Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Being okay with less than perfect

A few weeks ago I drove an hour to see the weight loss counselor I had previously only met through the phone for weekly weigh in and accountability. The accountability and her encouragement was a big part of why I was able to lose the weight. I had a free day so I decided to go and meet her, hoping it would be a totally encouraging experience. And the first thing she did was put me on a scale, which also measured body fat. According that those calculations I "should" lose another 10-15 pounds. I told her I was actually quite happy with where I was. I feel like this is a weight I can maintain with healthy eating (but still room for chocolate) and moderate exercise.

But then my guilt kicked in. Maybe I should lose the 10-15 pounds. Maybe I would look better or feel even better or it would make me a better person. So I tried for a few days to get back on a more restricted eating plan to lose the weight...and I just couldn't do it. I was crabby. I was tired. And more guilt set in. Why couldn't I do this for another 10 pounds? I think the biggest reason was, well, not really having a reason. I was being motivated by guilt of what someone else thought I should weigh. And having guilt as motivation is both unhealthy and not much motivation.

So I decided to be happy with my current weight. Where I am. Right now. This really is the place where I have a sustainable, healthy eating pattern that includes veggies and chocolate. I am able to exercise for enjoyment without being motivated by guilt (you have to do this) or fear (if I don't run I will regain the weight). This is the weight that is right for me for the time.

At any time life or health circumstances may change causing my weight to climb up or down the scale. Or I may have a change in mindset and want to (for me) lose a few more pounds. But it can't be out of guilt. Or fear. Or the misconception that if the scale goes down all of my problems will go away too. Most of them are still there whether I'm 153 pounds or 223 pounds. And it's really up to me and only me what weight is most appropriate for me.

Yes, deep down I may want to look like a fitness model (how can you not when we are constantly bombarded by marketing images that tell us what we should look like), but I know the extremely strict eating and excessive exercise it would take for me to get there...sacrificing things that are more important than getting into a bikini (it's never gonna happen!) I'd rather be available for my husband, kids, family, and friends. I want to be there to celebrate the joys and cry at the heartaches. That would be hard to do if I was always striving for the perfect body. But at the same time I'm working on being the healthiest I can be so that I'm around for as many laughs and cry fests as I can.

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