I would guess that most people hit some sort of “rock bottom” before starting a serious and consistent weight-loss regimen. At least, that is what happened to me. I had previously decided to lose weight a number of times in my life, but never once did I actually do much to accomplish this goal – not until last summer.
There are likely many unique incidents that motivate healthy living. Perhaps a health professional has convinced you that your weight is a matter of life and death. Maybe it is the need to look smokin’ in a wedding dress or you want to increase your chances of having a healthy family. Whatever it is, there is usually something that elicits a strong enough reaction to change behaviour.
For me, it was the photographs.
You’d think that if image was so important to me, my reflection in the mirror would be enough to entice some iron pumping. But I am convinced that even if we don’t love how we look, we still try to see ourselves in the best light. In front of a mirror, we can be controlled. We know our best angles, we understand how to hold our face just right. We know where to suck in and what to stick out. We are practiced at showing ourselves our best selves and we pose just right for those few minutes each day in which we scrutinize our physicality.
The pose must be broken when we pull away from our reflection and step out into society. We can no longer see the strand of hair flying out of place or that piece of spinach cozying up to our gums. Our abs release and our real belly flops into place, protruding every which wrong way. Our faces loses such precise control and contorts as it goes through its day whilst pondering, giggling, chewing, and being.
It is this body that the camera usually captures. An unaware state. Freezing forever the completely unprepared, unpresented, unposed self.
When I think back to these photographs that look nothing like the self I picture in my consciousness, one particular photo stands out in my mind’s eye. It was taken on Canada Day last year.
When I look at that picture, I don’t see a smiling little boy. I don’t see a mother loving her new role. I don’t see a wife looking lovingly at her husband behind the lens. I don’t see a woman who is proud of the story her body tells. I see someone completely unrecognizable.
This was my “rock bottom”. This was the inciting incident that started a journey of serious and (mostly) consistent weight-loss. I had already started watching my weight but seeing this picture really motivated me.
When starting something hard, it is so easy to focus only on the short-term. Weight loss is a slow process. It is a lengthy process. It is a tough process. Big results don’t happen tomorrow, so it is easier to rationalize putting the hard work off until tomorrow.
But later comes. One step, one push, one less chocolate bar. One pound here, one inch there. One month later, one year later, one healthy body later. Making a decision to change today does change tomorrow.
When Canada Day rolled around this year, it wasn’t about the day off or the fireworks or the sun. All throughout the day, I pictured that photo from a year ago. I could see the difference. I’m not done. But I already have my before and after. No miracle drug. No quick fixes. Just one year of hard, emotional, sweaty work. One year and big, proud changes.
One year later. 20 pounds lighter. When I look at myself in pictures now, I see a girl who is happy. I see a mother. I see a body I can be proud of for all that it has accomplished. I might even see beauty.
But most importantly. I see me.
Starting Weight (this time around): 151.5 lbs
Current Weight: 143.7 lbs
Weekly Loss: 2 lbs
Total Loss: 7.8 lbs
Is there something you’re putting off because the result you want is just a distant reality? Is there something you’ve accomplished that took a lot of hard work? I’d love to hear about it.
And now, it is your turn. I’d love to connect with you on your healthy living journey. You can talk about whatever you want – goals attained (or not), losing weight, eating better, exercising, or other healthy lifestyle changes and choices. Link up below and be sure to include a link back here so that others can connect as well. Feel free to grab the button above if you would like. If you’re on Twitter, post a link to your blog with the hashtag #ThinnerThursday and I’ll retweet. I can’t wait to read about your Thinner Thursday.