Off the Mat Yoga

You Ain’t Your Weight

For ten years I was my weight. I was never not on a diet. Well, that’s not true, when I was between diets I was bingeing. I fell into this all or nothing cycle for a decade.

Deprivation, binge, deprivation, binge.

Dieting keeps us in a trap and to what end? In our search for skinny we have forgotten what it’s all for. Why do people want to lose weight? To find health, happiness and maybe some confidence.

Has weight loss ever brought you these things? It never did for me. When I did lose weight from a diet I felt the need to lose more. I was never good enough and there was always the next weight loss goal on the horizon.

This was until I realized I didn’t want to be skinny I wanted to be happy. What a revelation! It may seem obvious but this understanding changed my life. Below is my nontraditional before and after; from skinny, deprived and miserable to healthy, happy and super confident!

When you are caught up in thoughts of your weight all day long, life passes you by. I missed out on so much because of this superficial belief that my weight defined my worth. I want to tell you this story because you don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did. If you are on a diet right now and haven’t been able to find contentment in yourself no matter how many diets you try, this message is for you.

What are the five most important things in your life? Think. Actually list them.
Do these things have anything to do with the gap in your thighs or the size of your jeans?
Let’s get our perspective back because, girl, you ain’t your weight.

This unhealthy notion that our looks and our weight are our identity come from media, advertising and even retail. Have you picked up a ‘health’ magazine lately; full of abs, thigh gaps and biceps. Been to the mall? All the mannequins are absurdly tall and insanely skinny (and also white but that’s a discussion for another day). We are bombarded with the image of skinny as better, healthier and happier and we know by now this isn’t true. You can find health, happiness and confidence at any size.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 

We can’t change society in a day but we can change our attitudes and our viewpoints.

How to remind yourself You Ain’t Your Weight everyday:

1. Identify what your body has done for you today, not just what it looked like doing it.

2. Remind yourself of your best non-physical feature. Do you make people laugh? Are you amazing at your job? Do love being a mom?

3. Move that tush! Use your body because you can, not only to burn calories.

Your challenge this week is to remind yourself daily that You Ain’t Your Weight!

[Free ebook] Stop worrying whether you’re doing a pose right, or if you are doing something that will eventually require a few trips to the emergency room. 🚑

Download our free yoga form guide — over 50 yoga poses broken down with pictures.



8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tarin

    February 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I can totally relate to your feelings and it took me a LONGGG time, but I finally realized (like 3-4 months ago) that I’m not my weight and I’ve never been happier! I was also the “chubby” girl in high school and was always self-conscious about my weight, constantly telling myself “If I was skinny …” then some wonderful thing would happen. About 3 years after graduating high school, my metabolism changed and I went from 150-160 to 120-130. I wasn’t dieting, wasn’t doing any extreme exercising (I went to the gym occasionally), and at the time I had no idea why I lost the weight (now I believe it was my metabolism). I stayed that weight for about 7-8 years and during that time thought I was “happy” because I was skinny and could eat whatever I wanted. About 2 years ago, my metabolism changed again and I went back to the “chubby” girl I was in high school. I was miserable. I let my weight get up to 180 and I hated my body. I started dieting and doing whatever I thought it took to lose the weight and get back to my 120-130 weight, but I just wasn’t happy. I felt deprived, I was hungry, I was tired — I hated counting calories. Then one day I realized that I can diet and still enjoy food as well — I just had to be conscious of portion sizes! For about 6+ months now, I’ve been really strict with my breakfast, lunch, and daytime snacks, but I allow myself to enjoy my dinners and indulge in dessert once and awhile. I still workout daily, but now I do it to build strength and tone — not to lose weight. Long story short, I’ve lost some weight (I don’t have a goal weight), I feel happy and healthy, I’m confident, and I am proud of my body! Plus, I still indulge in desserts and alcoholic beverages, but I’ve learned to do so in moderation. 🙂

    1. Jenna Free

      Jenna Free

      February 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Hey Tarin,

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. Love that you have found some balance, I know that can be so hard to do. Keep up those positive vibes girl.

  2. Avatar

    Andrea Hardy

    February 10, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Jenna! Such a great article – your story resonates with so many – love working with you, boo!

  3. Avatar

    F

    February 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Beautiful!
    I used to have an eating disorder.. My whole life was about the scale and the number on it. My whole world was about food; what to eat, not to eat, so called ‘bad’ foods and ‘ok’ foods, lists, counting, depression, panic, anxiety, sleepless nights because I had to exercise, binging, purging, starving, barely alive.

    Now, ten/eleven years later I am truly happy with who and what I am. my body will always remain a weak spot of turning to when I feel overwhelmed by life, but I can keep it under control and remind myself to be positive. Yoga really helps me with that!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jenna Free

      Jenna Free

      February 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Amazing. So good to see people getting over these negative views. How did you get over this ? Did you use any tools?

  4. Avatar

    Isabel

    February 17, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    With the help of Bad Yogi and a sheer force/change of will, I’ve started training my brain differently. Eat normal food (no need to eat like a bird – I hate salad – just no “fast trash”) and move my body. If I don’t it’s gonna break down. I still have things to do!! I haven’t gone to Spain, I haven’t paddle boarded long distance, I haven’t trained my (future) new german shepherd puppy, I need to introduce my nephew to camping (he’s only 2)… I’m already 37 and I need my body to last a while longer!!

    I’ve learned to de-obsess myself about poundage and work on how I feel. I now love feeling strong and am finding that I’m making the permanent changes that I needed! It’s not easy so I wonder, does the struggle ever go away?

    1. Jenna Free

      Jenna Free

      February 18, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      Amazing Isabel! Congratulations on attaining such a great outlook, I know it’s not easy.

  5. Amanda

    Amanda

    February 23, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    I’m such a fan of appreciating the body for what it can do rather than what it looks like. Sports gave me a firm foundation in that, but I was never immune to those magazine covers, either. Still, today, I keep my focus on all the amazing things my body does…not just the yoga and the running and the whatever, but the little things I can’t see, the things I don’t even know are happening with every breath I take. Thanks for writing!

Leave a Reply