Whenever I blog about something I always talk about something I have experienced personally. Doing what I do, I come across people every day working on changing their lifestyles. I see the struggles, I see the joy, the hardships and everything in between. I get a lot of people that don't feel like they're doing it right. I was there too. When I started my lifestyle change a few years back it felt wrong. I didn't feel like I was doing anything correct. I was getting help for my eating disorder and had to completely change the way I thought. Instead of focusing on losing weight I had to focus on getting healthy. Instead of making it to the gym everyday I had to do things that relaxed me and helped me find peace. I had to learn how to take every negative thought I had about myself and turn it to a positive one. Diets, fat burners and restrictions had to go and balance, new foods and being vulnerable was the new way of life. I have been there. Having to change the way you live and the habits that you've had for most of your life is hard. It is a tough thing to do.
We are brainwashed to think that diets work. We are raised to believe that fat burners, restricting and hours of cardio is what makes people get to their desired size. We try diet after diet in hopes that "this one is different". I just recently went into a local nutrition store here in town. The gentleman in front of me was trying to put on some muscle and he was buying some sort of pill. The guy working the register said "awesome man, you should definitely start seeing some results in the next 3 days". It made me so sad. I remember when I would do just about anything to get "skinny". To reach what I thought were my goals. I would be miserable and feel terrible taking all types of diet pills and restricting food just to have all my hard work go to waste when I would binge 3 days later. You don't get results overnight. You don't get results doing it the "fast" way. There are no shortcuts. I learned all of this through my years of recovery. I have never seen a diet that worked. I've never purchased a fat burner that changed me into a new person. I've never purchased an expensive meal plan full of brown rice and talapia that morphed me into a bikini model. I will tell you what did work though. Taking my time. Not putting a time limit on this change. Being uncomfortable. Messing up. Learning to love myself.
I am at a very happy place in my life right now, mentally and physically. I never thought it was possible to like the way I looked. I never thought it was possible to enjoy food and have a healthy relationship with it. I meet women everyday that are where I was, they are sad because they are doing this lifestyle change and aren't allowed to eat good food anymore. They're sad because their doctor told them they have to lose weight and be more active. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SAD! If I was able to learn how to enjoy food, live balanced, be active and like myself, ANYONE can do it. I thought I would share some stuff that I learned a long my journey in hopes that it will help someone with theirs.
SLOW & STEADY
I mentioned this above. Do not put a time limit on this stuff. Don't say I am going to lose 5 lbs by next week. Don't say I will start Monday and have 1 month to reach my goal. This is a lifestyle. It is a forever type of thing. Goal setting is great. Instead of time limits set a goal to run a marathon. Set a goal to be active 5 days a week. Set a goal to cook dinner at home more days than eating out. Do not put a time limit on this stuff.
PERFECTION IS NOT REAL
I learned very quickly that I was a perfectionist. I thought when I was recovered would be when I wouldn't eat any sweets again. I would eat perfect, I would workout everyday and I would lose 10 more pounds! It was far from the truth. Perfection is not a thing. My lifestyle changed when I ALLOWED myself to be imperfect. The real change came when I didn't beat myself up for missing workouts. The real change came when I knew I could eat sweets and foods that use to be 'off limits' and I could trust my body to handle it. Lifestyle change comes when we allow ourselves to be human and beautifully imperfect.
IT IS NEVER A STRAIGHT LINE
Isn't it exciting when we first start on this journey? We think we are making a lifestyle change and it is going to be point A to point B. One of the biggest turning points in my lifestyle change was when I let myself be vulnerable. When I realized I could make a mistake ( or a lot of them) and I didn't have to start all the way from the beginning. When I realized these mistakes were part of the journey it became a lot less stressful. It is never an easy straight line. There will be obstacles, tears, twists, turns , triumphs and everything in between. But every thing is a lesson. Looking back my biggest moments of change came when I was uncomfortable. When I felt like I was doing something wrong. It came when I thought I was messing up. But please, I urge you, don't overlook those little victories. When good times come and you realize you just did something you use to not be able to do... You celebrate that shit out of that and be proud of yourself.
Everyone's journey is different, but at the same time we all have a lot of similar moments. I am always here to help direct, listen, vent or kick-box your frustrations away. Stay strong and know that if your uncomfortable, your probably doing it right!
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more