An Accumulation of Habits

Weight Loss

I'm (37F) on my third go-around of trying to lose weight packed on over my 20s and 30s (CW 160, GW 130). While I'm obviously annoyed to be doing this again (first time I dropped from 150-140, second time from 155 to 145), I'm seeing a lot of positives that I thought I'd write down even though the scale isn't moving:

  1. Six weeks back on the gym routine (4x a week, swim/bike/run alternating), I can feel a massive difference in how I inhabit my body. I feel a solidity and power in my body I didn't before, and my shape is changing. I sense fat turning into muscles even if the scale won't move.
  2. I'm better at all of my sports. My big wins are that I went from swimming 40 laps in an hour to swimming 50, my plank went from 10 seconds to a minute, and I fixed my breaststroke form so I'm now speeding through the water like a possessed frog
  3. Sports feel FUN again. Watching myself improve at them, I feel my trust shifting from the scale to my actual abilities. Who cares if I'm not losing weight if I cut my mile by five minutes and am starting to think about open water swimming? I still care…but less. A lot less. It's so much more fun to DO stuff than try to suck in my stomach in the mirror.
  4. The first two times I tried to lose weight, I lived on my own and managed my own Noom/gym visits, but also still got attacks of the lonelies and succumbed to late-night pizza. Midpandemic I moved home to live with my parents (still work remotely) and…against all expectations…though it would sound like hell to others…it's working out so well.

My mom cooks vegetarian South Indian food 24/7 and has openly avowed that she will stuff me full of fiber. My 72-year-old dad and I drag each other to the gym four times a week — more than either of us could have managed alone — and because of me, he stays longer and does more variety of exercise. Both relationships, which also used to be unhealthy, have improved tremendously over the decades. I can feel how the wraparound of food, family, and a now-loving environment is improving my health.

5) I get less munchies and when I do, I eat less. Instead of a huge pile of cheese I eat a few little shreds. Instead of a whole candy bar I'll cut off a piece and leave it for later. I still eat too much rice (we're South Asian…we're made of rice) but I do use a measuring cup and scale more often than not.

6) Now that vaccination is happening (just got shot #2), I find myself wanting to seek out community to share sports experiences with, which is a first. I want people to run with and train for mini triathlons with and share swimming tips with. After a year of pandemic and Zoom I find I just care so much less what I look like or what visual image I'm putting across — I would rather experience my health and vitality in the presence of others, and sweat and fart and triumph in front of them, than maintain and image.

7) I feel less worried about getting injured. A meniscus tear in 2019 sidelined me for awhile and not only killed my fitness but made me fearful about movement and risk. My newly thunderous legs feel strong and grounded and like they won't betray me again.

Just some positives from the third go-round. I do think I might have lost A pound or two, but I think my body seems more on the train of "ditch the scale and just live healthily and happily." Sharing for anyone else whose scale isn't moving but who is seeing major changes anyway.

submitted by /u/jennyvasan

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