Happiness Is Not A Body Size

WHEN 5 POUNDS ISN’T “JUST 5 POUNDS” & “NORMAL” ISN’T NORMAL –

3 years ago my highest BMI of 29 went down to 25.

You’d think after all the effort I put forth to get from the cusp of “obesity” to the lower end of “overweight”, I’d be happy at that size but, I wasn’t.

It bothered me. Despite my best efforts of losing 25 pounds, I still didn’t fit into the “normal” criteria by BMI standards. But if I lost 5 more pounds, I would.

I already had a great foundation. I ate protein at every meal, almost always included fruit or vegetables, paired my snacks with healthy fats and listened to my hunger cues. I already lost 25 pounds, what was 5 more?

What I didn’t know then but later learned was 5 more pounds was not just 5 more pounds. 5 more pounds was the difference between food freedom and obsession.

To lose it (and keep it off), I had to count every macro, stay in a calorie deficit of 1,000 per day, increase my strength-training days from 4 to 5, and commit to 4 days of cardio per week.

Because the calorie count was too low, I tried intermittent fasting as a way to prevent the temptation to go over. I’d go to bed hungry, sometimes not eating or drinking after 4 p.m. because I knew anything in my stomach (even water) would make the scale go up.

I backslid to my younger days when I got so caught up in needing a certain outcome, I stopped seeing the red flags telling me to slow down and reassess.
It started getting harder. My anxiety around food was coming back, and I forgot about my own quote: “If you don’t fall in love with the process, you’ll be forever disappointed with the progress.”

It took a couple months, but I did it. I finally got into the “normal” category. I thought I’d be okay stopping there to maintain, but I wanted to see how much more I could lose. I thought: “5 more pounds would look perfect.” My mind was motivated, but my body started breaking down.

Long story short, I ended up getting sick; instructed to stop working out and remove the calorie deficit. I needed to feed and nourish my body instead of waging war on it.

In retrospect, I see how clearly the warning signs were trying to stop me
from going down the destructive path of disordered eating and body dysmorphia.

I was disappointed and frustrated, but getting that illness was the best thing that could’ve happened to me.

If I hadn’t gotten sick, my disordered eating would have most likely developed into a full-blown eating disorder.

Seeing the lengths it took me to get to a “normal” weight, I know now that’s not normal for me and certainly not MY healthiest weight.

I realized my healthiest weight wasn’t a number at all and the happiness I was searching for wasn’t going to come as a result of changing my body size.

With Lots Of Healthy Love,
Toni

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