What Life Is Like After Weight Loss (Hint: It's Not What You'd Expect)
A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor for a checkup and of course had to step on the scale as part of the appointment. When I saw my weight on the scale, I was…curious.
"Hmm. I weigh less than I thought I did. Interesting." That's it.
No celebration or expectation of my life changing now that I weighed less than I did before. Just a simple stating of a fact and moving on.
Weight is simply the number that indicates your gravitational push on the mass of the earth. The one that so many women spend their lives trying to change, only to be disappointed to find that no matter how minimal their impact on the mass of the earth, their lives remain the same. The same issues in their lives still exist because becoming smaller never made anyone happier on the inside.
When I was deep in my orthorexic days, I tried really hard to pretend like my weight didn't matter, but in reality I wanted so badly to drop just a few more pounds.
A few more pounds, and my body would finally be "right." It wouldn't look so disproportionate. My curves would show in all the "right" places and I'd lose the chub in all the "wrong" places. A few more pounds, and others would finally love me. They would see that I'm dedicated to nutrition and fitness and that I really care about being healthy.
Others would understand how it "should" be done and the results that they can achieve if they just try a little harder in the gym and kitchen. A few more pounds, and I would finally feel good about myself. I would finally get that dream life I wanted where I stopped craving sugar, where choosing the healthiest food was effortless and not a chore, where I woke up and felt light, free, and joyful. A life where the first task of my day wasn't an ab check.
A few more pounds, and I would be worthy. Damn. All this waiting on my gravitational push on the earth. Sounds ridiculous when you call it what it is, right? Just a silly number. And I let it control my life for years.
So, how did I get to where I am now? How did I move from feeling cray-cray around food, body checking constantly, and nightly binges…to just not giving a damn about my weight?
I've done a lot of internal work to heal my warped body image and funky relationship to food. And now I know that my weight just does not matter.
1. I create the experience of how I want to feel in my body instead of trying to control what it looks like.
Bodies change naturally over time, and this is something that we just can't entirely control. We can, however, decide how we want to feel in our bodies and create that reality for ourselves. I always want to feel light, sensual, and flowy in my body. This is possible no matter what I weigh. Since I began the intense body image and self-love work that I've been doing for years, my weight has fluctuated up and down.
No matter what I weighed, though, I always felt beautiful, confident, and sexy…because I chose to create those feelings. When I was struggling massively with body image, my weight was at its lowest and I still hated my body, simply because I didn't love myself. This process took time, but the more I focused on taking care of myself versus looking perfect, the less relevant the silly number on the scale became.
2. I focus on making my "dream life" happen today instead of waiting on the weight to make it happen for me.
The "dream life" that I so badly wanted to be a reality was based on feeling loved, comfortable, and connected to a higher purpose. So I now take steps every day to create that reality. I wear clothes that fit me and make me feel sexy and comfortable and beautiful, instead of waiting for my body to change in order to feel good in my clothes.
I pay close attention to what my body is craving, and honor her needs for slower movement or more intense exercise. I cook nourishing recipes with lit candles and jazz music. I have a newfound reverence for my body since beginning this body image work, and it's because I've learned to love her, not rely on her for changing my world.
3. My relationship to food is no longer dependent on how much I weigh.
I used to think that once I was small enough, I would stop craving sugar. I wouldn't be bingeing on pizza and brownies and nachos whenever I "gave in" to my cravings. Having a bad body image day used to be a one-way ticket to binge town, thinking, "I blew it ... I might as well eat and start over tomorrow." But now, I feel at total peace around food—and it isn't reliant on how much I weigh. The more delicious my life feels, the less I turn to food to give me joy. Binges are nonexistent. I am more comfortable being with my funky feelings and not running to the fridge to eat over them.
This is how this process works. Internal changes first, and if your body needs to change physically, she will. It all starts with a willingness to experiment and a deep trust that your happiness is not dependent on a number that we—truly—don't have a ton of control over anyway.
By doing this inner work, you'll see that, suddenly, you are living that dream life, and your body is just along for the ride. It doesn't matter what you look like. You'll just be happy.