Last Tuesday night I was flipping through the channels and stumbled upon Extreme Weight Loss. I don’t watch Extreme Weight Loss regularly, but I’ve always loved how Chris and Heidi help the contestants navigate the emotional side of weight loss. Halfway through last week’s episode Heidi told the contestant (Jenn) to “let go of the sad story that defines you”. Jenn had been through a pretty traumatic loss and continued to allow that loss to define her.
Heidi’s charge really struck a cord with me. I was an obese child, but I hated being defined by my body weight. When I started powerlifting and throwing the discus in high school I found an identity I was proud of and quickly let go of my sad story. After graduating from college and ending my career as a thrower the identity I was so proud of began to shift. No longer was my weight justified by my sport. Instead I was an ex-athlete with a lot of excess weight.
In 2006 I lost 50 pounds and began to let go of what my weight had afforded me. I maintained my weight loss until 2009 when I went through a pretty traumatic experience, something I’ve never talked about here. Everything in my life changed within weeks and I started turning to food for comfort again.
Heidi asking the contestant to let go of the sad story that defined her made me think a lot about the story I’ve been holding onto. For years I’ve blogged about the weight I lost back in 2006 as it’s easier to talk about getting back there than to talk about what got me here.
I’ve spent a lot of time these past few months moving away from the mentality I’ve had towards weight loss these past few years and now it’s time to walk away from my sad story. In April I hit my breaking point, which started this movement away from extreme dieting. For me, it’s not about moving away from a particular diet plan but to move away from the extreme mentality. The reality is, it’s going to take sacrifices in order to lose weight, but what I don’t want is to be consumed by dieting any longer. I want to eat healthy foods, to enjoy my workouts, and to reach a healthy weight again without spending every waking minute consumed with whether or not I’m doing it right. I want to find freedom through this process instead of creating more and more restrictions.
I want to be happy with the choices I’m making and to let go of the weight and lifestyle that has brought me comfort since 2009. It’s time to write a new story and to get out of this 6 year rut I’ve been in. A lot of amazing things have happened these past 6 years and now it’s time to let go and to move forward.