This lead me to thinking that it just wasn’t possible for me to reach the point where my body naturally settled at a number on the scale that would make me happy and healthy, and, most importantly, not thinking about it all the time. So, is there really a happy weight? Does it exist? Can you reach it and stay there? Finally, after much angst over the darn scale, thinking about this whole concept, trial and error AND more MINDFUL eathing and much less MINDLESS eating, I have realized there really is such a thing as a Happy Weight. And the scale has nothing to do with it! I haven’t gotten on a scale in over a month so I have no idea what the number is. However, my clothes fit great and I’m wearing things I woudn’t six months ago, and I don’t have a constant nagging thought about what my weight is or isn’t. I am also exercising a little less than is my normal (sometimes too much) routine.
All this came about this morning following a conversation with a couple of women following my bootcamp class. The issue of body fat and weight came up and the fact that, at a certain age (40 plus seems to be the magic number. Don’t shoot the messenger!) it is all about diet and less about exercise if you are trying to lose weight or change your body. Lately, I have cleaned up my diet, without feeling deprived, and have dropped a couple of pesky pounds. I teach my classes four times a week but, right now, because of time constraints and a nagging injury, do not do any other exercise. I am very fortunate to have exercise as part of my work to help me fit it in and I am a huge believer that we all need the exercise for our well-being. However, I have been known to do much more exercise, but still struggle with finding a Happy Weight. I think that is because I thought “I work out so I can eat more” or because I just ate less mindfully. Talking with these other women, the same rang true for them. They were exercising regularly, but not excessively, and had dropped the unwanted pounds that had creeped up after hitting the magic number.
So, if you think you just can’t find your own Happy Weight, I want to share with you the number one tip I found to be true. (I hope to save you all the wasted time and effort I spent worrying about this!) Your best bet is to think in terms of health and happiness, not numbers. Forget about the “magic” number on the scale. I realized that I likely wasn’t going to reach my highschool weight, my wedding day weight or my pre-three babies weight. Just think about the time that you felt your healthiest, when you were eating well without starving yourself.
You have to find that weight that your body naturally finds when you are being healthy and balanced. You should be able to keep this weight without starving yourself or exercising obsessively. Your body should be able to function properly and have the energy you need. That all sounds well and good, but how to get there? Again, through trial and error, here is what worked for me. Maybe one or all can help you.
Overcome your battle with food. If you are an emotional eater, have eating issues of your own, or struggles with food it will be difficult for you to reach this happy place. These are hard issues which can bring on terrible cycles of starving, binge eating, obsessive exercising, to name a few, and will keep you from being healthy and fit. Overcoming these issues will be a journey, but will also lead to a happy, healthy you.
Learn what works best for your body. It took me a bit of trial and error to figure out which foods fueled me best or left me lethargic. It does not have to be about counting calories, eating low fat or low carb, or following the latest diet trend. We are all different and our bodies respond differently. There is likely room for all foods in your diet, but you will have to see what works for you. One of the best ways to help keep track is by keeping a food journal. You can really see what your are eating, how much, and learn what works for you to feel and perform your best. Personally, I have found that if I am mindful about what I am eating and when, it all balances out. I fuel at breakfast and eat lunch. Normally, dinner is smaller unless I am going out, then it is more of a treat. I try to eat a good balance of protein, produce and fruits. Breads and pastas make me feel lethargic and bloated. Water is my daily drink of choice. This seems to work best for me. I try to eat healthy and balanced 90% of the time and enjoy what I want the other 10%. Those are all good things that can be part of your diet as long as you know what works for you and makes you feel the best each day. Life is about living and enjoying, so enjoying food is part of life! You are going to have dessert and a glass or two of wine.
Try to move every day. Even if it not a scheduled workout, stand rather than sit, fidget, walk, and stay active throughout the day. Try to get regular exercise and workouts into your schedule. Finding things you enjoy take the work out of it! I am fortunate because I love to exercise. It’s a weird thing in my genes, my brother always said. He hated the stuff! Again, it may take trial and error and finding a “fitness” friend to find what you enjoy and will keep you motivated.
Our bodies are amazing things. God knew what He was doing when He created us. Your body will know when it feels energized, fit and strong, and it will not be about a number on the scale. If we treat our body right it will be Happy.
Have you looked for that happy weight? What works for you?
Hope you are having an Amazing Week!