At 9 months pregnant and plus 30 something pounds (sometimes 60 when holding my daughter), the extra weight about killed me. I had joint pain, fatigue, difficulty breathing, slept poorly, digestive issues, reflux, and struggled with basic actions like getting out of a chair or going up stairs. I felt self conscious, moody, and unmotivated. And it was miserable.
According to the CDC, 69% of adults and 18% of children are overweight or obese with rates rapidly increasing. Houston, we have a problem! This is exactly why we need to stop focusing on losing weight. It’s obviously not working.
When the goal is to ‘lose weight’, the majority get easily discouraged and quit once the scale doesn’t move southward. There are always new fad diets and weight loss products promising big results. If it worked for Jennifer Lopez, it definitely will work for me, right? Wrong. There’s no secret. There’s no mystery. The only successful way to lose and maintain a healthy weight is through healthy living.
Here are 6 ways to stop losing weight and start living healthy for long, lasting results.
1 ~ Stop trying to be skinny.
Say it with me now… “It’s not about being skinny! It’s about being healthy!” Can we move on from “the only reason to workout, eat healthy, drink so much water, etc. is to be thin” mentality?
Reaching a healthy weight and being fit are only added benefits from healthy living. When you choose to be healthy, you have more energy, sleep better, improved mental health, decrease in symptoms (headaches, joint pain, stomach issues/pain, fatigue, etc.), more confidence, healthier hair and skin, and have a more quality life. It’s about having health and energy to enjoy your children and grandchildren. Stop being programmed to think healthy choices are all about being skinny!
2 ~ Change your motivation.
Why are you wanting to lose weight? A wedding? Vacation? Because your doctor said so? These are horrible motivators. Your upcoming vacation will not push you off the couch to workout on those exhausting days. Being a bridesmaids won’t motivate you to give up Diet Coke. Doctor’s order will only make you feel like a defiant child who wants to rebel against a parent.
Dig deep. My motivation? My dad died when I was pregnant with my first child. He never saw me become a mother! He suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for 17 years. Although he couldn’t control many of his symptoms, I noticed he was more fatigued and had more pain when he didn’t eat right and neglected exercise. I not only want to see all my grandchildren born, but I want to be healthy and strong and enjoy every minute I have with them. My health and taking care of me is the greatest gift I can give to my husband and children.
This is motivation. Something deep and meaningful that will push you to make the best decisions for your health. So, what’s your motivation?
3 ~ Love your body.
We only have one. Why do we waste time hating it? Get healthy because you love your body not because you hate it.
I’m 4 months postpartum. With my daughter, I remember getting discouraged when I didn’t bounce back within 3 months after having her. In fact, it took me 10 months to return to my pre-pregnancy size. I found myself getting critical of my body despite all my healthy habits until I realized that I was holding on to extra weight in order to nurse my beautiful daughter. I’m not having those issues this time around. I love the gift of my body. It brought me two incredible children. It allows me to run and play and hold and care for them. It’s my job, and my job alone, to treat my body right because I’m grateful for all the things it can do.
4 ~ Stop making excuses.
I recently saw a meme which said, “I don’t have time is the adult version of the dog ate my homework.” Enough with excuses already. We’re all busy. We all have demanding responsibilities. However, we all have to eat and drink during the day. We all have to get from point A to point B each day. We all have to sleep. So… drink water instead of Diet Coke. Eat some fresh fruit or veggie instead of potato chips. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Go to bed early enough to get at least 7 hours of sleep at night. These things don’t take time! You do them every day anyway. Stop making excuses for unhealthy habits.
5 ~ Read ingredients on all prepackaged foods.
Did you know the U.S. has ingredients in foods that are outlawed in other countries? Such as the yellow dye in Krafts Mac and Cheese or brominated oil in Mountain Dew? These ingredients have shown to cause ADHD, migraines, and cancer!
It’s time to educate yourself on what you’re putting into your own body. Whenever you purchase prepackaged foods, turn them over and read the ingredients! If you can’t read or pronounce the long chemical-sounding name, then your stomach probably doesn’t know how to digest it.
6 ~ Embrace change.
The most empowering word in the dictionary is choice. We can choose to change. We can choose to be better at any moment. It doesn’t mean we’re bad. It means we respect ourselves enough to realize we can be a little better. On the other hand, pride prevents us from change and keeps us wallowing in unhealthy habits.
Is the 5 minutes of drinking a Diet Coke worth feeling sluggish the whole day? Is the 30 minutes on Facebook more valuable than the benefits of working out? Is staying up late every night worth the several negative side effects of sleep deprivation? You and I can choose a different path at any time.
Are you wanting to change and don’t know how? That’s why I host The Game-On Health Challenge and my 21 Day Mystery Health Challenge. Every round, I hear from excited challengers on how much they love the game. Yes, they do lose weight. However, the main praise comes from how great they feel! Sleep improves. Mental health improves. Physical strength improves. Unpleasant symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and stomach issues decrease.
We need to stop losing weight and get healthy. Do it for your spouse, children, grandchildren, but mostly make the change for you. You are worth it.