Before I get to the meat of this post I will tell you guys that I “gained” 2.2 pounds this week. Although I ate a TON on vacation and didn’t weigh myself when I got back, but I could easily have gained 3 or 4 pounds on vacation in which case I really lost weight this week! At least that’s how I’m choosing to look at it. No onto the real point of this blog…

I use a website called Sparkteens, which is partly a social networking site for teens who are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or just be healthier. I have a blog on there and I posted a version of this post on there. But I thought that it was a post that might be relevant on here too. So keep in mind that a lot of the eating stuff in here might not be relevant to those of you who have taught me to eat this way. ( thanks by the way)
*Just FYI this blog is going to be a little deep, but I think some of what I will say needs to be said, and I need to say it so that I can look back and remind myself.

Although I have not been doing this blog for very long I have learned a lot about being healthy and happy through this blog and trough the fantastic blogs of others. (From here on this is exactly what I posted on Sparkteens so keep that in mind when you think “well actually I do that already” or whatever you might think.)

Some of what I have learned isn’t relevant to most of you guys because we all eat in different ways and for some of you the idea of eating a mostly vegan diet would never work but for me it has made me feel happier and healthier than ever before despite the fact that the number on the scale hasn’t changed.

However, there are somethings that I have learned that are relevant to everyone weather you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or neither. The best example of this I can give right now comes from one of the blogs I read called Oh She Glows (http://ohsheglows.com/). In her last post Angela talked about a quote from the book Eat Pray Love, which I haven’t read but after reading this quote I plan to. Hear is the quote:

“It was in a bathtub back in New York, reading Italian words aloud from a dictionary, that I first started mending my soul. My life had gone to bits and I was so unrecognizable to myself that I probably couldn’t have picked me out from a police line-up. But I felt a glimmer of happiness when I started studying Italian, and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt- this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.
I came to Italy pinched and thin. I did not know yet what I deserved. I still maybe don’t know fully what I deserve. But I do know that I have collected myself of late- through the enjoyment of harmless pleasures- into somebody more intact. The easiest, most fundamentally human way to say it is that I have put on weight. I exist more now than I did four months ago. I will leave Italy noticeably bigger than when I arrived here. And I will leave with the hope and the expansion of one person- the magnification of one life- is indeed an act of worth in this world. Even if that life, just this one time, happens to be nobody’s but my own.”

I really liked this quote and I thought that some of it was really important. At the end of her post Angela asked a few questions to her readers.

“Do you have any ‘glimmers of hope’ in your life right now? Have you ever experienced any small pleasurable activity that got you though a difficult time, like the blog did for me? Are there things in your life that you could do to create these small bits of happiness in your day?”

Here is my answer to some of those questions:

For me my “glimmers of happiness” are cooking and exercising. They may not be all that original but they make me happy. When I’m in the kitchen and I make something I cam totally from my head not a recipe. In the kitchen you follow your own rules, if you don’t lie cilantro you just leave it out, if you think some lemon juice would brighten up your dish you put it in. Its your dish, you kitchen, you stomach, and your tongue and that’s all that matters. And I love making something and then seeing the happiness it brings my mom (my only tester) when she eats it and cannot stop telling me how good it is!

Exercise is different but the same in many ways too. Its not always as joyful as cooking. Sometimes I’m hot, or tired, or I just feel lazy, but the fact that I normally still get myself up and go for my run or go to kickboxing despite how I am feeling makes me proud. And there is nothing like the feeling of an amazing workout. The kind that wipes away all the stress of whatever else happened that day or whatever could happen. When you feel like you could fly because your body feel powerful and strong. That feeling is definitely a feeling that nothing can replace. Or when you finish a particularly hard workout and are amazed at hoe much farther you pushed yourself than you even thought possible. Exercise has taught me so much about my body and myself and the confidence it has brought me is irreplaceable, and makes me so happy.

I think its really important that everyone do things that they love. Life is short and spending any of it miserable by choice seems wrong to me. So I have a few questions of my own for you guys.

Do you have things in your life that make you happy? Does whatever “diet” or “plan” you are “on” make you happy and bring joy to your life? Or do you dread working out and only do it because it burns calories? Do you love the food you eat and look forward to it? Does most of what you eat make you feel energized and healthy? Or do you eat what you what you eat because it is low in calories, while craving things you have decided you “can’t have?”

I really encourage anyone who has read this far into this post to think about the answers to those questions. And BE HONEST with yourself.

What motivates you do lose weight? Is is just so that you can look like the models in Seventeen magazine or wear a bikini? Or is it because you want to feel good about yourself and your body, like really bone deep good? It’s really easy to say well duh I want to feel good about my body and I’ll feel good when I can wear a bikini. But I can tell you that there is a difference!

I feel so good about my body right now, and I still would not wear a bikini. Sure when I look in the mirror I wish my stomach were flatter etc. but I also love my body and I am constantly impressed with how strong and powerful it is! I eat healthy and am trying to lose weight because I love my body not so that I can love my body. I want the way I feel on the inside to be reflected on the outside.

My weight loss journey so far has taught me so much about myself and about how to be healthy and happy. I am not proud that I once was 186 pounds and ate tons of carbs and fat and almost not veggies. Or that I never exercised. But I am grateful that it happened to me because losing the weight has made me a better person. I am stronger both mentally and physically than I ever have been before. I am going backpacking in Colorado for 12 days soon. I will have to carry all my clothes, food, and whatever else I need on my back. 2 years ago I would never have done something like that! I would not have been physically capable and I would not have had the confidence to believe I could!

I hope that one day all of you guys reach the same realizations I have come to. I can tell you that I am still learning more about my self everyday, and this is far from the end of my weight loss journey! You have to learn these things for your own though and I encourage all of you guys to stick with it! One of my favorite quotes is “Nothing worth having comes easily.” I cannot tell you guys how true that is and I am a living example of that.

If you actually read this whole blog thanks for reading this through and I hope this helps you in some way no matter how big or small.

Ok so there you go! That basically sums up this HUGE realization I came upon today! I promise a regular old post will also happen today but I needed to put this out there 🙂

Elli

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