I’ve spent too long trying to “replicate”:
- others’ bodies
- others’ weight loss successes
- others’ fitness regimens
- others’ diets
- my own past weight loss successes
- my own past body
Even as recently as this fall, when I decided to take a step back to recover, I immediately dropped a full pant size, (but it didn’t stay lost, because as we have discussed… pie) and I know from other attempts over the past four years that I could dig into and analyze that, and how I could replicate it, but it’d be fruitless. The circumstances of that week were unique on many levels- food (it was thanksgiving), stress level (insanely high because i was having an OCD flare from HELL), rest (I was doing no exercise after doing tons for months, and Scott was home half the week), hormones ( it was the week after my period), and there’s no way to replicate it even if I had tracked my food or whatever.
I can’t, through any amount of tracking and comparing and planning, replicate anything from the past, and definitely not anything that works for some other person, because I am not that other person, or my past self. I have to take what I have learned from others and from what has worked well in the past and apply that to find what works well for me now. And I need to accept and embrace that “success” may well look different now than it did five years ago!
More than ever- and this has been a repeated resounding theme in my journey- I know that there is no “one size fits all” answer to health. There are for sure some basic principles that apply to everyone, but ultimately you have to do what works for you. I don’t just mean what makes the weight come off. Maybe that isn’t even the priority or the driving goal.
Do what works to:
- give you energy
- make you feel strong
- allow you to feel comfortable and confident in your clothes and your skin
- allow you to pursue your “why” in one or many areas. (and you really need to have a “why” to drive any pursuit or goal. otherwise it doesn’t hold, because why should it?)
If you can create a lifestyle that does that, no matter what it looks like, that is where success is found. Weight, size, fat loss, changing of body composition, etc. might be part of that, but it’s not, and can’t be the measure of your wellness in and of itself.
All of this is stuff that I am processing myself , asking myself, and finding answers to little by little. I get frustrated when I look back to that time in my life when things were routine and I was physically and mentally healthy, but the fact is that I’m not there anymore, and that’s ok! Even though I am struggling and limited in some areas, my life is so much fuller in others! 2013-14 Mae was not fighting these battles, she only had one very easy toddler to care for (not a very active preschooler and six year old), and
she was not homeschooling 2 kids. My day was very simple and low pressure. It was a beautiful time and I celebrate it. But I have got to stop trying to replicate it. I now need to look forward, taking what I learned in that time about diet, exercise, self care, and everything else, and apply it to where I am now.
There is so much joy and beauty and freedom to be discovered in the life -and body- I have now! Thank you for joining me along this journey, and I hope if there’s anything I can do to encourage you that you will reach out and ask!