Over the past few months I’ve been asked numerous times about how I managed to lose so much weight. What did I do to lose it all and gain so much confidence? Let me start out by saying that your weight does not equate to confidence. The number on the scale does not control your ability to love yourself. No matter how much you tell yourself you’ll be more confident once you lose X amount of pounds, it doesn’t always make it true. Confidence does not come from a number; rather confidence comes from within you. Confidence comes from loving yourself unapologetically and whole-heartedly regardless of how much you weigh.
While the girl on the left was not at all confident in herself or her abilities, the girl on the right has rebuilt and reshaped her confidence and loves herself more than ever. However, this has not been an easy journey. I’ve had several ups and even more downs. But deciding to love myself has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I have never really had much confidence in myself. Like at all. I never really thought I was pretty or that I was any good at any thing. I would beat myself up over every little thing that I did. I was never comfortable with myself or my body and it showed. Throughout my high school career, my weight would fluctuate a lot. I’d go through phases of trying to workout and lose weight and restricting myself on my caloric intake in an attempt to lose weight. I would tell myself if I could just lose X amount of pounds, then I will feel so much more confident in myself. The problem though was that no matter how much weight I would lose, I never began to feel better about myself so I would just gain it all back.
Then college happened.
My freshman year at WVU I started dating this boy who didn’t exactly help much with my confidence levels, but he did help kick-start my journey. I would see the way he would look at all of these girls who were really in shape and a lot skinnier than I was, and it would make me feel like crap. I wanted him to look at me the same way he looked at them.
I started going to the gym and working out. I started to watch what I ate. I started to lose weight, but I also began to not like myself more and more. You see, I was so focused on trying to look a certain way for him that I lost myself even more.
It wasn’t until we broke up that I started to change the way I viewed myself. I decided that I was done battling myself and that I was going to start loving myself and be more confident. And that’s a lot easier said than done.
I changed my mindset from “I have to lose weight so that he will find me more attractive and so that I will be more confident” to “I’m already attractive the way I am. I don’t need to lose weight for anyone. I am confident in myself and my abilities. However, I WANT to lose weight so that I FEEL healthier.”
I stopped putting myself down so much and being mean to myself. I stopped letting my insecurities get the best of me, and I started to learn how to love myself the way I am.
None of this happened overnight. I didn’t just wake up one morning and all of a sudden I’m the most confident person in the world and I love myself so much. No. It’s taken me 21 years to learn to love myself, and I’d be lying if I told you that I feel 100% confident everyday. It’s something that I am constantly working on, but it’s getting easier and easier.
As far as how I lost the weight and have kept it off, I started listening to my body and treating it with respect. I cut out processed foods and started to make my own meals. I’m not going to lie and say that I never eat certain foods. I still eat candy from time to time and I love fries, but I eat with balance. 80% of the foods that I eat are whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and grains. The other 20% is whatever I feel like eating. I don’t limit myself or tell myself I can’t eat certain things. I eat when I’m hungry and I stop when I’m full. I learned that once you start to treat you’re body like you respect it and eat the foods that nourish it, your body will recognize that and will begin to reflect that love and respect.
While I plan on talking a bit more in detail about my weight loss journey and what I eat in another post, I felt like this needed to be said first. Self love is often over looked and forgotten about when people start trying to lose weight. They get caught up and focused on the number on the scale that they tend to lose themselves. Your mental health should always come first. Love yourself and start treating your body with love and respect, and it will return the favor. It’s worth it, I promise.