I was compelled to write this post today because I feel really strongly about loving yourself at every stage of your weight loss journey.
It kind of all stemmed from this photograph so I’m posting it here for context. I don’t want this post to come across as self-indulgent because that’s exactly the opposite of what I want to do. I’m writing this to hopefully help people.
I feel happy when I see this photograph.
I see a lot of things. I see bare feet which reminds me of that beautiful feeling of walking barefoot on dry Irish grass. I see my arms and think about the fact that I haven’t been able to have my arms out for months due to the weather. It was a beautiful sunny day. I see short hair and at the time I loved how low maintenance it was. I see a cleavage (scarlet). I see a picnic blanket and remember the glorious feeling of packing a little bag of food for a day out like this. I remember how delicious the food was. Myself and my friend bought our sandwiches in the cafe at the park but we had snacky things for ourselves and the kids. I remember the little muffins my friend made for the kids. I think of my friend. At this stage we had been friends for about eight months and I knew how special the relationship was already. We spent so much time together with the babies and we would literally talk about everything. We had really similar personalities and views on things and the friendship was (and still is) so… easy. I see my beautiful baby boy Billy. The epitome of everything good in the world. My actual universe and the little man who made me feel complete. I see my husband because I remember sending him a photograph of our picnic while he was at work. In fact, I think I sent this exact photograph once my friend had sent it to me. I loved that she took this photo because I’m so accustomed to being the photo taker for everyone else in my life. I don’t have too many natural ones like this. I can hear my laugh when I see this photo. I see smiles and I see happiness.
I was about sixteen stone in this photograph but that is completely and utterly irrelevant. It’s besides the point. Perhaps on another day I would use this photo for a before and after collage? I just don’t know. I’m at my largest weight but I just see nothing but good vibes and good times. It’s a really happy memory and it was a really happy time.
If you are starting your weight loss journey and find yourself feeling disgusted by your appearance right now then I am writing this for you.
You cannot decide that when you get to your target weight you will start living. You cannot put your life on hold until a time comes where a number on the scales dictates that you are worthy of living. Life waits for nobody. Every single hour and minute on this planet is precious and you cannot hibernate in a state of pending happiness purely because of your appearance, size or the amount you weigh. I especially mean this if you have children. Imagine getting to your target weight and having no photographs or happy memories from the previous couple of months or years? It’s bleak.
I always tell my members that one of the most important ingredients for success, when it comes to weight loss, is loving yourself NOW. If you do not love yourself now then you will not be kind to yourself. If you are not kind to yourself then you will not enjoy the process of eating healthier, being more active and losing weight. You just won’t. You will quickly slip back in to the self sabotage, punishment and addiction that may have brought you to this place.
You are a wonderful person. You are a person that has a beautiful heart, soul and energy. You are NOT defined by your current weight or size nor will you be defined by the number you strive to achieve as your target or goal weight. The essence of you and the PERSON that you are will remain the same. Sure, he or she will feel more confident and YES in many many ways life will feel easier, brighter and better. But it’s still you. You will not delete the memories, relationships and good times that the “before” you acquired and spent so many years nurturing, building and working towards.
I was overweight for the full five years that I worked at The Olympia Theatre and they were some of the happiest years of my life. I was stones overweight when I met Peter, my wonderful husband, and he adored me. I was overweight when I conceived and birthed my beautiful son Billy. I was overweight when I did my Masters, partook in plays and musicals and bloody met Mohaamed Ali.
Being overweight does not automatically equate to unhappiness. Unhappiness equates to unhappiness. Being overweight can bring a lot of heartache but it does not mean that life is dreary and grey. Life is a gift.
I heard a lovely quote recently and it talked about how losing weight was not about becoming a new person. Instead, it’s about peeling back the layers that were never supposed to be there in the first place. Layers. Layers of weight. Physical mass. It’s not about peeling back the layers of the person you are.
Losing weight will bring so many positives to your life. It’s changed mine infinitely. I say yes more often. I step out of my comfort zone regularly and I have a huge amount of confidence that I didn’t previously possess. Not to mention fashion. I used to wear leggings and long tops and now I enjoy wearing a whole new arena of clothes. I love make-up and getting my nails done and I take more pride in my appearance in a lot of ways.
But I’m still me. I’m Tracey. I’m kind to a fault and unbearably anxious huge amounts of the time. I’m a big sister and a doting mother. I’m a dreamer and a writer and I hate sad songs. I’m a hopeless romantic and I cry at the drop of a hat. I’m a home bird and not even remotely spontaneous. I like those things about myself. I’m a people person and a people pleaser all in one. I’m a talker and always have to remember to listen better. I’ve champagne ideas and lemonade money. I’m not very patient and want things done yesterday rather than things done properly. I’m a fan of anything cozy and hate movies that involve drugs, guns or anything remotely sad or violent. I’m addicted to my phone and the feeling of doing good for people. I take sugar in my coffee and still refer to half time at a football match as an “interval”. I’m 28 almost 29 and for the love of God I’m Tracey.
Love yourself NOW. Life your life NOW. Because that is where the magic happens. Create your happiness in the present moment and enjoy your weight loss journey infinitely more. You will enjoy it. You will succeed and you will live this precious life you’ve been gifted.