When I talk with people about my transition to a real food lifestyle I am typically asked the same initial question, “How much weight did you lose?”. My answer usually shocks everyone because the answer is a big fat ZERO! I lost no weight. None, nada, zilch! I actually gained about 5 pounds. Of course I have to expand on that answer, because our society is hyper focused on weight loss. I am obviously a huge embarrassing failure, right? This whole real food, Paleo way of life is a crock! Don’t you know skinny equates to happiness and sometimes even health? The number on the scale has become our identity. It has catapulted us into a vicious cycle of depression, dieting, disappointment and devouring everything in sight when we realize that diet cannot provide all it has promised.
Trust me, I get it. I was that person with a forever-diet mentality. I hated my body for what it wasn’t. I always wanted to look like someone else. I wanted to be the girl I saw in the magazine. The actress I saw on TV or the author /blogger I followed. I wanted to be someone else. I wanted to be anything but me. I never wanted to be a better version of myself. I couldn’t even picture that. I never stopped to think what a healthier version of me would actually feel like. I just wanted to lose weight. But I lost no weight and started lifting weights instead. I lost no weight, but dropped two dress sizes in the process. I lost no weight but a new perspective on the scale was created. I lost NO weight but gained so much more in return.
Everyone has a similar perspective on weight loss. It is just that, a loss. I want to lose 20 pounds by summer. I want to lose my double chin. I want to lose this extra wobble under my arm. I want to lose my saddle bags. I want to lose this cellulite. Once that loss has occured I can finally be happy right? No one ever stops to think of the possibility of what you might gain if you stopped focusing on what you must lose.
Diets require deprivation. They do require a loss. You have to give up so much in order to MAYBE achieve what you thought you wanted. Switching to a whole food, nutrient-dense diet completely flips the diet paradigm. We start to think about what we might gain. I can gain the ability to walk around the block without wheezing. I can gain the ability to play with my children on the floor and be able to get up on my own. I can gain the ability to lift heavy weights, something I never thought possible. I can gain proper digestion, hormone balance and a healthy relationship with food. I can gain years to my life. I can gain enough confidence to walk around with my head held high, no matter what the scale says. This whole perspective is about the numerous gains we can make if we just stopped thinking about what we want to lose.
Shifting my perspective from loss focused to gains didn’t happen overnight. I had several battles with myself anytime I wanted to step foot on the scale. But I have to remind myself that the number means nothing. What matters most are the gains I make on a daily basis. Every time I pick up a barbell and know it is heavier than the time before I am reminded that what I am doing works for me.
What would you like to gain this week? I am working on a heavier strict press. Upper body is my weak area, but it just keeps getting better!
To a nourished life,