Why I’m Not Trying to Lose Weight

Why I'm Not Trying to Lose Weight

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I know weight loss is kind of a heated subject. Especially this time of year when everyone is talking about their “beach bodies” or “summer bods”. People get very defensive about their diets, their workouts, and their weight loss. And that’s fine! I’m not here to tell you what you should do or attack your preferred lifestyle. That’s all up to you. I’m simply here to explain why I’m not trying to lose weight, even though I’m considered “plus sized”. Not Trying to Lose Weight

Why I’m Not Trying to Lose Weight

I spent years trying to get thinner. I was never someone who wanted to be super skinny, but I always wanted to be thinner. To be “in shape”. To be “healthy”. My freshman year of college I remember making a weight loss goal of being able to work out with just a sports bra and pants or shorts. I thought “if I’m thin enough, I’ll be comfortable with that!” So for a few months, I worked out and tried to watch what and how much I ate. It only lasted a few months.

My desire to lose weight never really came from a place of hating myself or my body, but just being unsatisfied. But even so, my efforts to lose weight never really stuck. While I didn’t gain the freshman fifteen, I did gain quite a bit of weight after my 21st birthday. But while I wasn’t excited about putting on some extra fat, it was honestly the least of my worries.

Around this same time, my health kind of took a dive. My bladder symptoms got quite a bit worse and I was officially diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC). I was given a quite length list of foods I would not be able to eat, which included things like citrus, soy, caffeine, and alcohol. After the initial shock of my newest restrictions, I thought, “well at least this will help me lose weight”. So I tried to use that as motivation to stick to my diet. I was super strict about the restrictions for a while. Except alcohol. I was newly 21 and wanted to enjoy myself a bit. But needless to say, I didn’t start feeling better. And I sure as heck didn’t lose weight. Not Trying to Lose Weight

Since then, I’ve gone through many phases of healthy eating and working out intensely, but nothing ever stuck. Nothing was ever sustainable. I restricted myself, pushed myself too hard, and got frustrated quickly. Why the heck hadn’t I lost 10 pounds in a week? It wasn’t fair.

So, I decided to stop trying to lose weight. I decided that wasn’t going to be my goal anymore. Because for me, trying to lose weight just isn’t sustainable or effective. It only lasts a couple months and I end up miserable. And chronic illnesses are enough to deal with without having to worry about macros.

What I’m Doing Instead

So while I’m not trying to lose weight, I am focusing on living a healthy life. Due to my IC and Fibromyalgia, I still have to be careful what I put in (and on) my body. This means eating lots of fruits and vegetables, complex carbs, healthy fats, and proteins. I try to avoid the artificial stuff, anything super acidic, and minimize my soy intake. I’ve even dabbled with going gluten free for a bit to see how I felt. Not Trying to Lose Weight

I also try to move my body when I feel up to it. I’m not going to put myself on a strict or intense workout regimen. Not only do I never stick to those, my body would NOT be okay with that. Some days I have a hard enough time just running errands let alone running on the treadmill. It’s important for me to remember that my body does not function as it once did, but that I can still move my body in ways that I enjoy and way that help me feel better. Sometimes this might mean working out at the gym and lifting weights. Other times it might mean walking on the beach with the dogs or fifteen minutes of restorative yoga in my bedroom.

The point it, I’m not trying to lose weight anymore. Losing weight is honestly the least of my worries. My goals now are a little more simple and fundamental. I want to feel as good as I can as often as I can. This means fueling my body with foods that serve me, but also not restricting myself from cookies if I want them. I’m moving my body in a way that helps me feel good, but I’m not overdoing it and burning myself out.

So, these are the reasons why I’m not trying to lose weight. I’ve had to retrain not only my body, but my brain as well, to function differently as a result of my illnesses. Being chronically ill has taught me so much about loving and respecting the body that I’m in, even if it’s not always functioning the way I want it to. And while my body is considered “plus sized”, I’m honestly not too worried about that. I’m going to continue to live a life focused on overall health and wellness regardless of how I look. And I’m excited to keep living that life. Not Trying to Lose Weight

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26 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Great post! – So refreshing to see a focus on being healthy and not on loosing weight like everyone else. I’m on the skinnier side and find it pretty much impossible to gain weight so it’s kind of lonely! I like your ideas on aiming to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying food and life.

    1. Thank you so much! I think when we prioritize our health and happiness, the weight will work itself out. I don’t think fixating on weight loss or weight gain is necessarily the healthiest thing and can lead to disordered eating. Instead, let’s focus on living healthy, nourishing, happy lives!

  2. Congrats on the healthy mind-set change Shannon <3 Love this post. You look healthy and happy and that is everything that matters! I've recently become vegetarian just for my own personal reasons and you can get so sick of others' judgments! Just keep doing you girl!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading. And our dietary habits and choices do not need to be judged by others, so keep doing you as well!

      1. Love the positivity this post evokes. Health is important. Eating healthy and working out is essential to life but losing weight and being “skinny” isn’t in that list!!

  3. What a great philosophy! I always tell people to focus on a healthy lifestyle, not trying to obtain the cookie cutter body! Be free and be happy. Love it.

    1. You totally get it! It’s about living and enjoying your best life! And yes, of course, being healthy is a big part of that. But being healthy doesn’t mean being a certain weight or size!

  4. Awesome post! I truly believe in living a healthy lifestyle rather than eating and living to lose weight – it’s just so draining to constantly be restricting yourself. I’d rather eat and do things I enjoy while still maintaining and making healthy choices.

    1. Exactly! It’s all about having a healthy balance. Fuel your body and treat it with respect, but focusing on being a certain size won’t bring you any happiness or fulfillment!

    1. thank you so much! I’m all about that balance, because what fun is life if all you do is obsess about being a certain weight?

    1. I’ve been told that as well. Like, yes obviously having a healthy diet helps, but there’s way more to it than shedding some pounds. Like I don’t know about you, but certain exercises people do to lose weight or some healthy foods people swear by for weight loss trigger flares for me! I’d much rather not trigger flares, thank you very much haha

  5. I can so relate with this. I try to eat healthy, do yoga for 20-25 minutes / day and then forget all about the ‘losing weight’ brouhaha. There are many things to do in life than to fulfilling everyone’s perception of a “perfect body”.

    Loving your refreshing take on self-love. I’m pinning it on my ‘self-improvement’ board.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’ve found that happiness and balance in your life! It’s way more enjoyable that trying to live up to the expectations of diet culture. Nobody’s got time for that!

  6. So kickass! I can completely relate with the desire to lose weight in college and the sports bra only goal as well! This is a refreshing take and I have been working on the self love to step away from the scale and that ugly number. Not ugly because the number itself but because of the unhealthy it has had on my mental state in the past (and present sometimes). My goal is similar to yours in a that as I step away from the scale, I hope to step towards a healthy lifestyle that will balance the scale on it’s own.


    1. Thank you so much for your openness! It’s hard sometimes to get away from that idea that we need to lose weight. But I think focusing on living a healthy life is the best way to take care of yourself. The weight will figure itself out! The number on the scale isn’t the whole story anyway. Just keep doing what makes you happy and healthy! You got this!

  7. I honestly just want to give you a massive high five for this. As a fellow chronic illness sufferer I read your comment about it being hard enough and was like yes!!! Thank you!! I am however, trying to lose weight now. But it’s because I’m now in a place where my latest condition (ME/CFS) is under control enough that I can. I tried battling both and it just doesn’t work.

    1. Girl you’re a badass. I’m so glad you got that under control enough that you can work on other goals! Funny enough, after I posted this I went to the rheumatologist and they weighed me and I had lost about 8 pounds in a month. That’s with just eating to take care of my body. I was like “woah that’s neat!” but even better is my fibro is under control enough that I’m able to start living my life a bit again. And it’s incredible.

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