When most people talk about losing weight it is often measured in how many kilos, pounds, or stone they wish to lose…or about what their target weight is. They have set themselves a goal. I did that for years. I tried lot’s of different diets. I saw my weight bounce up and down, but almost never move.
Part of the problem was how we look at diets. Or at least how I did. I kept thinking that this new diet was somehow going to be the one that worked. I ended up becoming a bathroom scales fetishist, putting scales in every bathroom I used. As if weighing myself helped at all.
I was extremely frustrated with myself for my lack of progress and my seeming lack of self-control. It is so easy to slip. Right? You make good progress over a period of days, and then wham, you blow it all by over-indulging in maybe just one meal. Maybe your mood changes. It happens to all of us. I can go from self-love to self-harm very easily, and that can manifest itself in just not caring anymore…just not caring and thinking about that chocolate ice cream in the freezer that I love so much.
I am at my weakest when alcohol gets into the mix. Alcohol has calories yes, but it has the insidious effect of making you want to eat more. Most importantly, as a depressant, it has the curious effect in me of triggering my not caring mechanism, and I can easily just binge when I drink. As someone who has flirted with bulimia in the past, this is an ugly place to be.
But I figured it out. Weight loss is not a goal, it is a process. What do I mean by that? I think of it as a way of life. The concept is rather one of wellness. Being well in this sense is something that one can work towards every day, but also accept that falling off the wagon just means the body’s equilibrium is off and needs to be put back in sync. At about the same time I made this mental shift, I began to really feel and notice my body and how it felt in ways that I had never done before. I know now what I weigh without weighing myself because I can feel it.
The other thing that happened when I started thinking about weight loss as a process was that I began to lose weight. Serious weight. Here is how I think about wellness. Please excuse the kink.
- Wellness starts with a healthy body image. I want to feel good about my body. Like so many of us, I was raised to feel shame about nudity. Nor was I proud about how my body looked. Yes, dysphoria is a huge part of that, but if I am going to have to walk around with a male shell, I don’t want it to look “male”. I have a crippling desire to be fit—just toned without muscle. That crippling desire is a huge motivator. It has helped that my SO is beautiful and takes care of her body even if she is not a fitness bunny. She’s a gorgeous woman, and it matters to me to live up to her standard. Perhaps even more importantly, I have a Domme who is also very attractive. Even though she of all people does not judge me, I judge myself before her. Why? Because she is generally operating a clothed female, naked or semi-naked me policy. So, if I am going to be with her and be naked, then I want my body to reflect well on her. Plus, once she couched my care for my body as a mark of respect for her, that has given me extra juice to push through the burn when working out. How do you work with that if you don’t have a Domme or an SO who you wish to live up to? Start small. I decided to focus on my butt first. I wanted an adolescent boy’s butt. I wanted a butt that was firm and perky and inviting to smack. It was a simple goal, easily measured, and with 30 days of focus, I got it. Find the thing on your body that you want to improve, and start there.
- Wellness hinges on gut health. Becoming a nutritionist or at least extremely ingredient aware is really, really important. For one, I never eat processed foods. Perriod. I am extremely poor too. I am a road warrior, so often find myself away from home, with not a lot to choose from. Salad and sashimi are two things that help me get through a few days away from my own kitchen. But the rest of them time, I cook our meals, and start from fresh ingredients. To help with this I do take supplements, and what I take will be the subject of a separate post, but essentially I alternate what I take through the week, focussing on providing my body more of what I think it might be missing based on my activity.
- I allow myself to fail. Two nights ago, I drank too much, consumed an entire pot of chocolate ice cream and had an entire dinner that I didn’t need. I felt fat, piggish, and bloated. I just collapsed onto the bed and slept it off. The next day, I was depressed to see that I had gained two kilos from that one night of transgression. My body felt completely out of whack. I just didn’t feel good. I hate that feeling, especially because I know what the opposite feels like—feeling toned and in tune with my body. What did I do? Fasting. I fast my way back to equilibrium. It is the fastest and easiest way to do it. Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes it takes several days. For instance, after Christmas.
What I am saying is that you can’t be religious about a weight goal, you will only depress yourself. What helped me was to just realise that weight management was a part of wellness and was about a long-term commitment to my body that was going to be an important part of my life.
Once I have achieved a “goal” in my weight, I apply what I call “stairs”. A “stair” is a weight level above where I am which acts as a safety break—if my weight drifts back up to or above the “stair” I just stop eating until it is comfortably back below it again. That does mean lot’s of skipped meals or a lot more exercise or a lot more water consumption…all of which are conscious actions that drive an outcome.
Why is body weight so important? Because it goes hand in hand with a positive self-image, and you can’t achieve anything at all in life without that crucial first ingredient. Let me know what you do. Hope this helps.