It’s been almost six years since I first lost half of my body size.
A tremendous amount of reflection and self-growth has happened since then. The biggest lesson I learned is that a person doesn’t just lose 125 pounds and keep it off long term without doing the real work. The “real work” consists of the soul-searching truths that come with sustained weight loss.
Here’s what I now hold as my 10 truths:
1. Being “big boned” doesn’t actually run in my family.
If you come from a heavy-set family like I do, you’ve probably heard this before too. This limiting belief kept me living in misery for 26 years. I weighed 140 pounds in the 4th grade and I felt destined to always be the fat girl. Being “big boned” was an accepted excuse for giving up on my health and settling.
2. I didn’t need a formal education to succeed at getting and staying healthy.
I was a high-school drop-out on the day that I started my weight loss journey. It wasn’t until after I lost over 125 pounds that I finally felt confident in going back to school for the first time in 11 years. The advantage of having a college degree is just an added bonus; it’s not a prerequisite to good health. You don’t have to be smart or perfect to start.
3. Drinking doesn’t make me a more exciting person to hang out with.
My dad was an alcoholic. When I weighed 300 pounds, I feared that I would end up like him. I drank because I felt like I was a really boring person when I was sober. Drinking was a displacement activity. It kept me from discovering who I really was and what I was capable of achieving.
4. Comparing myself to others only made me feel like I was doing it all wrong.
For a good deal of my young adulthood, I was a jealous woman. I lived a life of never feeling good enough because I judged my worth based on what someone else was doing. I was ashamed of who I was (both inside and outside). This mindset halted my ability to release the excess weight for a very long time.
5. Not everyone will support my journey.
Many of the people I held closest to my heart ridiculed my ambitions. They judged my future based on my past. They knew that if I changed, it was a reminder that they were still the same. My support system had to be strengthened with more warriors and less worriers.
6. Using the word “can’t” limits what I allow myself to do.
One of the very first things a personal trainer said to me after meeting her was that I wasn’t allowed to say the word “can’t” anymore. That was probably the most valuable thing I ever learned from her. I had to break the pattern of using and believing “I can’t”. It was just an invisible barrier that I allowed to hold me back. The word contains no value.
7. It’s OK to fail a lot.
Nothing is ever going to be perfect. Failure is the roadmap to success. I had to realize that I was not a loser if I messed up and had to start over again the next day. Failures are true learning experiences. Failure offers clarity to what we did wrong and what we can do better next time. I don’t have any regrets about my failures. They happen all of the time.
8. Comfort zones are based only on what I am used to doing — they are changeable.
Everything that has ever been uncomfortable to do has changed my life a great deal. When I’ve been courageous enough to step out and answer a calling, my life always improved. Uncertainty postponed many of life’s adventures. I was scared that I would not have a safety net to dive into or terrified of facing humiliation if I messed up.
9. Accomplishments build on one another.
They fuel me for the next goal I want to achieve. I reflect on past challenges I have overcome and adversities I’ve stared down and know that if I could do that, I can do this. The next uphill battle becomes easier because I’ve hiked this path before.
10. A confident woman can do anything.
Confidence comes from not giving up on yourself anymore. Confidence embodies you when you feel comfortable with who you are as a person and loving every inch of your being. Confidence comes when you’ve stretched your comfort zones and still survived. A confident woman unpacks her fears and sets them aside as she prepares for the next adventure.
Naomi’s passion lies in reaching out and helping other women who her story resonates with. You can find her through social media or naomiteeter.com