Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Forgiveness & Weight Loss

I wanted to make a post about forgiveness because it is something that truly helped me throughout my weight loss journey. In fact, it is something that still helps me more than anything.

But, why forgiveness? Well... to put it lightly: because forgiveness is a fucking bitch. It is hard to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, or forgive those who have wronged us. I'm not talking about forgiving your husband for leaving dirty clothes beside the hamper instead of moving them one more foot into the hamper (but seriously, how annoying is that!?). I'm talking about finding the strength to forgive someone who has truly betrayed you. Maybe you were cheated on, maybe you were sexually or physically abused, or maybe a "friend" you had turned out to be not so great of a friend. There are many ways people can betray us, and it is easy to get consumed in that betrayal, thinking about what caused it: "was it something I did?", "how could they do that to me?", etc. I'm sure anyone who's reading this knows exactly what I mean.

One of my favorite quotes by my favorite author reads:

"Forgiveness doesn't sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up a hill."
- Cheryl Strayed

Why do I love this quote to my core? Because it is 100% true. If forgiveness was easy, we would all be able to move on from terrible events of betrayal in our lives with ease. But, forgiveness is not easy. That's why we continue to feel pain days, months, even years after the betrayal has occurred. Forgiveness takes work, it takes strength. It means having to ACCEPT what has happened, forgive, and move on- even if you never got an apology. True forgiveness is learning to accept the apology you never got.

It's one thing if someone wrongs us and they apologize, but what about those who never apologize for their betrayal? Learning to forgive that person... that my friends takes true strength and it will help you in life more than you could ever imagine.

So, how did forgiving those who betrayed me help me during my weight loss journey?

First and foremost, my head began to feel lighter. My mind finally began to feel more clear and more positive. That positivity led to me feeling much better about myself than I had prior, when I was constantly thinking "what did I do to deserve this?". Once I began to feel more positive in my day to day life, I started to fuel my body with exercise and clean eating. It is much more easy to make good choices for ourselves when we're feeling positive.

Secondly, I began to feel more confident in myself. This kind of piggy backed off the positivity, but I started to feel much more confident in my day to day life. I knew I didn't deserve to be betrayed, and I stopped blaming myself for it. I had to accept what happened and move on.

Lastly, I became more in control. One of the biggest things I did when I began my weight loss journey was cut out negative influences in my life which included those who had betrayed me. I don't mean I cut people out completely, although some I did, but I set up very strong boundaries with those who were bringing negative influences to my life. It was very difficult to do this at first, but over time became much easier. In time I realized I had absolutely no control over how people treated me, I could only control how I responded to it. So simply, if someone was bringing negative influence to my life, I would not tolerate it and I set up boundaries if I chose to continue the relationship.

Eliminating those negative, unhealthy influences gave me strength and more positivity. Taking control of my life and who I let in it gave me confidence. Strength, positivity, and confidence were SO helpful and essential for my weight loss journey. I felt more empowered and confident in myself that I could lose weight. I knew the reason I had gained so much weight was because I was always doubting my self worth. I didn't feed myself based on hunger, I fed myself based on how I was feeling or the events going on around me. I didn't exercise or meditate to relieve stress, I partied and binge drank to forget. When the feelings and events in our lives are mostly negative, it can be disastrous for your body.

It took me a long time to realize the power of forgiving others and myself in my weight loss journey. In fact, for a while I didn't even realize I was obsessing over negative thoughts and emotions. But once I did, I developed a strength and self love for myself that I have never known.

In Health & Happiness,