I’ve gained 3 pounds.
The world hasn’t ended. I’m not crying. I’m not panicking. I’m not confused why this is happening to me. I’m not even upset about it. After I hit 198lbs on my birthday, I was able to let go of my scale addiction. The number goal I’d had for a decade had finally been achieved and I knew everything from that point was all about health and well being.
I didn’t have an interest in weighing myself daily anymore, it wasn’t a game I was playing. I was finally living In Real Life (IRL) focused on what was in front of me and not some imaginary measure of success.
Since then I haven’t been going to the gym or moving my body enough. I haven’t been sleeping well. I haven’t been taking care of myself the way I know I need to. I’ve let the demands of my full-time job, this blog and our book get the best of me. I’ve been snacking more than I need to, I haven’t been listening to my body’s hunger cues, I’ve been eating a ton of faileo paleo(ish) treats, and I’ve been enjoying the plethora of carbs fall and winter foods present.
It is empowering to know that.
I decided to step on the scale sometime last week just to see what was going on. I knew I’d lost muscle and probably gained weight, but all my clothes still fit the same so I told myself no matter what it said I wasn’t going to freak out. And I saw that I had gained weight. And I didn’t freak out.
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of any of that information until I was listening to Episode 39 of This Week in Paleo featuring Mark Sisson. There was a lot of really powerful information in that interview, but what I took away was his philosophy of your body having a “comfort zone.” There’s a weight where each of our bodies “plateau.” And that for most people if you’re eating nutritious foods and living an active life, that weight is where you’ll achieve health. Not the cover of Shape magazine, but you’ll be healthy. There was an analogy to Oprah and I finally saw myself outside the confines of all of the cross-fitting paleo superstars in my life.
I was metabolically deranged. I was morbidly obese for the entirety of my adult life. I gave birth via c-section at over 300 lbs 3 times in a row. I am never going to be able to compare myself to how hot Liz’s booty is or how spectacular Diane’s shoulders are. I need to compare myself to me. Eighteen months ago I could hardly find the energy to eat dinner at the dining table instead of on a sofa or in a bed. Today, I host dinner parties on a weekday with energy to spare for things like this blog.
My body is happy.
My ideal body weight was probably not originally 200lbs. But, when you’ve lost 135 pounds, have 20lbs of extra skin and years of damage to your metabolism, you have changed your body chemistry and you work with what you’ve got. Today I give myself perspective. I remind myself that the original weight loss goal I set for myself to achieve in January 2012 was 50lbs ago. It’s OK if I never lose another pound and spend my life in a size 14.
I never ever imagined I’d be under 200lbs or wearing clothes from the “normal” department of the store. I’m stopping to appreciate where I am. I’m not comparing myself to where I wish I was. I’m focusing on appreciating that I can have treats, that I can enjoy carbs, and that I can step on a scale and not cry or think terrible thoughts about myself. Most importantly, the ultimate goal I set out to achieve has been accomplished: I have energy to play with and enjoy my children – I will be here for them a long time.