Hi everyone! It’s been a minute since I last wrote a blog post, and the reason is that a lot has happened in my life since then, including losing 30kg (66lb).
When I talk to friends about this weight loss journey, they are obviously very curious about the practical side of it, like what is my workout routine, what I eat, etc. And whilst this is a VERY important part of this journey, in my opinion, it is not the MOST important part.
So today I want to talk about what I believe to be the most important side of this journey, and I will leave the practical stuff for a future post. Also, I am not a nutritionist or a specialist in any of these things, I just did a lot of research and googled a lot of information…
So I want to start by talking about the motivation, the mental state and headspace I had to get into to make this happen.
I would be lying if I told you that my physical appearance had nothing to do with it. And whilst I am a firm believer that everyone is beautiful, and that beauty does come in all shapes in sizes, I reached a point where I was just unsatisfied with my appearance and I did not recognise myself in the mirror.
But I would also be lying if I told you that this is what gave me the strength to start (and maintain) a healthier lifestyle. The truth is that I had felt this way many times before and had started countless diets before, only to quit a couple of weeks later.
What I realised it’s that it couldn’t be about what I saw in the mirror, or about looking good for pictures or the judgment of others. My motivation had to come from a place of self-love!
And lately, I have heard a lot of people talk about self-love and if you don’t fully understand it you might be sick of it or think it’s meaningless. But in order to understand my journey, you will need to understand how important self-love really is.
And I need to reiterate that if you are in the situation of wanting to lose weight too, I’m not saying that it is because you don’t have enough self-love, or that everyone with self-love is skinny…it’s not that at all.
What I’m trying to say is that for me (and I’m talking for myself only), every time I chose to be lazy and not go for that walk or do anything active, every time I chose to eat greasy food or something packed with sugar instead of a clean nutritious meal, I wasn’t loving myself, I wasn’t respecting my body.
I used to tell myself things like this a lot: I deserve this treat, I’ve been working so hard. And I kept indulging in things that weren’t good for me and finding a way to justify it as an act of self-love when it was exactly the opposite.
What kept me going
Dieting for 6 months is hard!! Especially at a social level. I love going out to restaurants, or inviting friends over for meals, etc..
As a Portuguese person, being social is very much hand in hand with food – and lots of it!
For this reason, I found myself avoiding certain situations, which was probably harder than restricting myself from certain foods.
Eventually, I found myself being creative, I started inviting friends for walks, for healthy meals at home, etc. And I was surprised to see how easy it was to engage people in these activities!
Surrounding yourself with the right kind of people is not only important in this situation, but in life! Make sure to be around people that support you, cheer you up, and work with you and not against you.
So that was the social aspect of it, but this wasn’t enough. What also kept me going wasn’t the numbers on the scale or on the tag of my new clothes (although this is also very helpful). What kept me going was how I felt physically and mentally.
Making healthy choices for a long period of time not only made my physical body feel better but also my mind. I felt lighter, faster, happier, saner, and all that good stuff.
I got to the point that even if I was really craving something packed of sugar, I wouldn’t do it not because I could gain weight, but because I understood the direct effect it had on my well-being.
When you truly love yourself, you start making better choices, because you get addicted to feeling good and you don’t want to give that up.
I knew that in order to be successful in this journey, I had to be strong and focused. For that, I needed I healthy mind.
Our minds play many tricks on us, and I always felt like a victim of mine. I have always let myself be manipulated by my own emotions, my thoughts, and would create stories in my mind that would serve as reasons to make the choices I was making.
For this reason, creating a routine of meditation and affirmations was incredibly helpful. In the future, I will make a more in-depth post about meditation and affirmations, but the truth is that both of these things empowered me.
Through meditating I came out of my constant state of anxiety, allowing me to feel calmer, more in tune with myself, and more aware of my thought patterns.
Affirmations helped condition my own mind in the opposite direction than it was before. I used to believe that I was too lazy to work out, that I couldn’t take any pleasure from exercising, that I am a sweet tooth, that being bigger is who I am, etc.. All these beliefs made me exactly that. So, my daily affirmations helped me tear down those beliefs and create new ones.
I have actually created my own guided meditation for weight loss & overall health, check it out here: https://anamartins.blog/product/guided-meditation-for-weight-loss-overall-health-30-minutes/
Something bigger than me
Along this journey, I also realised that what I was hoping for was not a specific body type or anything that was only centred on my physical body. Everything started to interconnect in my mind creating a bigger picture.
I decided that I was going to become a better version of myself as that is the most important thing I can also do for others, for the world.
I don’t know just how well I will be able to explain this but I will try my best…
If each one of us works on ourselves, on our physical health, our minds, our behaviours, our attitudes, if each one of us become the best version of ourselves, we will be on the path of improving the world, humanity, everything.
This is getting deep, but for me thinking this way really worked. To better the world we all just need to better ourselves, right?
So, for me, this journey was not just about a weight loss journey. It was a journey of becoming healthier, happier and loving myself and others.
Let me give you a practical example of how it all interconnected in my mind:
I have also stopped eating meat, at first thinking only of health reasons, but then also because I respect animals and the environment (the meat industry is one of the most pollutive industries there is), so what I was doing for me, I was also doing for something bigger.
Now, before you accuse me of trying to convince you to stop eating meat or do what I did, this is not what I’m suggesting at all. I’m just trying to explain that committing to bettering myself and understanding that the world is just a reflexion of all of us, as much as we are a reflection of the world, really really helped me much more with having the strength to make right choices than just looking better in a fitted dress. And you can also find your own way to do this!
First of all, if you got so far on this post, thank you! I hope this is making sense.
The message that I’m trying to send is that it is ok to accept yourself just as you are physically but it is also ok to try to change your physical appearance if you want to, it is all about how you feel and loving yourself truly!
But if like me, you get to the conclusion that you need to change, do it from the inside out.
If the external motivation of simply looking better in certain clothes is enough for you to achieve your goals, that is amazing! But if you struggle with that like I did, then look inside you and ask yourself: Do I love myself? Am I making the right choices for me? Am I the best version of myself? What is my true motivation?
I hope you all enjoyed this post and it has helped you somehow. And please stay tuned for future posts regarding the more practical side of this weight loss journey!
Other posts you might like to read:
How I lost 30Kg (66 pounds) in 6 months – Part 2
5 things I have learned from Meditation
Mindfulness Practices: How to be more mindful and why?