So Hey, We Haven’t Talked Weight Loss In A While

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I’ve been thinking about weight loss a lot lately.

I mean, I’ve been thinking about lots of other fun things too (namely: how bad ass figure skating jumps are, whether Tory Burch’s makeup is worth buying for the packaging alone, and every once in a while I just randomly think about Adam Levine because, why not?)  But the truth is,  weight loss has occupied a lot of that thought space as well.

My main thought:  I’m ready to recommit to dropping some lbs again.

A Brief History

I don’t know how long you have been around this website, but in case you are new here (or have forgotten) I’ll give you the play by play:

*In July of 2010 I was noticing some declining health trends, so I saw a naturopath who turned me on to Paleo eating. I really need to move all of these posts that I wrote for Bodies in Motivation over here (since that website is now defunct) but if you want to know my backstory to finding Paleo, that is where you’ll find it.

*In October of 2010, I finally just got over my fear and joined a CrossFit gym. Most people find CrossFit and then explore Paleo, I was sort of the other way around. My progress was instant, measurable, enjoyable, and empowering. Definitely one of the best decisions of my adult life.

*Over the next two years I lost 110 lbs like a bad habit. After I had dropped about 70lbs I wrote a series on my experience with weight loss. The Paleo/Primal framework was just about the most natural path to improved health for me, and to learn so much about my body and get my food relationship into a healthy place felt great! (My food relationship? That sounds lame. But you know what I’m saying right? That place where eating well isn’t hard, and things just feel sort of intuitive and natural. THAT’S WHAT I MEAN.) Of course I did this all in the shadows of people calling Paleo a dumb, unhealthy fad diet (which was HELLA frustrating) but I learned to get over that, thank god.

I mean our faces JUST LOOK healthier.

*In April of 2012, I decided to hide my scale. The most important contributor to successful weight loss in my opinion, is the ability to be consistent. It’s not about eating right and exercising. It’s about eating right and exercising OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. It’s the consistency that will make or break you.

*I was at the lowest weight of my adult life in April of 2012 — I was 33 years old and buying clothes two sizes smaller than the dress I wore to my 8th grade graduation. EIGHTH GRADE, you guys. The smallest I had been in TWENTY YEARS. I mean wrap your brain around that. YEESH. I was a little scared to be chucking this scale — a tool that I relied on — but I felt like I maybe had a handle on things and wanted to get away from this obsession with measuring arbitrary progress.

*But I still wanted to make REALISTIC progress. I was not where I wanted to be, but I was tired of being a slave to the scale. The BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE FOR MYSELF (seriously? Yes, seriously) was to have my body composition tested. I wrote about how cathartic that was (Part One // Part Two) and holy shit, if you have ever signed up for Weight Watchers, or compared your stats to the BMI recommendations, or had a “goal weight” in number form in your head – PLEASE GO READ THAT RIGHT NOW. It was an awakening for me to understand what realistic progress was, and to reconfigure what this body composition journey would look like when it was completed successfully.

*And then somewhere in July of 2012 I hit a bit of a motivation wall. While I was the thinnest/lightest (I don’t know which word has a better connotation. LOL) and I was in a really good place with food and fitness (in fact, probably the best I had ever been) I was also really enjoying a summer filled with celebratory cocktails and some random food truck festivals.  I just sort of let my guard down about this whole weight loss thing. I had ditched the scale, I was enjoying my workouts, I tried a Whole 30 for the first time in August — I just wanted to put this whole “weight loss assignment” on pause. Does that make sense? I’m telling you, THE HARDEST and yet THE MOST EFFECTIVE part of weight loss is the consistency. And my desire to be relentless was just experiencing a little lull. :)

*This was about the time I headed out to Colorado at the end of Sept/beginning of October 2012 and spoke at a super awesome Paleo Conference with my pals Michelle and Melissa. It was so refreshing to talk about Paleo In The Real World, and I left feeling so inspired. I also left completely out of breath because OHMYGOD DOING BURPEES AT ELEVATION. YIKES. :)

*And then one month later I began interviewing for the job that I would ultimately begin in early 2013. As you know, I’ve called 2013 The Lost Year because my fitness and weight loss progress absolutely stopped. And somewhere in the middle of the year it actually ended up regressing.

*****

A few weeks ago I was ready to really survey the damage. If you can believe it, I have managed to mostly stay off the scale. While I knew I was backsliding last year, I also knew I wasn’t in a place to be able to do much about it so I didn’t want to beat myself up. I was working to MANAGE all my new stress and I didn’t think scale obsession would be particularly helpful.

So are you ready for the damage? Since the end of 2012, I have put on about 35lbs. GRUMBLEGRUMBLEGRUMBLE. It’s not like I didn’t know it — your clothes don’t let 35lbs slide. Your grip strength and the ability to do box jumps, pull ups, and to run with ease won’t let 35lbs slide. But THIRTY FIVE POUNDS. Whew, it was a tough pill to swallow.

What’s Next

But here’s the thing, I did just that. I just swallowed that piece of news and made no judgments about it. 35 lbs. BIG WHOOP. I’ve lost 110 before. That is a drop in the bucket, I thought. And I just continued to marinate on it to get some clarity about what I would do next.

So, am I happy about it. HELL NO I’m not happy about it, obviously. :)  But this is one of the moments where I’m inclined to just consider that awfully vague phrase: It is what it is.  It is what is is — so NOW WHAT?

What’s next is that I think I’m ready to focus on losing weight again. Eep! I’m a little bit scared even saying that, or committing to that out loud, but I think it’s time. My job is in a more manageable place now and my personal life is in a great place! So I think it’s time to recommit to this long term goal again. In all honestly, it’s a big one — I’d like to lose about 60 lbs. I don’t have a time goal, I’m happy to just give my body it’s own time, but I’m also ready to recommit to that consistency and relentlessness that a project like this requires.

It’s scary. But it’s also exciting, kind of? :) And since I’ll probably be writing about it a little more I thought I’d let y’all know. So here’s to new years, new goals, new challenges, and new body compositions, eh?

Let’s do this.

 

 

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14 comments to So Hey, We Haven’t Talked Weight Loss In A While

  • Mariah B
    February 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I’ve been wondering how you have been doing with the weight loss side of things… I know you have been super busy with your new job.

    That balance between health and weight loss is so hard to find. At times your body needs a good butt-whuppin’ and other times it need to just lay in bed and recover from mental stress. Last year in my busy season while not really training for the Tough Mudder (a decision I regret.. hah!), I just kind of gave myself permission to take it easy. I still showed up to CrossFit, I still did the lifts and the WODs, I just didn’t go balls to the walls all the time. I think it’s what I needed at the time because life was so stressful then. I decided I didn’t need another 8 months of adrenal fatigue and depression.

    Now that things have cooled off, after buying a new (2nd.. ack!) house and moving around the holidays, and no new work on the horizon except to GET work for this summer and fall’s portrait season, I’m feeling better and more confidant. And I’ve been really applying myself and working as hard as possible through the WODs. I’ve lost a little lung capacity, but that’s okay.

    I think we forget that life is so cyclical in nature. Plus, will power and mental strength has limited use. If we are using it all just to figure out life, we literally do not have anything left over to use for working out, eating right, etc. I think it’s fine to go through “seasons,” as even sports players have the off season to rest up and grow and bodybuilders have their bulking/strength season.

    Plus getting soft gives us a chance to buckle down and work hard again. If we were 100% strict all the time, we would be miserable. Great post! Good luck! Keep us updated. :)

  • Chrissy
    February 13, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I threw away my scale about a year and a half ago and it has made my life much better. I have finally stopped obsessing about the number! I struggled with eating disorders most of my life so it was very liberating to finally say forget the number. I feel good and I’m eating well and I’m also performing well. Paleo was definitely part of my journey in stopping my obsession and control with food.

  • Jessica
    February 13, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Been there, done that, good for you being ready to go again! I had a similar “come to Jesus moment” at the end of summer. Since October I have lost the first 20 lbs of my regression, and after a flat January, I am ready to tackle the next 20. So I’ll be doing it with you and will look forward to hearing all about it. Good luck!

  • Julann
    February 13, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I went Paleo about 18 months ago and in December decided with the holidays, just to enjoy life and got way off track. I have gained, my jeans tell me. And I need to get back in gear. Just for every excuse in the book, I am not mentally ready. Can’t wait to follow you along.

  • Steph
    February 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I ditched the scale in April 2012 because of YOU. Haven’t looked back! And since then I have only been weighed at doctor’s appointments. :)

    You’ve got this, lady! Good luck! xo

  • Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan
    February 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    This is such a good post! One of my favorite things about you and your writing is that you are not all dramatic about it. Your pragmatism and matter-of-factness are so refreshing. The desire to lose weight doesn’t need to be all wrapped up in judgement and drama, and the example you set with your practical approach is so so so good. Thank you!

    I, too, am taking on a weight loss project. Now that my health is back (YAY! and Holy Hell, that took a long time and was a pain in the ass), I need to keep all the new good habits while re-focus on some food and exercise behaviors.

    I’m very optimistic and motivated — and scared. So scared it won’t all work. BUT… optimistic and motivated. I have 21 pounds that need to leave my body. GO AWAY, 21 pounds!

    Excited to read your adventures — comforted to know we’re sort of in this together.

  • Miriam Dema
    February 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Your body composition posts are really interesting! I’ve lost a bit over 100lbs in the last few years and I’m sometimes confused if I could/should loose more. Coming from always having been much larger it’s hard for me to understand just what size/weight I should or could healthily be. The extra skin I carry around also confuses me as to what size or weight I “should” be as an average person of the same weight didn’t use to fill 100lbs more of skin :) I’ll have to look more into something that could give me a more accurate picture than just the scale and my height.

  • Megan W
    February 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    You’re attitude and spirit is amazing. Go get it!

  • Maureen
    February 13, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Bodies in Motion! THAT is where I started reading you! I was actually trying to figure that out the other day. I liked that site a lot.

    I’m with you, Holly! I am determined to stop fooling around, and make this the year I lose weight. I seem to be stuck in this cycle, I lose about 10 lbs, but then I gain it back again. Rinse and repeat. Since I would like to lose much more than that, this is getting a bit old. I am eating better than I ever have-thanks to your posts on Paleo and Whole 30-but I need to work on consistency. I’m over 50, and it is just going to keep getting harder and harder to lose weight-so I better do it now!!

  • Ashley
    February 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Best of luck to you, Holly. :) I really enjoy reading your blog and look forward to congratulating you on your upcoming success.

  • Laura
    February 14, 2014 at 5:28 am

    I enjoy reading your blog and I agree with Melissa – the drama-free angle is really nice. I need to work on being kinder to myself and your phrase ” It is what it is.” is exactly right. I’m at the now what? stage – so I can’t wait to read about your journey.

    We are all here cheering for you (says the stranger on the internet. lol)

  • Hollie
    February 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Great post! I feel I lost my relentlessness too last year. My progress was fairly stagnant but I’m ready to move forward in 2014! Let’s do this!

  • On my mind… | Run. Lift. Create.
    February 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    […] love this blog post from Holly Would if She Could about the consistency and relentlessness required to reach weight […]

  • The Most Wonderful Time Of Year?
    March 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    […] only starting to get my workouts back on track after a year of inconsistent training, I am carrying some significant extra lbs, and I just thought the stress of doing a weekly workout that was “officially judged,” […]

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