This is it. This is the post that I was hoping to say I hit my postpartum weight loss goals. My journey started in September when my doctor gave me clearance to start exercising again. I’ve been blogging about my weight loss journey in hopes to encourage you in your wellness journey--wherever that may be. While I haven’t hit my end goal yet, I certainly haven’t lost hope and I have made quite a bit of progress. If you have followed my story, I hope you’ve found it encouraging. I'm so grateful for this community we share to uplift and cheer each other on.
Here are my greatest takeaways from the last three months’ weight loss progress:
- Eat to nourish your body. The next time you eat or drink something, ask yourself, "is this simply providing fuel, or is this food/beverage nourishing the cells in my body." I make it a goal to eat a vegetable at every meal (except breakfast) and most snacks. It’s not always what I want, but I can tell you from experience it’s always what I need. And when I eat vegetables, I feel better, more energized, and more vibrant. The 95/5 guideline is good for me-- Not a hard fast rule, but a great reminder that 95% of my food should nourish my body, and the other 5% can come from healthy treats.
- Find your happy movement. Friend and inFIT instructor Amy Peterson calls it her soul movement. I’m referring to exercise that you actually enjoy doing! I attended Amy’s 9th annual Turkey Turbokick class on Thanksgiving morning. She was on FIRE!!! Her energy was so contagious that I was able to work though my sleep-deprived self (life with an infant) to enjoy the class and have an awesome workout. I didn’t push myself as hard as I might have in the past, given having infant at home, but I felt really GOOD getting the exercise in. I even had energy the next day to get on the elliptical for 30 minutes, which is NOT my happy movement, but I was happy to keep the exercise habit going!!
- Give yourself grace & mercy. We live in the real world. Perfection should not be the end goal. Rather, consistently make choices and baby steps that lead to healthier habits. Didn’t exercise yesterday? Okay, that doesn’t have any bearing on today! Each day is a new day. When you mess up or forget or you just don’t feel like being healthier, embrace that, then get out of your own way and move on! I often make a situation much worse by wallowing. When I move on quickly from a set-back, I’m able to give myself grace and step into a healthier habit. It often helps to talk through difficult health seasons with another person. Love this verse from Lamentations that reminds me that God gives me new mercies each day. I need to extend the same grace and mercy to myself:
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (3:22-23).
4. Go at it with a friend (or two or three). Don’t go on your journey alone. Life is so much more enjoyable when we live it with loved ones. We were designed for community. Our wellness journey is no different. Ask your regular coffee date to go on a walk with you instead. Do happy hour at the gym –take note of the endorphins (happy chemicals) that flow through your brain and body after a good workout or healthy meal. Make meals together—get the friends or family involved in the cooking (and cleanup!). Be intentional about sharing your healthy lifestyle with others.
5. Talk with God. Daily invite God into the conversation about your health. Sometimes I’m afraid to pray because I think God is going to ask me to do something I don’t want to or that he’ll lead me somewhere I don’t want to go. More often than not, God speaks to my heart so gently and full of truth that I wish I would have prayed about the matter sooner. I believe God wants us to live abundantly, and he’ll give us the wisdom and everything we need to live our healthiest lives.
Friends, I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m on a path toward that goal. My prayer is that you’ll step on to the path with me. Wherever you’re at. If you’re breathing, it’s not too late to make new habits. It’s never too late to feel better.
One last thing... I wanted to remind you on one simple truth I shared in my first post of this series: your worth is rooted in your identity in God, not in the number on the scale.
Despite the number on the scale or the pile of clothes staring at me from the closet, I feel pretty amazing knowing my worth does not come from those numbers or sizes. My worth is found in my identity as God’s child. I am mindful about eating and exercising because I want to honor God with my choices—the benefit of feeling so much better is just a bonus.
All of these weight loss and healthy living themes are found in my book, Living Wellness for Growth Groups. If you’re looking for some motivation and accountability on your journey, I encourage you to invest in your health and pick up your own copy. I wrote the book for you.
May you be blessed this holiday season!
© 2017 Living Wellness, LLC Revolutionizing health, one community at a time.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.