SOCIAL MEDIA

6.04.2018

How I lost 16 lbs through mindful eating

Oh my God guys, it's been a month since my last post. Number one thing I wish I could change about myself? Consistency. (Well, maybe not the NUMBER ONE thing I would change about myself. But one thing I would change about myself, for sure.) Ok so a lot has been going on this year what with planning the wedding, getting married, being married, being in a new city, new job, new state yadda yadda lots of changes. I've been changing. I've been growing. I've been reflecting.

I went shopping yesterday and I realized I had dropped one whole pant size and two shirt sizes since 2015. I've lost 16 pounds over the last three years and I didn't DRASTICALLY alter my diet or change my exercise routine (what exercise routine?) I just started engaging in MINDFUL EATING. I thought you might want to hear about my weight loss journey and what that's meant for me and my life.

WRITER'S NOTE: THERE IS NO SPACE FOR BODY SHAMING HERE. THIS IS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH OVER-EATING/WEIGHT LOSS. ALL BODIES ARE DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES. YOUR HEALTH AND YOUR BODY IS A CONVERSATION FOR YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR AND I'M NOT HERE TO SAY THINNER IS BETTER OR MORE BEAUTIFUL. I'M HERE TO SHARE MY PERSONAL JOURNEY. Thanks for being respectful and loving!

Back in 2015 I was at my heaviest. I was so stressed out at work. I was eating everything and anything I wanted. I was eating tons of processed foods and tons of carbs. Pizza was a regular food group. Exercising was inconsistent -- I was either exercising really hard (with krav maga and kickboxing class) and eating a TON because I burned so many calories I was super hungry all the time, or not exercising and not changing how much I was eating.

In 2017 David and I got engaged. I wasn't like, "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT" but I did look through some pictures and realize that I wasn't looking or feeling as healthy as I wanted. I got invisalign to straighten my teeth. I started thinking about what I might look like in wedding photos. I wanted to look and feel my best on our wedding day.

So a few months after living in Seattle I started being more conscious of what I was eating. Calorie counting CAN BE a slippery slope for some people -- it has never been an issue for me. It doesn't make me spin out if I go over my "allotted" calories for the day. I give myself grace and I start over and try to do better the next day. I am not advocating for calorie counting because it's NOT FOR EVERYONE and PS I'm not a medical professional so, you know, take what I say with a grain of salt. But I will tell you what MINDFUL EATING has done for me.

Counting calories has almost been a meditative practice for me - it really is MINDFUL EATING. I give myself a healthy number of calories to eat in a day based on my height/weight/age/exercise level (I have done extensive research on BMI and talked with my doctor about this.) And then -- I eat that number of calories in a day, give or take. Mindful eating is about making CHOICES. And it has helped me make healthier choices over time! HERE'S THE BEST PART: I don't count fruit or veggies when I am counting my calories EXCEPT for the calories in my lunch salad. So basically if I eat an apple, I don't google how many calories it is and add it to my total. I just enjoy my apple and move on with my life.

You might think, "Well Christine, that defeats the whole purpose then, you're not REALLY counting calories if you eat however many fruits and veggies you want."

The point is, friends, I am being mindful of what I'm putting in my mouth. And if I eat that 350 calorie brownie at lunch, I take my dog for a longer walk in the evening. Or I go for a jog. Or maybe I skip eating the bag of chips, too. This is what has worked for me. By being mindful of how many calories something is, I started being more mindful of what I was putting in my body. And guess what? I eat less processed foods and more salad and fruit. I eat more vegetables. I try to eat one salad a day either for lunch or dinner. This has been HUGELY helpful!

I didn't stop eating carbs. I still eat cheese. And bread. And milk. And yogurt. And sugar. And lots of things I'm sure people could tell me to "stop eating."I wish I could say, "I'm so much happier now that I'm 16 pounds lighter!) Yes, my clothes fit better. Yes, I feel better in my outfits. Yes, I feel more confident (most days.)

Guess what losing 16 pounds hasn't done? Made me love myself all day, every day. Made me not-depressed. Made me not-anxious.

It has helped me embrace balance. And give myself grace. And be grateful for my food and my body and my capabilities and my limitations. It has helped me to recognize that we are all on our own journeys and small actions compound into big changes over time.

I have issues with consistency, friends. I often set big lofty goals, and get disappointed in myself when I fail or flail around. But mindful eating has helped me take baby steps, day by day. And here I am 3 years later, having lost 16 pounds.

I wish I could say, "What an accomplishment! I am so amazing!" Some days I do feel amazing. Some days I order Pizza Hut and eat half of it by myself. Coming back to mindful eating is like coming back to a yoga practice -- you are always welcome at the mat, to come as you are, with whatever that day brings. Acknowledge the parts of you that are hurting. Love them harder. Treat them kinder. Be gentler. And love yourself through each day so that when two or three or ten years go by, you can say, "I've mindfully made a change in my life. I am awesome. I love me."

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