When I first decided to get healthier and lose weight, I had a lot of misconceptions about what would happen. I learned through trial and error about what it really means to change your lifestyle. While some lessons took longer to learn than others, all the things I went through helped me get where I am today. I want to share those misconceptions with you so you can learn from my mistakes and maybe not feel so alone on your own journey.
Misconception #1- Losing weight will instantly make me happier
For so long my weight had made me unhappy. I felt uncomfortable in clothes, shy around people, and self-conscious about my appearance. I thought that if I could just lose the weight, I would finally be happy. I was wrong. Yes, losing weight made me feel better and I could wear clothes that I hadn’t been able to before, but my life didn’t instantly become better. That was because I never worked on the mental part of losing weight. I still saw a bigger girl in the mirror and I still felt like I didn’t look the way I should. Just losing weight won’t make your life better or you happier. You have to work through the reasons behind your weight gain and the mental side of losing weight.
Misconception #2- Exercising a lot and eating a little is the only way to lose weight.
You will lose weight if you eat less food and move more, that’s science even if it’s more complex than that. But I went about this the wrong way at the beginning. I was in the mindset that I had to be working out all the time, multiple times a day. I had to eat the bare minimum or else all that hard work would go to waste. This is a horrible way to be healthier because not only is it not a sustainable way of life, you could be hurting your health more than helping it. Exercise isn’t meant to a punishment to your body. It is meant to make it stronger, better, and more capable. It isn’t torture and you shouldn’t hate it. If you do, then maybe you need to find a different form of working out. Food isn’t the enemy. We need it to nourish our bodies and fuel our day. It should taste good and give us pleasure while making us feel amazing. Eating isn’t a necessary evil, it’s a chance to make your health even better. It took me a LONG time to realize these things but once I did, things really turned around.
Misconception #3- My body has to look the same every day to be considered healthy
This was, and sometimes still is, a hard one to get past. My understanding was that those athletes and models that I saw in magazines and online always looked that good. They just walked around with their rippling muscles, taut stomachs, shapely legs, and hair perfectly styled. It seems silly to think about that now, but back then I thought that was true. Your body changes daily. It won’t look the same every single time you look in the mirror. That’s ok and normal. It doesn’t mean you aren’t healthy or that you’re a slob, it means that you’re human. Some days I still struggle with this, but I remind myself that my body is capable of so many things whether I have a six pack or not.
Misconception #4- My cravings for “bad” food will magically disappear
No. Just because you’re eating better doesn’t mean that you won’t crave a big piece of chocolate cake or a huge slice of pizza every now and then. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Cake and pizza taste good and cravings are a part of life. What has changed for me is that before I just blindly give into my craving I stop and ask myself why. Why do I want that piece of cake? Most often there is something else going on that is making me want that cake. I’ve also learned to satisfy cravings with healthier things.
Losing weight is so much more than just losing weight. Being healthier can come in many different forms and each person has their own unique experience. Even though I had all these misconceptions and issues to work through, my decision to be better was one of the best things I’ve done for myself. I have learned about who I am and what I can accomplish and I have gained a passion for sharing that with others.
So know that if you are just starting this journey, it might be hard and certain things you do might not work, but you’re worth it and you will learn how to make your health better!