So you're a parent who's thinking about losing weight...Read Up!
First things first...I am a mom who lost weight in the past year. Quite a bit. I can't say it was baby weight, only some of it was. I'm glad I did it.
But I have some complicated feelings about it. I'm obviously happy that I set a personal goal and met it. But, I felt sad that weighing what I weighed made me feel bad. And I was disappointed in some other people's responses. So, if you're about to embark on that journey, here's how you can feel emotionally prepared right now.
You already look great!
There's always a part of losing weight that feels icky. Like you're doing it because there's something wrong with what you look like now. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE.
You have fed your kids in the middle of the night. You have comforted them when they are sad. You have made them laugh when they needed to smile. YOU'RE AWESOME. LIKE, RIGHT NOW. All you're doing if you're considering setting a weight-loss goal for yourself is adding some healthier habits to your routine. 10 minutes of exercise is still exercise. A salad with pizza is still a salad. You can't make those little changes if you don't feel good NOW.
Some compliments might not feel like compliments.
Once you start to drop a few pounds or start to look more toned...ALL sorts of comments are going to catch you off guard. I think most are well meaning and aren't intended to be hurtful. But, let's just say going on, AND on, AND on about how different someone looks, or how much better someone looks, might not feel totally complementary to the person who lost weight. "You haven't looked this good in years!" was a personal favourite. Thanks for that. And a solid shout-out to the friends who asked if my health was good before they said, well done on setting and meeting a weight loss goal. It's important to remember that weight loss isn't always an indicator of good health.
There are some conversations you'll want to have with your kids.
Even when comments are positive about how your body has changed, they are still inferring that thinner, or more toned is better. My kids literally don't even know that people don't love their bodies and might want to change how their bodies look through diet and exercise.
They think their bodies are for being strong, being fast, and being adventurous. And I put the changes I was making in my habits in that context. I wanted to be stronger. I wanted to run faster and further. I wanted to be able to go all the places they want to go with them. Foods aren't bad in our house. Thin isn't better. We just do our best to make SOME healthy choices everyday.
Losing weight is just a goal like anything else.
When I started writing this it wasn't to tell any other moms how to go about losing weight. I don't know shit about how other people should do it. I just know what worked for me. And it was one small goal that I tracked everyday. Just like work, or your finances, or whatever. So...
Specific - I am going to lose 10 pounds.
Measurable - I am going to weigh myself everyday to track it.
Achievable - Eating X number of calories everyday will result in a loss of 10 pounds.
Relevant - Losing 10 pounds will contribute to other goals I want to set afterwards e.g. exercise everyday, or lose 20 pounds.
Time-bound - I am going to lose 10 pounds by the end of February.