Yesterday was my birthday. I enjoyed my birthday brownies, wine, dinner out, and a few of my favorite Whole Foods Swedish fish with zero guilt, because as Ive mentioned before, feeling guilt and shame about eating food is not only ridiculous (although I realize how common it is), but it’s never done anything positive for me in the past. I don’t feel as though I “cheated” on anything, and I felt no need to punish myself by restricting foods or overexercising today.
A few years ago I would’ve weighed myself this morning because I “felt fat” after a night out. It was almost like I needed even more of a reason to punish myself. I *KNEW* that I would probably be retaining water from the night before, but I would’ve stepped on that scale anyway. I would’ve seen that number, which would’ve been higher than usual, and it would’ve left me feeling guilty for enjoying my birthday dinner, and probably had me out running 5 miles by 8am.
I took this picture this morning. I’m day 12 of a 15 day challenge that I’m doing with my coaching group, and the last 2 pics have been first thing Sunday morning, so I took one even though I went out last night and knew that I’d be holding bit of water etc….Anyway, it got me thinking… a few years ago, I would have sat here and picked apart every single thing that I viewed “wrong” with the picture. All while eating all of the “bad” foods before “starting over on Monday”. I’d be sitting around all day searching the internet for what other women (who i thought looked “better” than me) were doing to get leaner. I’d go shopping and only buy chicken breast and vegetables, oatmeal and egg whites (drove my husband crazy!). I would “start” on Monday, last until Thursday or Friday, and then I’d go off the rails on the weekend only to start it all over again.
It took me a long time to get it through my head that one night out doesn’t make me a failure. It doesn’t mean I’m weak. I don’t have to “start over” tomorrow. It’s life. Dinners out, wine, brownies, they’re gonna happen….sometimes taking a progress pic just puts it in perspective. Did it really do that much damage? No, of course not. Progress pictures prove that choosing healthy foods 80-90% of the time allow for a little wiggle room for the things that I love – like wine, swedish fish, dots and brownies, without doing any damage to my physique.
Practicing gratitude for what this body has done for me (carried twin boys full term, for one) and for what it continues to do for me, really helps me to keep things in perspective. I no longer want to see veins crawling up my lower belly (yes, at one point that was a goal), and i really could care less if I get any leaner than I am right now. My goal is to be healthy and strong for myself and my family. I want to maintain my physique by doing the littlest amount of exercise possible, and I want to feel good in my clothes. I want to enjoy the things I love without beating myself up over doing so. I’ve been leaner and I’ve been lighter, and I didn’t like myself nearly as much as I do now. Focusing on all the things I appreciate, instead of the things that I would like to change, has gone a long way in changing my mindset. I also remind myself (often) that I’m not trying to win a “best bod” contest. What I want to accomplish in my personal and professional life has absolutely zero to do with how much I weigh or how much body fat I carry. Zero. It’s not going to make me a better mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter or coach. It has NOTHING to do with any of that….and I refuse to let a picture or a number determine my worth.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Do you “weigh in” or take progress pics? Measurements, or go by how your clothes feel? Let me know! And as always, feel free to email me with any questions or concerns!