Last year I did a 12 week fat loss challenge. The results were amazing, but it was far from sustainable.
At the outset, I thought that once I was more lean I would be more loved, and be enough as a person. I had imagined that once the programme was over, I would be happy, all my self esteem problems would go away and I would be treated with all the respect in the world.
On the last day of my programme, I remember looking in the mirror and thinking: I look completely different, almost like a stranger, but I still felt exactly the same on the inside.
Once the programme ended, I didn’t want to count macros or step a foot in the gym. I was hungry and exhausted. I ate a lot of pizza and pasta (and god did it taste so good!). I put a lot of the weight back on (no surprise) and slowly started to regain energy and feel like myself again.
Once that happened, I began a personal development journey, and somehow stumbled upon hula hooping too.
You know how that journey ends – I fell in love with my body and accepted who I was, from the inside out. Super cheesy, but it’s the truth.
I realised that my body was beautiful the way it was. I adored watching it move and what it did. I was enough and accepted who I was. I realised that for the people who truly love me for who I am, they just want me to be happy – and what that looks like is completely up to me.
So based on that body love, it may come as a surprise that I’m doing another fat loss programme.
But this time around, things are very different.
- I’m doing it for myself with no expectations that I will be more as a person if I am leaner. I don’t expect that any of my family or true friends will love me more because I am leaner.
- I’m keeping an observational diary to see what effect, if any, lifting weights regularly has on my hooping.
- I realise just how slow the fat loss process is if you want to do it sustainable. It’s unreasonable to think that you’ll get your dream body in 1, 3 or even 6 months. Its going to take many months, and I’m quite okay with that.
- My overall macros are a lot less aggressive. I’m focussing on high protein foods but also including lots of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. I’m continuing to mostly avoid dairy and gluten because they don’t do well for my digestion and skin. Since I enjoy cooking and baking, I’m making some macro-friendly treats occasionally too 🙂
- I’m definitely keeping track of the numbers but not being weighed down if there are fluctuations (no pun intended!). There are no panic attacks happening when I see a number on the scale that doesn’t make sense when I know that I’m doing everything else right.
- I have a reasonable goal in mind. Last year, both my coaches repeatedly asked me what my goal was and how lean I wanted to get. I honestly had no idea so I picked the arbitrary number of getting to 20% body fat. In my head, that seemed a reasonable goal, and even worse I thought that it was somehow reasonable to lose 15% body fat in 12 weeks. This time around I’m in no rush and want to get to around 22% body fat, but only because I liked how my body looked at that level of lean-ness.
- This time around, I have hula hooping. For me, that gives me so much joy and flow. Its something I can turn to when I want to feel happy, or if I am feeling stressed or if I just want to do some low key and fun movement.
- My coach is someone brand new which is both exciting and scary. He’s an online fitness coach, so I really had to take a chance and trust that he was going to be a good fit. But 2 weeks in, I can tell that he is talented, genuine and has my best interests at heart.
All of this sounds lovely – but probably raises one question.
If you love and accept yourself exactly as you are, why would you want to do a programme like this?
Thats a very good question. I could be the same size forever and be okay with how I was. It wouldn’t make me less of a person and I would be fine. There would be nothing stopping me from doing all the things I loved and wanted to achieve . But the thing is, its because I love myself that I want to show up and be the best version of myself. I want to take care of myself, my body and get really strong.
My body has done so much for me. It’s time I prioritise it, and give it the best that I can. My body has taken me through so many things, without complaint and just keeps going. Whether its been late nights in New York, those callouses from hula hooping or sitting for hours in a desk job – it just keeps going and so to do this kind of programme is only the right thing to do.