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    Posted October 9, 2015 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

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    My Body Changed When I Learned To Love It

    I want tell you a story about perspective.

    I struggled for 15 years to get to my goal weight – 15 years!!! From age 15 to 30 to be exact. I literally never saw my goal weight on the scale throughout my entire twenties.

    Now I see it everyday. The interesting thing is, I don’t even care about what the scale says now – I’m too happy trying to be my best self every day.

    How did I get here?


    For most of my twenties, I dieted endlessly and focused on RESTRICTING myself. Boy does that NOT WORK – please don’t waste time, effort and energy on that approach like I did.

    Our bodies and minds don’t like being punished or restricted. It forces the defense mechanism to kick in. The more I restricted myself from my so called “no no” foods, the MORE I WANTED THEM.

    I had to completely change my perspective to get out of this vicious cycle. I started looking at food as my friend rather than my enemy.

    I want you to remember this law: What you focus on grows.

    The more I focused on putting as many colorful veggies, lean proteins, and some complex carbs into every meal, the easier losing body fat became. I started craving healthy food options more often because my mind would think, “I feel so good after eating like this.”

    And guess what?

    I craved unhealthy, sugary, simple carb foods less because my mind thought, “This will not make me feel good. I feel sick or bloated after. I know I’ll have low energy and focus.”

    My switch in thought patterns extended to exercise too. I’m just going to be fully honest and say I hate the elliptical machine. I can’t stand that thing anymore. I spent hours endless hours on that torture device trying to force my body to be what I wanted it to be. I never made one pound of progress.


    My perspective was off.

    I’m not saying anything ellipticals are terrible. They’re great for people who have trouble running or have weak knees. But couldn’t I get more creative than doing a totally unnatural movement? Humans weren’t designed to move like this.

    I used to FORCE myself to the gym by thinking, “I have to go or I will never reach my goal weight. I have to go or I will get fat.”

    Thinking like that day in and day out is exhausting. It weighs on you and drains your mental sources. It’s like you’re fighting yourself every other day. What kind of life is that?

    What I was doing, simply was not working. I had to overhaul my perspective for my own sanity.

    I remember one night, almost two years ago, weighing myself and seeing I gained 5 pounds. I was horrified. I’d been working my ass off in the gym for two months and this is what I get?

    I sobbed hysterically and drowned my sorrows in a pint of Haagen Daaz chocolate ice cream. I was angry, confused, heartbroken, full of guilt and shame.

    There I was in my apartment, alone, naked, makeup running down my face, and all I could do was curse belligerently at my body, “WHY DON’T YOU WANT TO BE THIN!? WHY!? WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE LIKE THIS!?”

    Looking at myself in the mirror, I wanted nothing more than to give up. All my efforts were pointless right?

    I’m surprised I didn’t punch and break the mirror now that I think about it.

    After a few minutes of eery silence in the room, it hit me like a ton of bricks: my body wants to be more than thin, it wants to be strong and healthy.

    My body loves me, it takes care of me, it keeps me alive; it allows me to walk, run, climb, sing, dance, play and do so many wonderful things. My body is my best friend in the whole world. It does everything I ask of it. And here I was treated it like crap.

    Frankly, I was treating my body like crap for a long time. I ate too much. I injured it by working out too much or too hard (to make up for eating too much). I told my body it wasn’t good enough, not thin enough and not fit enough. To add insult to injury, I drank alcohol and even smoked. Is it any wonder my body was showing some resistance?

    I treated my body horribly, yet she still worked for me. She did everything I asked her to do, and when she couldn’t, she tried her best anyway. Who else is there for you like that, always having your back? It’s a rare, beautiful thing to have someone in your corner.

    That was the most amazing epiphany of my life. I vowed then and there to LOVE MY BODY BACK. Everything I would do going forward would be because I loved my incredible body, not because I hated it.

    That moment completely changed my perspective on “working out.” I gave up “working out” because it didn’t serve who I was or what I was really trying to achieve. My thoughts changed from, “I have to workout” to “I’m blessed I get to train today. I get to move. I get to enjoy my body and everything it does for me.”

    I said goodbye to the elliptical and even stopped going to the gym for a while.

    Instead, I started doing more yoga in my apartment or a nearby park. I started swimming, I took dance and gymnastics classes. I started learning how to do proper push-ups, wall squats and other exercises to learn to master my bodyweight.

    At one point when I was working a lot and taking academic classes, I would find secluded spots to do 5 push-ups, 1 minute wall squats or sit-ups throughout the day. It felt so good to be active.

    I would play music in my bedroom and just dance away when the mood struck me – I felt so free.

    When I visited my sister and her kids, I started playing with them instead of just watching them. I climbed trees, practiced cartwheels and played on the jungle gym with them. I even showed them how to dance and they loved it! I loved it too. Everyone laughing and having a good time reminded me how much fun I used to have when exercising.

    Everything I did, I did for the love and appreciation of my body. And guess what?

    SHE REWARDED ME. The body fat started coming off. As well, I was gaining flexibility, old injuries were healing faster, I felt energetic throughout the day and I felt less stressed out. I felt as happy and carefree as an 8-year old again.

    You don’t have to spend an hour in the gym everyday to lose body fat. That’s just one approach. If it’s working great, keep doing it! But if it’s not working, maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe everyone needs a break from the gym from time to time?

    A more effective approach for me was to seriously focus on my nutrition intake and nutrition habits, to have a variety of training methods and to be move active throughout the day.

    Two years later, I’m back in the gym. But it’s a completely different experience now. I go to have fun, to explore, to become stronger, to push myself and try new challenges. I go to the gym to give my body the love it deserves.

    It may have taken me a long time to get here, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is I’m here and I’m loving it. I hope one day I’ll get to train around other people who love their bodies too.

    Love life,
    Kat Martin
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