Shifting your focus from weight loss to health

Hello readers!

Today I wanted to talk about one of my biggest internal battles and why it was so important and vital to my success that I shifted my mindset from weight loss to health.

I'm sure many of you are like me. From as long as I can remember, I was always insecure of my body. I remember walking with my mum and staring down at my "jiggling" thighs and asking my mum if my legs were fat. I was 10 years old and in hindsight my body was perfect.

We hear someone everyday saying they need to 'lose weight' or 'go on a diet' but rarely is anyone of them successful. If they are really disciplined then yes, they may be successful in the short term however the weight usually creeps back on when they return back to their usual eating habits. Generally, the more restrictive the diet, the quicker the weight returns. Unfortunately this tends to leave the person feeling as though they somehow failed and then the vicious dieting cycle starts all over again.

I was a habitual 'yo-yo' dieter. I would often have times of heavy restriction which would then result in heavy binge episodes. Each 'failure' would leave me feeling more angry and upset with myself because I wasn't strong or motivated enough like other women. When in reality, motivation and strength has nothing to do with weight loss. Food is neither good nor bad and you can't cheat. Food is food. Food provides our body with valuable nutrients. Yes, not all food is equal but once you shift your focus on eating for nutrition, it will change your life as it did mine.

Six weeks postpartum after the birth of my son, my blood cholesterol level was over 6. I was in shock. My grandfather passed suddenly of a heart attack when he was just 52 years old and so the thought that my eating could actually kill me really affected me. I knew that I wasn't eating as well as I could have been during my pregnancy (whole blocks of chocolate and did someone say Tim Tams?) and even though I knew I was overweight, I was only thinking about how I would lose the weight after I had my baby. I didn't once think of how my eating could actually affect my health and possibly have greater consequences on my beautiful new little family. From then on, I was determined to focus on my health.

In order to do this, I researched. I was already the queen of calorie counting but this time I chose to start slowly and focus on adding more to my diet, not taking anything away. I slowly reduced my servings of meat and chose cuts which were lower in fat, I switched to skim milk and low fat dairy, opted for wholemeal bread and pasta but most importantly, I chose to focus on adding more fruit and vegetables to my diet. I told myself I could eat unlimited amounts of vegetables and fruit and I would enjoy a piece of Lindt 85% dark chocolate each night. I wouldn't classify food as good or bad and I wouldn't ever say no to cake or dessert at a function. I chose to enjoy taking my kids for long walks in the pram rather than pushing myself into an intense exercise program. Not only did my health immediately improve but so did my waistline. Fast forward one year later and I'm the healthiest I have ever been, physically and mentally. I'm also thinner than I have ever been and for once in my life I'm not insecure or worried about my weight. I love my amazing body and I am determined to share my success with anyone who thinks their body is anything less than amazing.

So the moral of my story is to shift your focus. Focus on your health and weight loss will follow.

Love Yourself Always,
Samantha xo

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