When I weighed over 300 lbs, my dad did something that changed my life. He lost 60 lbs.
It was inspiring, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit jealous. Here I was, spending all my energy trying to lose weight, desperately needing to, and he did it in a snap. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong and seeing him do it right in front of me drove me a little crazy.
I used my disease as an excuse, even though I'd been heavy long before diagnosis. It calmed my mind from having a complete meltdown.
Fortunately, for me - the universe wasn't done sending me the message, and the meltdown came as I watched my brother lose over 120 lbs with his chronic illness. It completely destroyed my excuse and I felt more trapped in the weight loss goal than ever.
For my entire life, weight loss was THE goal. I've been the heaviest girl in every room since childhood, despite my constant focus on weight loss. I journaled about it, made plans, met with trainers, and tried every diet I heard about with little to no success. I always cheated. I always binged. And I always hated myself for it. I was weak.
Or so I thought.
When Multiple Sclerosis became a roadblock on my path to weight loss, I had no choice but to take a detour. I couldn't focus on weight loss anymore because the pain was so severe, it literally blinded my focus for anything else. When walking without a cane (or even with one) became a struggle at 25 years old, I had no choice but to change focus.
Healing my body of this illness became my number one priority and changing the goal changed everything.
As I focused on healing my body, the weight poured off as a happy side effect. I didn't have to worry about the weight because I knew that I was doing what I needed to do for my disease. I ate, exercised, and chose products without chemicals all with my illness in mind. I didn't care about going slow, about results, or about fitting into that cute pair of jeans. I just cared about being able to walk.
And now, It's officially been 3 years since I last used my cane, so I would say I accomplished my mission to heal.
I learned that weight loss itself is not a goal. It's simply the road we travel to get to the destination we want. No one WANTS to have to lose weight, we want the results that come from it. We want to feel happy, attractive, healthy and confident. We want to be able to live an exciting life that the weight might be keeping us from, but we don't focus on those things. Instead, we focus on the part we hate, and I'm starting to question why we put ourselves through the misery.
So now, I'm going to give you some tips on how to transition your mindset for SUCCESS and let weight loss be a side effect to creating a life you love.
5 Steps To Authentic Goal Setting:
1. Write A Bucket List!
Alright, so you like what I'm saying but you don't really know how to start. I get that. I've been there, and while I was forced into my new goal, I didn't realize until I was feeling better that weight loss simply wasn't a goal. How? Because I went right back to it once I could walk again.
And guess what? I gained 30 lbs and a lot of mental frustration.
So, I decided to focus on things that made me happy. I'd always wanted to learn to hula hoop (even though I'd never been able), so I started focusing on that. I bought a weighted hula hoop and practiced daily, getting in a solid workout and having a blast.
As I ticked things off my bucket this, I felt happier and healthier which made me want to make other positive changes. I wanted to keep experiencing life and in order to do that, I had to make sure my mind & body were in good working order. I have to be able to fit in an airplane seat if I want to travel. I have to make sure I'm fit enough to hike if I want to climb mountains. I have to make sure my balance is good if I want to learn to salsa dance...
See what I'm saying? Start writing a list of the things you want to do in life and then make it your priority to take care of yourself in ways that allows you to accomplish them. Weight loss will come along the way.
2. Discover Your Blocks
We all have things that block us from doing things for ourselves. Perhaps it's low self esteem/lack of confidence, lack of motivation, or it could also be a side effect of trauma. Regardless, no need to wallow in them because even if you can't change the reality of a situation, you can always change your perception of how it shaped you.
The blocks you have are there for a reason. Obviously, I wish I never weighed 360 lbs or was diagnosed with MS, but those blocks allowed me to start understanding what was going on mentally that kept me cheating and bingeing. If I'd never had that, I might have been thin and physically healthy, but I would never be authentically happy.
And that's what we all want, right? To feel genuinely and authentically happy. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm telling you from first hand experience, being happy is not only completely possible, it's also completely your choice.
3. Find A Plan (Or Create One!) That Feels Doable
Organization is key. I'm sure you've heard this before and if it bothers you, you're not alone. I was so disorganized (the queen of "organized chaos) and my room felt just as messy as my rapid thoughts.
Now a days, though, my room is getting cleaner and cleaner, and so is my plan. Once you have a plan in front of you with clear, simple, and direct instructions, it's hard to mess it up. Setting aside the mental and physical space to be productive is CRUCIAL to hitting our goals and if you're setting off without a plan, you're making it much harder on yourself.
If you don't know what plan to follow, keep it simple. All fitness goals can be accomplished through the basics - whole & unprocessed foods, consistent cardio and strength training, time for stress management (think meditation/yoga/journaling), enough water, and plenty of sleep.
4. Be Nice To Yourself
This seems easy, but it's easily the most difficult thing on this list. We're taught by our experiences to judge ourselves constantly. Look at every commercial, advertisement, magazine, etc - all teaching us to pick out our flaws (and offering a solution to how you can change who you are/how you look).
That is truly insane.
Truth be told, all these ideas that you're "not good enough" or "flawed" are complete and utter BS. We all have different opinions on what's beautiful and not fitting into a societal standard doesn't effect your true authentic beauty. It's up to you to start refusing these thoughts and ideas. To start telling yourself how worthy, strong, beautiful, and incredible you are (BECAUSE YOU ARE).
If it's painful, start small with something easy. Maybe it's complimenting yourself on a job well done (instead of harping on how it could have gone better). Maybe it's reminding yourself how cute your hair looks. Whatever it is, if you start changing the conversation you have in your head about who you are in a positive way, you will start building the positive self image that helps give you purpose and moves you forward.
5. Find Gratitude In Your Struggle
When I lost the feeling on my right side in 2016, I could barely walk or use my right (dominant) hand. If I touched my skin, I couldn't feel anything. It was a miserable time in my life, but I felt incredibly grateful.
Being grateful for struggle is difficult but I couldn't help but appreciate that I wasn't having a flare that left me in severe pain again. I felt grateful for the opportunity to slow down and breathe. To start making changes. If I hadn't struggled with my walking, I don't know that I would have taken the initiative to create my new goal of healing. If I hadn't done that, I don't know if I would still be alive today.
If I can find gratitude in my struggle and see all that it taught me, please understand that the path to health and happiness can start from anywhere. It's a long road to travel, but as long as you don't get stuck focusing on the GPS, you get to see some seriously beautiful sights along the way.
Still feeling unsure of what to do? Contact me today for a coaching consultation to help you design a goal that works for you.
I wish you love, light, and all that jazz.