I don’t buy into the before and after images we see flooded on social media. They don’t give us the full picture. They don’t tell us what’s going on behind the scenes. The deep work doesn’t happen on the outside. It happens on the inside. That’s the work that makes it permanent.
I want to know about the change in your heart, and in your mind. I want to know if your chest still feels heavy, and tight. I want to know the weight of the thoughts swirling in your head, if they still keep you down, and if they still hold you back. That’s where it counts. I don’t care that you’re wearing a different size, or that your waist line has shrunk. Instead, tell me how you talk to your body. Let me know the thoughts you have about yourself. What do you say when it’s quiet, when nobody is around, and the camera is off?
Unfortunately, we can’t take a picture of these things.
Today, just for fun, I decided to try something different.
You see two pictures.
The one on the left is me in 2013. I had just lost 100 pounds.
The one on the right is me in 2018. I took this picture yesterday.
In the picture on the right, my physical body weighs 30 pounds more than the version of me on the left.
I'm going to share the difference in my mental weight.
Me in 2013:
Even after losing 100 pounds, I was still not comfortable in my skin. I was self-conscious. I was always worried what people were saying or thinking about me, and my body. I opted out of events because I hated the way I looked. I could never find anything to wear, because I thought I never looked good. I can remember sitting in my closet in tears. I can remember Garret and the kids going without me, because I looked like a fat pig in all of my clothes (my words). I spent thousands of dollars on clothes I hated to wear.
I had lost all that weight, but I still couldn't control myself around food. I still turned to food when I was stressed, sad, or mad. I numbed out on food, and alcohol. I stuffed my feelings. I had to hide food in the house. I had to lock food up in the house. I was still dieting. There were tons of restrictions. I was a closet eater. I would not eat in public. I binged when I got home.
I was stressed out. I was a workaholic.
I kept myself chained to a job I hated.
I was always tense. I was ready to snap.
I was not very happy.
It was all for a number. A salary, and a size.
I wasn't pretty enough.
I wasn't thin enough.
I wasn't smart enough.
I wasn't successful enough.
I wasn't good enough.
Sure, my clothes felt great. My jeans looked good. I had a killer “before and after”.
Did it matter?
I gained almost half of the weight back.
All the restricting in the world didn’t help. All the busting my ass in the gym didn’t matter. I didn’t address what was happening at my core. My soul was chained up.
Me in 2018:
I’m 30 pounds heavier. I’m showing up. I’m coming out of my shell. I’m volunteering in my community. I’m able to go to events at a moment’s notice. I throw clothes on without giving it much thought. I’m comfortable in my clothes. I’m comfortable with myself. I’m comfortable in my skin. There are no more closet tantrums. I like my clothes. I look good. I don’t use shopping to numb anymore.
I don’t use food to cope. I don't stuff my feelings. I don’t hide food in the house. I don’t have to lock food up. I will eat in public if I'm hungry. I don’t feel the need to eat if I'm not hungry. I listen to my body. I rarely drink alcohol. I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I don’t want to feel numb. I don't have to buffer, because I'm willing to feel – all of it.
I have created boundaries, and removed unnecessary pressure. Some people have left, and that's okay.
I love my job. I love my business. I love my clients. I love the flexibility in my life.
I get to be home with my kids’ after school. I’m making money. I’m helping people.
Everything I wanted is happening. I am so grateful.
I’m still working on myself, but I have lost so much of the mental weight - the anger, the stress, the "compare and despair".
I don’t carry the anxiety anymore. It’s gone.
I feel free.
The chains are gone.
I am learning that I am enough.
I have always been enough.
I know that now.
All of this is because of coaching.
All of this is because I am changing my thoughts about myself, about my body, and about my life.
All of this is because I have learned how to stay out of people’s business and what I think they’re thinking.