No this isn’t a before/after, I made it I’m done pic or post. It’s an ongoing compilation of progress pics and the bottom right one happens to be where I am now. I told myself I’d post pics once I hit my physique goal but I’m posting now because, quite frankly, I’m proud of myself NOW.
I started 2020 like I’ve started most New Years: hell bent on this being THE year I finally lost the 10-15 pounds I’d been losing and gaining back for the last 8 years. But for good this time. And I meant it. Just like I had every year before.
The difference going in to 2020 was that I was starting to think I might need to work on my mindset as I lost the weight and not wait until I was at my goal. I’d been telling myself that every time I went on a diet. I’ll worry about that mental stuff when I get the weight off. But first I just need to get the weight off. Then everything else will fall into place. I’m not sure why it never registered that I always managed to get most of the weight off and nothing ever magically ‘fell into place’ because of it.
So I started 2020 out reading ‘Women, Food and God’ by Geneen Roth and ‘Made to Crave’ by Lysa TerKeurst, both great books that confirmed there was a heck of a lot more going on than what I ate. The root issue was WHY I was eating, more specifically, why I was overeating. It made complete sense and I was excited to host a Small Group through church where we would read ‘Made to Crave’ together and discuss it weekly. Then the pandemic happened. We had two calls after the initial shutdown in mid-March but one participant was a nurse whose schedule got pretty insane (for obvious reasons) and the other got a diagnosis that made emotional eating look like a cakewalk, pun somewhat intended.
I’d be lying if I said I was sad the group fell apart. Correction: considering I was the leader of the group, it didn’t actually fall apart. I saw an opportunity to let it go by the wayside and didn’t bother trying to bring it back. Part of it was because for the first time in my career, I wasn’t on the road 3-4 days and nights a week, cold calling on clients, making presentations, and hustling between obligations at church or with friends. And you know what? I LOVED it. I LOVED not having to talk to people ALL the time or having to be social or doing things just because I knew it would make other people happy. I could finally lean into my introvert self and it. was. glorious. I could put in an 8 hour day at work, JUST an 8 hour day, and have the rest of the evening to do whatever I wanted. Or didn’t want to do.
I also went into the shutdown determined to lose weight and come out of quarantine better than ever. I signed up for Noom and was the perfect participant: tracking everything I ate in the app, reading every lesson assigned for the day so I could see that checkmark at the end of the day that said I did all the things right. I was within a pound of my goal weight and the lowest I’d weighed in years by the end of June. I felt great and like I had finally cracked the code. This was the time things stuck and I maintained my lower weight for good.
Then my significant other lost a family member unexpectedly. A family member that I’d only known for a year but cared a good deal about as well. I watched the person I love grieve and wanted nothing more than to take their pain away, to ‘fix’ it for them. I knew I couldn’t but I still felt frustrated and helpless that there was no perfect thing to say or do to make this less painful for him. I kept up with my workouts and my walking but eating and drinking felt like a haze. I don’t remember having much of an appetite during the 6 weeks after but that always seemed irrelevant. I ate when food was around and if I’d had more than my standard 2 alcoholic drinks, I ate even more because why not. I couldn’t feel whether I was hungry or full at that point anyway so might as well keep eating.
As all this was happening, I was also transitioning from my previous employer, who I’d worked with for almost 12 years, to a new role at a new company. While that was exciting, it was also incredibly scary. All I’d known since graduating college was one company and even though I knew I was qualified for my new job, I was still working through that annoying voice that worried I might not be good enough for this role.
Within 6 weeks of hitting my goal weight, I’d gained almost all the weight back. I felt heartbroken and ashamed. How could I have done this yet again?? How could I have let myself down AGAIN? And to make things worse, I’d been in such a haze that I wasn’t even sure HOW I’d gained the weight back when I’d continued working out the whole time. Again, somehow it didn’t register that in the last 10 years I can count on one hand the amount of weeks I’ve worked out less than three days. And not easy workouts mind you. I love a high intensity interval workout and lifting heavy weights that make me feel like a bad@#$. And yet, I had gained and lost the same 10-15 pounds regardless of the hours of cardio and strenuous workouts.
I don’t remember how I stumbled across Corinne Crabtree’s podcast ‘Losing 100 Pounds with Corinne’ but her tell-it-like-is honesty has been a God send. I needed her honesty AND her cursing to get me out of my own head sometimes. On one of her podcast episodes she spoke about the book ‘Chasing Cupcakes’ by Elizabeth Benton. As soon as I read the subtitle ‘How One Broke, Fat Girl Transformed Her Life (and How You Can, Too)’ I was sold. I bought the audiobook before the podcast episode was even over. I later bought the hard copy of the book so I could journal along with the questions and prompts at the end of each chapter. That journal is what you see on the bathroom counter in the bottom left progress pic.
That journal also played a major role when I signed up for Elizabeth Benton’s 12 Weeks to Transformation in September. I decided I would sign up for the program when I listened to one of Elizabeth’s Primal Potential podcast episodes where she spoke with a woman who’d already completed the 12 Weeks to Transformation. The woman spoke about how the program helped her change her mindset on spending money and getting out of debt. Well besides my weight, money and debt have taken up a lot of my mental energy for a long time as well so it was a no-brainer to sign up.
The thing that’s been most impactful for me is that I’ve lost weight and changed my habits WITHOUT being on any diet or counting calories or tracking every bite of food. I can NOT tell you how freeing that is. Both Corinne and Elizabeth’s podcasts and programs focus on your thoughts and beliefs far more than the food itself. My weight gain didn’t come because I ate carbs before noon or carbs at all for that matter. My weight gain came from eating because I was sad, frustrated, angry, stressed, happy, nervous, felt social anxiety or any other feeling than actual hunger.
The biggest gift from the 12 Weeks to Transformation was my own podcast. Once I finally stopped exerting so much energy on worrying about what to eat, when to eat, whether I was losing weight, wanting to lose weight, or food in general, I finally had the energy and capacity to move on to other things I wanted to do. Things that scared me and I’d been putting off because I just needed to figure this ‘weight thing’ out first. Spoiler alert, I am not at my ‘goal weight’ nor do I need to be to pursue alllll the other things that matter to me.
I’m not posting this so I can become a fitness influencer or even someone’s #fitspo. I’m posting this because I know a lot of other people struggle the same way I have and are probably researching another diet to try this year so 2021 can be THE year they finally lose the weight. Can I suggest you consider NOT doing another diet? Especially if you’ve already done more than three and have gained the weight back. As someone who’s been there and is still working through it, can I suggest you listen to both these ladies’ podcasts and be open to the idea that there’s more to this for you than what type of food you do or don’t eat? Maybe instead of #NewYearNewYou it should be #NewYearNewMindset or #NewYearSameMeBetterThoughts
Also, here are links to both Corinne and Elizabeth’s programs.
Corinne Crabtree: https://www.phit-n-phat.com/
Elizabeth Benton: https://primalpotential.com/register