I Lost 100 Pounds In One Year After I Realized Losing Weight Wasn't Going to Make Me Happy

By: Shape

"I began to accept my body as it was but also enjoyed improving it."


#realtalk long long post but please read ? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Today I really struggled. I had a terrible sleep last night and my back is really sore and tight. I woke up at the first glimmer of sunlight this morning and my first thought was food. Yesss lots of food will make me feel better. Then I fobbed it off. I distracted myself. The feeling came back within 30 minutes. I thought about driving to the shops after the school run and grabbing some snacks. NO! I fobbed it off again. Then the urge came back a third time, this time; I acknowledged it. I let the thoughts go through my head until they passed. My head was telling me I’d feel better if I put all my work off and just ate. I have been here before and I knew that my head was a liar. I knew it wouldn’t make me feel better. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I turned to Instagram and saw all these chics killing it. Doing great, crushing their goals and always seeming so positive. Ah fuck. Why do I struggle. Why am I the only one struggling. Then I realised of course I’m not the only one struggling. I’m probably just the only one sharing it to social media. So it got me thinking if I’m struggling, there are probably other people struggling to. Maybe in silence. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So if you’re scrolling through your insta wondering why you’re the only one struggling. Girl you are not alone. We are both struggling today. The video is total click bait. But if this helps even just one person today then I’ve done what I came here to do. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So anyway I did my best to push on today. I put on the only pair of @gymshark clothing I own that was gifted to me by a beautiful friend and popped on a lick of mascara (who doesn’t feel fabulous when they have mascara on ??‍♀️) and I went to the gym. Got a couple of pb’s actually but I still felt ordinary. I did however manage to beat the binge. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So the moral of the story; some days you’re going to feel ordinary even when you try your hardest and you do everything “right”, you’re going to just feel shit. But you have to just show up anyway. Keep pushing. AND you know what, it just makes you appreciate the good days so much more. So just keep going anyway. Just keep on keeping on ❤️❤️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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This story originally appeared on Shape.com by Rachael Dalton as told to Faith Brar.

I've started and stopped weight-loss journeys more times than I can count. (I'm sure plenty of women can relate.) For as long as I can remember, I've been trying to change parts of my body I didn't like, or doing everything in my power to get to 'x' weight. Why? Because I believed that once I did, I'd finally be happy.

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This struggle with my weight has been going on since I was a teenager. I was always searching for the best diet to get "skinny" and even resorted to starving myself at times. It didn't help that I was always told that I was a "big girl" and would never be "petite." Eventually, I accepted what people were saying as fact and began using food as both a reward and a punishment. (Related: 7 Thoughts About Food You Should Banish for Good)

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This continued—treating my body poorly and eating emotionally—up until I gave birth to my second child at 29 years old. Before I got pregnant with him, I was already overweight. Then, I took "eating for two" to a whole other level: I used being pregnant as an excuse to eat anything and everything. Not to mention, I believed I needed to rest all the time, which contributed to even more weight gain.


Post-pregnancy, I knew something had to change. There wasn't one exact light-bulb moment—it was just lots of little things that added up. My family had long been urging and inspiring me to be healthier and I wanted to be a role model for them too. I wanted to be around to see my two boys grow up and live a long happy life with my wonderful husband.

So in July of 2017, I decided it was time to regain my health. I knew that this time was going to be different because I didn't make drastic changes—like try a crazy diet or go nuts in the gym—right away. Instead, I gradually made small changes and, looking back, it was those simple steps that eventually led to big changes. (Related: The 10 Rules of Weight Loss That Lasts)

To start, I knew I had to change my attitude toward weight loss. This time, I was going to think of weight loss and happiness separately. I made an effort to find things about my body that I loved just as it was. I'd focus on those things instead of the things I didn't like—my arms. At first, it was tough. I had to try really hard to find things about my body that I appreciated because my whole life, I'd looked in the mirror and picked out my flaws. But after weeks of telling myself that I was worthy of self-love, that my body was amazing for giving birth to two healthy children, and that it was capable of accomplishing anything, it became easier and easier to find the positives and push away the negative thoughts. (Here are some tips on using positive self-talk.)

I began to accept my body as it was, but also enjoyed improving it. (More: You Can Love Your Body and Still Want to Change It) Instead of wanting to be "skinny," I wanted to be strong and fit. Sure, the actual loss of weight also helped with my confidence and being happier and more comfortable. But I really think that the mental shift in how I looked at myself—from the beginning—made losing the weight a lot easier.


My phone case changed from pink to red. I also don’t wear granny undies these days ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ahhh how annoying can weight loss be! When you have a set back, you legit imagine you’re right back at the start! Does that happen to anyone else? Like today I was looking at clothes and I thought oh I’d better get the size up because I’ve not been training as hard .. it can be a total mind fuck. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Anyway thanks for listening to my rant ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #weightlossstruggle #thestruggleisreal #weightlossinsta #weightlossbeforeandafter #weightlosscommunity #fitfamaus #weightlossbattle #extremeweightloss #weightlossfamily

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Changing my diet was part of this too, but I didn't follow a rigid plan. I decided not to make any food off-limits—and I still don't. I've found that the more you deny yourself of something, the more you want it. (That goes for anything in life, not just food.) Knowing you can eat something if you really want to kind of removes the urge to "cheat" or overindulge.

I did, however, focus on being in a calorie deficit and making sure that each and every one of my meals was balanced: I started having protein with each meal and including a wide variety of nutrient-dense whole foods like vegetables and fruit. I also made sure to include food I enjoyed eating, like the occasional chocolate or some chips. My food consumption became mindful and I really enjoyed it—mostly because I didn't feel like I was necessarily giving anything up. (Here's why eating more might actually be the secret to losing weight.)


click the save button on this one for the easiest week night meal ever. Ever ever. Ever ever. Sorry ms Jackson. Oops too far. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Vah vah vah volume! Have I spoken about volume enough yet? Volumising your food with low calorie high fibre veggies helps you to feel fuller for longer and it’s essentially how you can eat more and still lose weight. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1000g 5% beef mince 500g frozen veg (I use the grilled frozen vegetables from @aldiaustralia) 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper 1/2 tsp white pepper, 2 tsp stevia, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp ground cumin baby cos lettuce leaves for wrapping (swipe) light mayo to serve ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This serves 5-10. Weigh the entire lot of cooked mince then divide by your portion of raw meat. Eg if you want 100g of mince, divide entire portion by 10, if you want 150g of mince divide by 6.6 and so on. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My serve was 200g mince - P 45.3 C 16.5 F 15.2 / 385 kcal ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I heat a big pan without oil and throw in the veggies and meat at the same time then add the spices. Pretty easy peasy but effective ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is a staple in my house. I also add it with @fitzy_fitness ‘s favourite bag of rainbow vegetables (swipe) for even MORE volume! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Enjoy ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #recipeideas #weightlossfood #weightlossrecipes #weightlossdiet #dietideas #whatieat #fooddiary

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The next step for me was to start being more active—but first, I needed to change the way I looked at exercise. I knew I had to separate my exercise intentions from my weight-loss goals. I worked hard on not viewing being active as a punishment or simply a means to lose weight. I began approaching it as a way to feel good and reward my body. It helped that, within a few weeks, I started seeing my body change. From there, I was hooked. (FYI, science found the best workout to overcome your weight-loss plateau.)

What started as a couple of at-home workouts per week turned into a routine—one that I continue to follow today. On top of running around with my two kids all day, I lift weights four times a week. (Two are upper-body days and two focus on lower body.) My diet varies but is still centered around sufficient protein and nutrient-dense foods with a good splash of what people might consider "treat food." (Here's why you seriously need to stop thinking of foods as "good" or "bad.")

Yes, I've lost 100 pounds so far—but the most welcomed change in my life has been emotional. In the past, if I was busy or stressed, exercise would be the first thing to drop from my schedule. Now, in situations like that, it's what helps keep me grounded and makes me better at handling stressful situations. Overall, I'm much calmer and I don't get upset as easily. I'm also now able to see my body as strong and capable and am so thankful for it after all it has been through.


It is evident that losing weight has not helped my dancing ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Even if you feel like you have the longest way to go. Keep pushing! You don’t have to be able to see the entire staircase, you just need to see the first step ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I really want to start an accountability tribe. So we can all stay inspired by each other and accountable. It doesn’t matter what your goals are, weight loss, weight gain, hell even if your goal is to grow your hair, join in! Actually I can offer you a few tips on hair growth. #hairfordays #nevergetahaircut . So let me know what your current goals are and why you have set them. Ok I’ll go first . Sooo some of my current goals are to 1. maintain my weight loss (before starting a cut in November) , 2. Spend less money on unnecessary items (), 3. Write on my blog and 4. Create recipes for you. Your turn , tell moi whatcha goals are ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ our girl Kylie Minogue: stop me from falling ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #goaldigger #settinggoals #accountabilitypartner #weightlosstribe #comparisonvideo #losinginches #myjourneytofit #myfitnessjourney #weightlossprogress #extremeweightloss #transformationtuesday

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For anyone who might feel like they've been in my shoes and are thinking of building a healthier lifestyle, I've got one small piece of advice: Make it simple. (More evidence: How Making Small Changes to Her Diet Helped This Trainer Lose 45 Pounds)

You don't have to do crazy fad diets with hard-to-follow rules. Find a diet that you can stick to—one that you can enjoy for the rest of your life, not just for a few months. A diet is only ever going to be as good as your ability to stick to it. So if you can't live without bread and a diet is telling you that you have to cut it out, it's probably not going to be good for you. (See: Why You Should Stop Restrictive Dieting Once and for All)

Also, find a supportive network that knows what you're going through, even an online community. Find an exercise that you actually enjoy, and don't just look at working out as a way to lose weight but as a time to do something valuable for your body. Finally, be patient and celebrate small victories. Remember that small achievements = big results. That's the key to creating a healthy lifestyle that's lifelong—and to actually being happy.


This article originally appeared on Shape.com