I was 21 years old when I was a contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser in 2007. Cast as one of the “outlaws” on Jillian Michaels’ team, I found myself on a scale, in front of millions of people each week in less clothing than I’d even let my mother see me in for several years.
I convinced myself (and family and friends) that my journey was in the name of adventure, and that my starting weight would be the last time I ever saw a number so high flash across a scale. I lost 113 pounds during the eight-month filming season. I was also working out four to six hours a day, and only eating 1,500 calories a day.
As you might guess, my journey with my weight was not over when the show ended. It proved impossible to maintain those habits once I returned home to a job and a social life. Throw in a pregnancy and I was almost exactly right back where I’d started — where I swore I’d never be again.
Last year, I found CrossFit Vector and my coach, Aaron Martin and I fell in love with working out. More importantly, I fell in love with my body, imperfect as it was, as much as I resented it. I began to value it for what it could do, rather than what it couldn’t, and, for the first time in my adult life, post-Biggest Loser, I started losing weight. Not network-TV-quickly, by any means, but sustainably.
Now, well on my way to my new body goals (which, consequentially, have nothing to do with the scale, but are rather performance markers), I have a deeper perspective on lessons I hadn’t learned until after my Biggest Loser days; lessons I believe prevented me from maintaining weight loss in the past, and lessons I believe now are crucial for my success (and happiness!) in the present and future.
1. Your weight isn’t the thing holding you back.
My entire life, I sidelined myself. In school plays, soccer teams, and cheerleading tryouts, I’d instantly apologize to myself, and my audience, for my body. I’d tell friends I couldn’t go to a beach or out on a boat because I didn’t want people to see me in a bathing suit.
Being overweight isn’t what holds you back from living your life: Being ashamed about being overweight is what holds you back from living your life. And once you stop feeling ashamed and start feeling alive, I promise the momentum of your happiness will drive you to make choices that allow you to become more alive, more excited, and more capable.
2. People of all sizes have great relationships and great sex … with great people!
Newsflash: Anyone who chooses to can have sex. Before I went on Biggest Loser, my thin acquaintances would act like my then-boyfriend deserved a medal of honor for dating me: “How great he loves you for you.”
Um. Yeah. How great your boyfriend/husband/whatever loves you for you.
The notion that you have to be a certain size to be sexy is absurd. I’ve been many different sizes in my life, and I’ve never been forced into celibacy due to a lack of interest from men. Most of the men I’ve had dated seriously have been traditionally good looking, smart, accomplished men. And, we’ve had fulfilling, passionate relationships — in and out of the bedroom.
Republished with permission from MindBodyGreen. Please do not republish without seeking your own permission. Thank you!
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