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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”.
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.
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.
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.