Weight Loss & What Follows

When people see someone who has lost a lot of weight, they wonder how they did it - however, discussions on the true reason are rare. Here's a story of Antonia, who lost a lot of weight and changed her life, and what she went through when she ran across an old friend for the first time in a long time, who scarcely recognized her after the weight loss.

This story is told as a personal letter to you:

Hi, I’m Antonia and this is my personal story about my journey through weight loss, how I did it, and what I realized throughout. Are you curious on how I shed 80 pounds? Read on.

A few weeks ago I ran into an old friend I had not seen in over a year. Excited, I called out to her “Shelly!” She replied, “Antonia?”, as she looked in disbelief - “How did you lose the weight?” was her immediate question as she looked me up and down.

I told her about drinking water, a healthy diet and exercising.

However, her question stuck with me - I laughed because I realized that my journey was much more than physical.

Some trainers and nutritionists will advise that with a healthy diet and exercise you will be able to achieve all your weight loss goals.

But is it really this way?

I’m here to say that, if you’re anything like me, life can get the best of you sometimes and all your plans can go out the window.

There were many moments in my life that made me very emotional. I found it difficult sometimes to process those emotions. So, I would go curl up with “comfort food” - Funny, it’s a real thing in so many ways.

When I say “comfort food”, I mean food that made me feel better. I would eat through every emotion and my cravings were specifics to the different emotions.

Isn’t it interesting how our body forms an association between specific food and specific emotions?

It started with feeling sad. I would drown myself in cooking as an outlet. Your first thought may be “How can cooking be bad though?” - Well, cooking can be good but when I was depressed I cooked dishes with lots of carbs and fatty, greasy food. When I was happy, I would eat sweets.

Ironically, I called this momentary happiness, “sweet joy”.

The Truth About Emotional Eating

My emotional eating was a temporary fix that took a toll not only on my physical health but my emotional health as well. Eating to suppress emotions led to more unresolved emotions.

I found myself becoming more angry with myself and being mean to other people. I was disappointed in myself and the people around me. To the point that I began to feel more sadness and depression and sometimes wouldn’t eat for days.

However, when I felt good, I would eat to experience that “sweet joy” which led to more disappointment and “comfort food”.

I was exhausted - I wanted out of this cycle.

I decided to dedicate myself to healing what was on the inside - in my case, it was a lot of hurt, neglect, and abandonment.

Does this sound familiar?

Here’s what those emotions did to me:

  • They stopped me from being compassionate

  • They led me to cling to people who weren’t good for me

  • They prevented me from giving or receiving love.

I finally cried out to God and asked him for healing - I promised if he led, I would follow.

My Healing Journey Against Emotional Eating

I began to read more books on coping and processing emotion so that I could learn to feel my emotions rather than eat through them.

So here are the changes I made:

  • I started working out at a gym as a way of getting out of my head.

  • I started practicing more self care - This allowed me to really see myself.

It’s funny how I would get dressed in front of a mirror every morning but never really “see myself”.

Do you really see yourself when looking in the mirror?

The Results

Indulging in self care and practicing self love have been the tools to a more joyful and healthy life.

This has changed my life to the point that by now I got rid of 80 pounds of excess weight and emotional baggage.

I’m living a more joyful life.

It even changed my relationship with my children - where I used to be very impatient with my girls, I’m now more patient and compassionate.

When my kids want to go to the park, I’m active with them.

My daughter had packed on excess weight and now she has decided to join me in exercising and prepping meals - I inspired her to learn how to take care of herself while she’s child.

What difference would it have made if you had learnt these self care practices as a child?

It even made a difference to my career as I’ve decided to pursue a career in healthcare so that I can help others grow stronger physically and emotionally.

I hope this reflection helps you in your journey. My hope is that you will indulge in self care and realize you are loved.

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