I think I have written and rewritten this post about 587 times. Deep thought takes a while for me to express 😉 A little different from my normal ramblings about carrot sticks and treadmill runs…
If you type “last 10 pounds” into Google, you will find 500,000,000 results in 0.23 seconds. Holy. Each and every one of those results talks about ways to lose your last 10 pounds. Deemed the hardest ten pounds to lose in one’s weight loss quest, as your body must push itself harder and harder to continue to lose weight, the last 10 pounds is commonly known as overcoming the inevitable weight loss plateau as you near your “target” weight. There are bootcamps specifically called “Last Ten Pounds Bootcamp” and there are shows on TV that send personal trainers to select individual’s homes to help them lose the last 10 pounds. There are diets and there are pills, there are gels and there are cleanses, all promising to help you rid your body of your “last ten pounds.”
But what happens when you lose your last 10 pounds? Are you free of all weight worries? Have you achieved your ideal body? What if those “last” ten pounds were actually kind of important? What if your body wasn’t meant to lose those supposedly pesky pounds?
It turns out that sometimes those last ten pounds are actually healthier on your body than off. Personally, I lost those last ten pounds. I found out in the few months after I lost them, that my body needed those ten pounds and was trying really hard to tell me that. I ignored the signs for a while, I was at a low weight and felt I had accomplished what a lot of people couldn’t… I actually exceeded my weight loss goals and I lost the last ten pounds.
I also lost my hair, my period, and my happiness. (Those 500,000,000 results didn’t really mention those side effects.)
One of my favourite quotes about health and fitness is really simple, super logical, and easy to follow.
I lost my last ten pounds, at a point when my body didn’t really have ten pounds to lose. I dipped into the BMI “underweight” category and thought that that meant I was doing weight loss right. Wrong. I have discovered a lot about my body over my lifetime and one thing that I have learned is that if I love my body, and treat it well, it will love me and treat me well in return.
This past summer I decided that I would try to live by my new-found health quote. If I ate when I was hungry, fuelled my body properly for all of my running and workouts, rested when I was tired, exercised, and treated my body with as much respect as I could – my weight would take care of itself.
It did. I gained ten pounds.
I was upset at first. As someone who thought they could be a fitness inspiration to other, I thought weight gain meant I was doing the whole “living healthy” thing wrong. I quickly got over my distress and realized that I wasn’t tired anymore, I had more energy, my hair wasn’t stringy and falling out, and my doctor could once again place me in the “normal weight” category to both his and my delight.
All of the 500,000,000 Google results will tell you that losing weight is good and that losing more weight is better. You know what happens when you keep losing weight, and then lose some more? You die.
I lost my last 10 pounds. Then I gained it back… and gained a healthy attitude towards my body, ditched the scale, and learned to listen to my body because it is
kind of REALLY smart.
What I lost when I lost the last 10 pounds:
- The connection between my mind and my body.
- My luscious locks of hair. Yes, my beautiful hair actually started to fall out. Ew.
- My period. It’s all science. The reproductive system is the first to shut down when the body only has a limited number of calories to work with.
- Looks of admiration from fitness enthusiasts. People stare at “skinny girls” on treadmills, and not in a good way. A few of my mom’s friends even asked her if I was anorexic. ME! The girl who LOVES food!
- Iron levels. I couldn’t even donate blood it was so low.
- CONFIDENCE. You don’t have to have a “perfect” body to be sexy. You have to be confident that YOUR body IS perfect to be sexy. I swear, nothing is sexier than confidence.
- Energy. I found the energy to jump around in running onesies and take selfies… you are welcome.
- A pretty sweet connection between my mind and body. I know what is up with my body. One time I pulled out the scale (and blew off the dust) just to see where I was at and I attempted to guess my weight based on how I felt, then stepped on the scale and it was the EXACT number. I can recognize the signs that my body needs rest, and I know when I need to take a break from running just based on how my legs feel.
- Admiration and the ability to inspire. Hence, the blog. I am constantly learning about fitness, nutrition, and health, and I love sharing all of my
wisdomcommon sense knowledge with YOU!
- Happiness. I stepped off the scale. I ate when I was hungry. I exercised because I WANTED to, not because I felt an extra mile would help me lose weight, and I gained a huge dose of happiness from my gained weight. Hey, you can’t do seven and a half minute wall sits with toothpicks for legs 😉
- Muscle. I ran a 1:37:XX half marathon at my “low” weight, then ran a 1:37:XX half marathon six months later at my healthy weight. Muscle pays off. A low weight doesn’t necessarily make you a faster runner, having sufficient muscle and the strength and endurance to run makes you a faster runner.