Are you struggling to lose weight and get healthy? Being honest and evaluating your habits is important! Here’s why I think self-awareness is the missing piece of your weight loss journey.
Why is it that some of us struggle so much to lose weight? How come it seems like some people are able to “flip a switch” and be focused, consistent, and motivated?
Why is it that some of us are so “off and on”? Why can’t we just lose the weight?
Trust me when I say that these are thoughts that I have definitely had time and time again with my weight loss efforts.
But the older I get, and the more I know about fitness, the more I believe that self-awareness is the missing piece of your weight loss journey.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about the things that the fitness industry ignores. The mental and emotional aspects of being healthy.
I say that the fitness industry ignores these things because they aren’t always there to help you with these aspects. They want to sell you a supplement or workout program. These are great things – but only if you can get past the other aspects of what got you on a weight loss journey to begin with.
What I mean is that you can buy all of the weight loss supplements and rigorous workout programs you want. But they won’t address the underlying issues. They won’t get to the heart of the matter, and they might not affect any real change.
That’s why I say that self-awareness is the missing piece of your weight loss journey. But was does that mean?
It means that if you don’t look inside yourself with honesty, you may never really change. Because what we’re after on a weight loss journey is never short-term weight loss. We don’t want to go back to an unhealthy weight. We want to be changed – forever.
That’s the problem with so many fitness brands out there. They don’t care if you actually succeed long-term. They just care if their product can deliver quick results – even if you aren’t forever changed.
The problem on OUR end is that we’re always looking for a quick fix. But deep-down we know that’s not how it should be. So then, how should it be?
After over a decade of dealing with depression (both major and postpartum) and struggling with my weight, I’ve learned one important thing. Self-awareness, self-care habits, and honesty are the most important weapons driving true change.
I’ll say it again. Self-awareness is the missing piece of your weight loss journey.
I personally have struggled with depression from about the age of 13. That’s when I first went to therapy, and it’s about the same time I was put on my very first anti-depressant.
I battled that off and on for a few years, but my depression was the absolute worst after becoming a mom. I had super bad postpartum depression that lasted almost two years after having my daughter in 2014.
It was bad enough that I don’t know when baby blues turned postpartum depression turned plain old depression.
It was bad enough that I hated everything about my life and knowing that made me feel worse.
I always felt like crap.
When I finally went to get some anti-depressants (I didn’t take them while pregnant) they made me feel worse.
Long story short, I took two anti-depressants that made me feel worse – both physically and emotionally.
Honestly, I hated the sheer idea of having to rely on medicine to function normally and be happy.
So I started researching ways to combat depression naturally.
I was super interested in the ideas of nutritional cleansing and herbalism for overall health, but exercise seemed like the most feasible thing to start with.
It was something I could do right then and there, without any costs or major life changes associated with it.
So I got went to my local gym and hired a personal trainer.
Looking back, this was a pivotal moment for me. It’s probably what got me to where I am now – writing this post, a personal trainer myself.
But what’s important is what happened in the two-ish years between now and then.
I spent the next few years being on-and-off with fitness. Even though I loved the way I felt when I exercised, my history of exercising then quitting for months at a time caught up with me. I would exercise 4-6 times per week for four or five months, then quit for just as long.
Even though I felt the direct effects of exercise IMMEDIATELY each time I exercised, I still gave it up many times.
I toyed with the idea of becoming a personal trainer during the times where I was feeling good, and I gave into the feelings of self-pity when I wasn’t.
But each time that I started to try to pull myself out of a depression, it was a little easier to hop back into the exercise thing.
Eventually I had an epiphany.
One day I showed up to the gym bright and early. The sun was shining and one of my favorite Soundgarden songs came on Pandora. I remember smiling at some familiar faces and feeling…just…happy.
I texted my husband that very moment and said, “I think I want to become a personal trainer.”
What I realized was that I. NEED. EXERCISE.
It seems obvious because we all need it.
But I needed it in my life – every day – in order to function.
I needed it to be mentally and emotionally stable.
From then on, I realized that I couldn’t compromise on exercise anymore.
I had done the cycle of on and off long enough to realize that it wasn’t going to end unless I made a huge commitment…
And that was to make it my JOB to exercise regularly.
I became a personal trainer in November of 2017 at 7 months pregnant.
Even though I didn’t grow up in fitness or even playing sports, and even though I failed my first test, I knew I needed to make it happen.
Looking back, not playing sports and not learning about how to exercise as a kid was probably a contributing factor to my childhood depression!
But do you understand why I keep saying that self-awareness is the missing piece of your weight loss journey?
I had reflected on my own history for YEARS and for YEARS I kept doing the same things. I wondered what I was doing wrong or I did the same thing over and over while expecting a better result each time.
If I hadn’t hit rock bottom and then taken a true look at my life, I wouldn’t be here.
However, it took a lot of work and a lot of honesty.
Now I have made a special commitment to myself for the sake of my own mental health (and my family) because I have been “big” enough to say, “Yeah, I have been making a lot of mistakes and a lot of excuses.”
Your Regular Weight-Loss Effort Story Versus Your Self-Aware Weight Loss Journey
The fitness industry loves to try to make weight loss simple.
“Here, just try this supplement and you’ll lose weight.”
“Calories in, calories out.”
“All you need to do is eat clean and move more.”
But……if you’re overweight, I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that there’s a lot more to it.
We have personal mental and emotional issues attached to our weight gain.
Look, I get that not everyone can just make a sudden career change and become a personal trainer.
But if we don’t address those issues, we’ll never be happy – even if we lose the weight.
So my challenge to you is to figure out the missing piece of your weight loss journey.
Ask yourself questions like, “What life events or stressors caused me to stop taking care of myself?”
“How much did this impact me versus how much did I allow it to become an excuse?”
“Am I letting history repeat itself?”
“If I were to wake up tomorrow with all of this weight gone, would I gain it right back?”
The point is that creating healthy habits and lasting weight loss is a BIG thing that is SO mental and SO emotional. It’s not just about a number on the scale.
So stop making it that.
Let’s talk about this some more. Do you think that self-awareness is the missing piece on YOUR weight loss journey? Have you been honest with yourself about this? Tell me below! I love hearing from you all.