation goes away and I end up at the same weight. I don't talk negatively to myself for it...and most times, I don't even end up eating the foods that bother me because it is not worth it. I'd rather FEEL GOOD all of the time than just some of the time.
In the past, I would have worked SO HARD to get those LAST 5 POUNDS OFF. But for what? I wear the same size clothes. I FEEL good! I am happy.
I appreciate my body now. I'm not fighting a battle against it.
I am more than a number. YOU are more than a number.
SO many people SAY it, right? "I am more than how much I weigh" but they are unhappy or have an unhealthy body image. Heck, that was me even 3 months ago! How many can say it and actually believe it? How many people actually LIVE it?
This is what I WANT EVERYONE to experience! I'm dedicating 2016 to it.
Do not let yourself get caught up in those last 5 pounds to happiness. Because friends, those last 5 pounds won't do it. Until you accept your body, and who you are, and believe your body will do what it can to protect you...you will be running a wild goose chase.
Do you hear yourself in this story? If you do, let's connect and chat. I want you to have the freedom I have lived these last couple months. It is so liberating and a wonderful world on this side of things <3