Giving Up My Weight Loss Goals Has Given Me Peace
Another year, another chance to jump on that treadmill and fit into those jeans I wore before I got pregnant with my son five years ago, right? I don’t think so. Frankly, I am sick of it. Every year I pick a number. Sometimes it’s 20 pounds, sometimes 30, and as the year progresses, I find myself either at the same weight, or so far from my initial goal that I get a bit discouraged and frustrated. This year, I say no more.
I have vowed to stay off the scale for all of 2015. That’s right, I have no interest in weighing myself this year. Even at the doctor’s office I will have to close my eyes and ask the medical assistant to keep the number to herself. I’ve decided that I have better things to focus on this year.
Do I plan to eat cookies until all my pants don’t fit? Of course not. I care about my health and even if I didn’t, I have two small kids to raise. Saying to hell with being healthy would just be foolish. But being healthy has nothing to do with some stupid number. I finally realize that it’s measured in my actions.
In 2014 I completed a half marathon and two 5ks. Did I reach all my fitness goals? No, I didn’t. Did I reach my weight loss goal? Nope, didn’t do that either. But I think I did something meaningful, so I had to ask myself why I was ending the year feeling disappointed instead of giving myself props for throwing on running sneakers and hitting the pavement. Most people I know won’t run unless it’s for their lives, and here I am mad about my weight. Come on. I means sure, I fell off with my running towards the end of the year because I let life get in the way, but stuff happens.
So what has giving up on the weight loss goal done for me? Right now, I feel at peace. I am not pressed about the scale or the number on it. I recently started my Couch to 5k program because I might do a few more 5ks this year. I asked my older brother if he would go hiking with me when it warms up and this dude actually said yes. I also plan on taking a few dance classes this year because it seems like fun and I actually need them (not all black girls can dance).
In addition to these fitness goals, I have cut back on juice and I’m drinking a lot more water. Next on the list is saying goodbye to candy for a bit and cutting back on the late night snacking. I have also found that just a few green smoothies a week make me feel good—and my kids love them too. And notice I said a few. I can’t drink smoothies all day, every day—much respect to the women who do.
So this year, no diet, no eating salads all day long, no weight loss program, no working out 7 days a week, and no obsessing about my thighs and the number on the freaking scale. This year I am focused on wellness—mental, spiritual, and physical. I am praying more, working out, having fun, and eating more healthy meals (sometimes with a cookie or two on the side).
This is new for me, but something about it just feels right. If you have struggled with your weight, I hope you think about joining me. It really is liberating. Make this a year that you focus on getting your mind and your health right. If you do that, the number on the scale won’t matter much. I think you’ll feel too good to even care.
Martine Foreman is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, speaker and coach. To follow her journey as a busy mom, wife and honest chick from Brooklyn, NY (now living in the burbs), check out her personal blog, CandidBelle.