Long time readers (hello!) will know that I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my adult life, but especially after having my babies. The ‘baby weight’ is so hard to shift, isn’t it? The fact that my baby weight is almost a teenager is completely irrelevant.
Yeah, okay. It’s obvious that much questioning over the years led me to realise that it’s not my weight I struggle with at all. It’s my self-permissive attitude.
Once I realised that I was giving myself permission to perpetuate bad habits that led to unfulfilling outcomes, I set about breaking those habits. (You can read my 8-part guide to busting habits here.) One by one I removed the permission I gave myself to skip breakfast, eat processed foods, ignore fruit, drink diet coke (that was the hardest) and snack at night. Bam, bam, bam.
It’s been a year (and a bit) since I started and the result so far? I’m thinner than I was, but I don’t know by how much because I don’t weigh myself. I haven’t needed to buy new pants or anything exciting like that, but then again, I’m the queen of stretch-jersey so it might be a while. And that’s okay. The one thing I know is that I feel so much better. Even though I might not ‘stick with’ my better habits every single day (relapses are sadly common), the main thing is that I have a new normal: I no longer give myself permission to be fat.
What’s different about the ‘new normal’ is that when I slip into old bad habits, they don’t fit me half as well as they used to. In fact, unlike my slightly-roomy stretch-pants, my old ways feel tight and uncomfortable. So, I might go for a few days (or a couple of weeks) snacking at night again, but there’s such a strong pull to delete the behaviour that eventually I snap back to ‘normal’ and just have a herbal tea instead.
I think that’s a huge win. I’m such an ‘all or nothing’ person that previous incarnations of the ‘new me’ (and oh, over twenty years there have been so many, many ‘new Brons’), I would allow a single slip up to slide me back into my poor habits, seemingly forever. The old habits were my set point, not my new habits. The new habits felt like I was wearing somebody else’s clothes. These days, my new and improved habits are me.
Sadly this isn’t the nirvana of weight loss. Habit busting and reaping the rewards is very slooooow – after a whole year most people haven’t even noticed I’m smaller (for me) – but I haven’t actually been on a ‘diet’, rather one by one I’ve added something in or taken something away from my routine. I’ll just keep doing that and drip-drip-drip-drip-drip eventually it will be done, you know?
I know the slowness wouldn’t suit everybody, but having lost weight quickly in the past only to pile it back on again, I don’t mind slow. I don’t mind it at all.
Are you trying to change something about yourself?