I kicked off 2022 weighing 184 pounds. It was the heaviest I had ever been outside of pregancy.
I basically ate my way through the discomfort of 2021, and I had developed some solid (and really unhealthy) eating habits in the process.
I used food to numb myself, and I did a good job! 😂
None of my clothes fit comfortably or the way I wanted them to. My midsection had gotten big enough that bending over was becoming difficult. I couldn’t cross my legs easily. My boobs were bigger than ever and wearing any kind of bra was super uncomfortable but wearing no bra was also super uncomfortable.
My waist measurement was 39 inches, putting me at a seriously increased risk for heart disease.
I wanted to make some changes, and I joined a weight loss/healthy living program/competition at the Y to help me get the ball rolling.
Then I got covid and couldn’t participate in the first two weeks.
In hindsight this was a good thing, because I love competition.
The problem with loving competition is that I am really good at going overboard in order to win, and in doing so I don’t create new, healthier, sustainable habits.
I just operate in the extremes for a couple months and then revert to the same things I was doing before.
Missing the first two weeks of the program put me really far behind in the one category of the program I wanted to win: most laps swum.
When I was able to join in with everyone in week three, I spent seven days killing myself trying to catch up, and then I realized what I was doing.
I was burning myself out, making the process unmanageable and really not fun, and I was setting myself up for failure again.
So I chilled out, pulled back, and started being realistic.
After all, the reason I joined the program to begin with really wasn’t to win anything.
It was to change the self sabotaging behaviors I had developed in 2021 and put myself in a position to lose weight and feel better in my body.
I’m good at making sustainable and realistic changes in other areas of my life, but when it comes to weight loss I’ve never been patient. I want results overnight.
I forget that focusing on results rather than the things I need to do consistently to get those results never works.
Not in the long run, anyway.
And so 2022 has been the year that I’ve practiced what I preach (and teach in Not Your Average FREE Challenge) with respect to eating habits and weight loss.
I focused on small, manageable changes.
I started drinking more water.
I started paying attention to when I was eating. I started paying attention to what I was eating. And I started paid attention to why I was eating.
I didn’t cut out any food groups. I didn’t cut out carbs or dairy or gluten or white food or processed food. I ate my fair share of ice cream.
I didn’t beat myself up or say fuck it when I lost 12 pounds and then gained back 8 of them in the spring.
I just paid attention to what I was doing and tried to make decisions that were 1% better than the decisions I had made the day before.
I didn’t exercise like a psycho to lose weight. I didn’t join any intense exercise programs. I didn’t track my food or count calories or macros.
I just started eating a little bit less like an asshole every day.
I was patient.
I put most of my focus on behavior and habit goals rather than outcome goals.
The biggest changes I’ve made this year are allowing myself to feel hungry before eating, and not to eat until I’m so full I feel totally sick.
My goal at the beginning of the year was to lose 35 pounds.
I didn’t quite hit that, but I came close.
I lost 27 pounds this year. And I did it in a way that was manageable and not miserable, and without going to any extremes.
And now I’m rolling into 2023 with some momentum.
In 2023 my goal is to become really consistent with strength training.
Now that I’ve lost a decent amount of fat, I’m ready to start focusing on building muscle.
And I’m going to do that the same way I lost 27 pounds this year.
By adding in tolerable amounts of discomfort to my daily routine and leveling up when both my body and brain are ready, by using my mistakes to figure out what works and what doesn’t, by talking to myself the same way I would talk to a friend or my kids, and by reminding myself why I want to make changes on the days that are hard or when I just don’t feel like being consistent and am having trouble thinking about how I want to feel about myself at the end of the day.
Little changes add up to big results when you stick with them.
I’m super proud of myself, and it feels pretty amazing to be ending this year a lot healthier than when I started it.
I learned A TON about myself this year, and I’m really, really excited for what I’m gonna learn about myself in 2023.