8 pounds was all that stood between myself and the great meltdown of March 2016 (Yes, it was that bad. Read on.)
As I lay on my bathroom floor, curled up in the fetal position, tears running down my face and unable to catch my breath, I thought to myself ,
Are we here again, Shelby? Is this who we are? You hypocrite. Muster up some self love. What would you tell the girls to do? Stop this right now.
But I didn’t stop. In fact, I lay there, right next to the heap of clothes I shed trying to convince that scale she’s a lying jerk, still clutching the phone displaying the progress pictures I took because I was sure they would prove my theory wrong about what the scale had to say. They didn’t. They reflected a person who had gained 8 pounds. I lay there wondering how I got there.
If you’ve been following me for a while, I’m sure you know I have lost weight. About 55 pounds from my highest. But what shiny, nicely laid out, strategically selected transformation pictures won’t show you, is that I have been battling mental weight.
Your health, mental and physical, is not a destination. It is fluid. It changes. It’s not like one day, you weigh X amount of pounds, and you are magically this happy, self confident person who has no problems. But you see, no one ever told me that. So when I reached my goal, and wasn’t happy, I was pissed.
I worked my ass off for this. I’m here. Where’s this so called happiness?
I had hyper focused on losing weight, and only weight, and only fitting in a pair of pants that, sure I knew how to work out and eat right and lose weight- but what else? Now what?
In comes life, like it always does. Kids to be raised. Friends to have wine with. Vacations with carbs around every corner. Working on personal projects and creating a life you want.
But with all that, comes stress. Pressure. Old self sabotaging tendencies. And weight.
8 pounds of weight, to be exact.
And, man, how heavy these 8 pounds are.
If you’ve lost a lot of weight, you know what I am talking about. The feeling of pressure to keep it off. The voice in your head that doubts you and belittles you.
You’ve put yourself out there as an example of someone who can do it. You messed up. You liar. You CAN’T do it.
You can’t be proud of yourself now, Shelby. That stomach roll and double chin is back to remind you how much of a failure you are.
No one will give a shit what you have to say if you can’t even practice what you preach.
As I sat last week, creating a challenge for other women to help them lose weight, as I accepted my certification from NASM, and as I got email after email about how inspiring I am with my weight loss, something in me broke. Snapped. That self sabotaging voice got too loud. It started winning battles with the self assured, confident, strong voice I fight so hard to have. And for the first time in a long time, I felt defeated.
And I know it’s just a number. I know that deep down, if I refocused on myself vs. pouring my everything into others, I could get it off. And I will get it off. But at what expense?
Sure, I have gained 8 pounds. But you know what? I have been happy. Stressed beyond belief, but genuinely happy and fulfilled. Some nights, that fulfillment has been in the form of Little Caesars Crazy Bread, but hey. Have I slacked on my workouts? Absolutely. Have I had 1 or 3 extra glasses of wine I could have skipped for the gym? 100%. And I am not sitting here saying that eating carbs and drinking wine and being happy trumps taking care of your body.
I am saying there has to be a balance. You can’t neglect yourself and your health and get lost in the service and happiness of others. You can’t spend your every waking minute on the treadmill praying for that number to go down. You can’t miss out on life because you’re too busy waiting around for the perfect situation. Perfect size. Perfect number staring back at you from the scale. And you can’t let the voice telling you you aren’t good enough to succeed or don’t deserve to love and embrace yourself, at all stages, drown out the bad ass warrior voice reminding you just how much you can.
Sometimes you wonder where to find your strength and confidence. Sometimes you forget how far you’ve come. Sometimes that old voice wins, and you end up lying in a puddle of tears and leggings on your bathroom floor.
This morning my old voice won.
But then I remind myself of all the things I am proud of. All the things that make me happy that can’t be measured by my pants or my weight.
Am I proud that I gained 8 pounds? No. Of course not.
Am I ashamed of it? Hell no.
I am human. We all are. There’s no super human woman out there that hasn’t slipped up or lost her way or doubted herself.
So as I picked myself up off the bathroom floor and wiped away my tears, I caught my reflection in the mirror. And I bust out laughing.
Was I really just in the fetal position crying into my Lu Lu Roes? Get your sh*t together, Shelby. There are people who need you. And today, that person is you.
**I share this story not because I am proud of getting of track and gaining weight. I share it because I want everyone to know that if it happens to them, they aren’t a failure. The only failure is quitting on yourself. There is no shame in falling down. There is no shame in breaking down. The same is in making others feel like they are any less for doing so. **
Here’s the progress pictures that broke open the flood gates. I wasn’t going to post them because I could name 2089 things that I don’t like about it. So that proved right there, I needed to do it. For me.
To forgive myself for my past. To accept myself as I am right now. And to focus on the future.
Originally posted 2016-03-28 15:42:24.