Why do we get so focused on pounds or clothes sizes?
While on the Keto journey, we tend to focus on measurable or quantifiable results such as weight loss or the reduction in clothes size. However, there are many examples of small successes in everyday life which are signs of emotional growth as our self image improves when we finally give ourselves credit for our accomplishments. One good example is looking at photographs of ourselves and judging them very harshly and critically. After all we usually hardest on ourselves rather than others. It's human nature. On the journey we tend to focus on the before and after to measure results. In other words, we capture photos of ourselves as we progress down the path to better health, fitness and happiness. It’s a natural tendency to compare the before to the now. There was a time when I “couldn’t or wouldn’t” like to look at my before photographs. I didn’t like the person I saw which brought back unhappy memories of times when I was overweight and out of shape.
Now I look at them from a different vantage point. I’ve realized that it’s not the photo itself but the memories associated with it. It is who I was then but not now. I would think to myself “who is this person” when I know full well it’s me. There’s also an element of fear. Specifically the fear that I might return to this former self which was frightening to me. It’s a trigger which causes all the self-destructive feelings and self doubt to bubble up to the surface. I started to question my ability to keep these thoughts at bay.
The key is to remember that keto is all about self love and self care. If you think you’re worth it, then you won’t backtrack because the transformation is for a lifetime and not short-term. I distinctly remember times when my wife would take a picture of me or vice versa and at first glance the automatic reaction was “it’s unflattering...just delete it..or I’m just not very photogenic and on and on...
After being on the keto journey for almost two years, I’ve not only lost weight but it has given me a better understanding of myself and what motivates me. Yes, it’s about the food but more importantly it’s a quest of self-discovery. We are all creatures of habit and do things almost subconsciously. These non-scalable successes I’m describing are the result of this process. In the past it was all about the numbers. If the numbers weren’t what I wanted then I would punish myself and do just the opposite of the results I'm trying to get. It’s all so self-defeating! Now I look at myself as a “whole person” and not just obsess about one aspect because it can’t be separated from the rest. Be it superficial or not there are all parts of our body we don’t like for one reason or another. For example, my stomach is too big, I've got love handles, or my double chin is unattractive. To me it’s a big deal but someone else might not even notice it.
If there’s something you don’t like about your body and your life. Once you're committed to the keto lifestyle you have the means and the power to make positive changes for a lifetime. It’s in your hands.. It’s always been that way, but you didn’t recognize it. Now you can focus on what is positive and good for your life without concern for what others think. The approval or acceptance of others is no longer a factor. It’s common sense but quite a revelation nonetheless. Remember to accept your victories both big and small with grace and dignity.