I find Lisa incredibly inspiring in her weight loss journey. I don’t have a success story of a 100+ pound weight loss, but I do feel proud to say I have arrived at my happy weight again. After the birth of my son earlier this year, I still had about thirty pounds to lose after coming home from the hospital. I had a goal in mind. My Body After Baby journey focused on getting back to my “happy weight”. Happy weight. It sure sounds nice, doesn’t it? But…what in the world did it even mean?!?!?
It took me years of my weight playing the yo-yo game before even remotely understanding where my body functions best. But, with time, I did eventually find my “happy weight”. I discovered that place about 9 months after the birth of my daughter, Makenzie, and have found it again now.
I’m not an expert by any means, but I know the answers to those questions for my body. Perhaps you can relate to them. So, here I am…in Lisa’s motivational space…sharing my brief insights and hoping you get something from them as well.
What IS Your Happy Weight?
In my opinion, three factors play into the definition of a person’s happy weight:
- a weight your body naturally inclines to when living a balanced lifestyle
- a weight that you can maintain relatively easily once reached
- a weight where your body functions optimally and has energy
Four Ways to Achieve Your Happy Weight
1. Overcome Eating Issues. I truly believe you cannot manage to reach a comfortable place for your body if you constantly battle food. I spent years in a vicious binge and restrict cycle. I could limit myself to 1200 calories a day for days on end without ever achieving a healthy, fit body. Yet, my emotional struggles with food kept me from ever truly achieving a healthy size for myself. I did not reach my happy weight until after my personal journey to overcome binge eating.
2. Learn through trial and error what foods fuel your body best. For years, I consumed myself with food rules and could rattle off what foods someone “should” or “shouldn’t” consume when trying to lose weight. I could tell you the number of grams of protein, carbs, or fat for an “optimal” meal. I could spew off data on a variety of eating plans. Yet somehow I still had no clue how my body worked best.
It turns out eating low-carb, which I believed to be the Holy Grail of dieting, actually caused my body to revolt and hold onto weight. Through trial and error – and relieving myself of all the “cans”, “cannots”, “should eats”, and “mustn’t eats” – I finally began honoring my body and it showed its appreciation by feeling better and better. And also losing stubborn weight without a sense of deprivation.
3. Discover workouts that keep you energized. Similar to finding a method of eating that suits you, we also must search out ways to stay active that fulfill us. Not every person will love running. Not every person wants to shake it in Zumba. Choose a way to move your body that you will enjoy so you can reap the health rewards of activity without wanting to shoot yourself in the foot. It will keep you motivated to continue and your level of fitness will naturally continue to improve.
4. Don’t kill yourself. Be able to experience life and the fun things that come with it.Healthy living does not have to be difficult. There really are no top-secret files on how to make it work. Simply consume quality foods, stay reasonably active, and enjoy life. When I found a balance of 80% wholesome, nutritious foods and 20% not-as-nutritionally-sound foods, I could easily keep up with healthy choices. I didn’t have to turn down things I enjoyed and could really live life. Taking the stress off myself improved my happiness and my desire to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I could remain consistent with my efforts and consistency proved to be the key to success.
The Number One Way to Stay There
Lose the number! Many of us have a weight in our mind we believe will make us happy. It may be a weight we compare to others or one of our previous sizes. This is not a true happy weight. You can fight your body to reach the number on the scale you think you should be and I can guarantee you that you won’t really be happier. Don’t view your happy weight as a particular number. View it as a feeling. A really, really good feeling.
Look to feel healthy, strong, fit, energetic, vibrant, and full of life. You will know it in your gut because it will feel so right.
Thanks for letting me share my story and thoughts with you. I would love to have you visit my neck of the woods. I’m always looking to connect with fellow fitness fanatics! 🙂