Let the positive, grateful-to-be-alive vibes flow, folks—it's Thanksgiving month. To get the ball rolling, I thought I'd share a few of the things (off a much longer list) that I'm very thankful for from this past year, including all of you epic people.
Spark: Scale, Schmale
You've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: The scale is just a number. It's not indicative of who you are as a person. It shouldn't dictate your mood. It is not the final word on your self-esteem. True, true, fact, preach.
Despite saying or hearing as much for years, it's a truth that bears repeating often and passionately. So much of the weight-loss journey relies on numbers—how many calories you're putting into your body, how many days you make it to the gym, how many biceps curls you can do, body fat percentages, how many meals and snacks you're squeezing in to your day—but the number on the scale is one that should always be taken with a grain of salt.
Not only is the journey a long, winding one, but it's also an inconsistent one, thanks to a little thing called life. We're not all Blake Lively training for eight solid weeks to be in a swimsuit on a movie-theater-sized screen. There's going to be that Tuesday when you have a bad meeting with your boss that almost leaves you in tears and you go home to watch "Pitch Perfect" for the 20th time instead of hitting the gym. Your best friend is going to insist that you come share her birthday cupcakes with her on the week you swear off sugar. You're going to start lifting weights and you'll fall totally in love with it and your muscles are going to grow and add weight to your frame.
It's also important to note that our weight varies, like, a lot. A lot, a lot. Things like having just eaten a meal, the time of day, drinking a bunch of water and natural body functions can all affect the number you see reflected back at you. The more power you give those few lights projecting up from your bathroom floor, the more likely you are to suffer from a lack of motivation and drive on the one evening when the number is higher than you'd like.
To further solidify this all-too important point, I present visual proof:
Over the summer, Kelsey Wells of My Sweat Life shared what would become a viral photo on her Instagram of her weight-loss progress. The girl in the photos is thin, yes, but it's those numbers that really had people talking. Despite being at her lightest weight of 122 pounds in the middle shot, it's her final photo at 140—just five pounds lighter than her starting weight—that shows a strong, healthy, glowing success. In her post, she talks about how her original goal weight was 122, but it was actually after gaining 18 pounds in her pursuit of fitness that she finally found real comfort in her own skin. "According to my old self and flawed standards, I would be failing miserably [at 140]," she writes. "THANK GOODNESS I finally learned to start measuring my progress by things that matter—strength, ability, endurance, health, and HAPPINESS." Take Kelsey's advice and focus on finding the strength inside, a drive that's going to push you to feel like your best self, no matter if that's at 130 pounds or 150 pounds. Once you find that person, the number on the scale or on your jeans will pale by comparison.
TL;DR: Scales can be dream crushers and we often give them too much power. Take your scale and metaphorically smash it "Office Space" style.
Smile: Crying Happy Tears to "Let It Go"On the theme of being thankful, can we all just take a second to give thanks that people like Kylee McGrane and Margaret McAndrew exist? The co-founders of A Moment of Magic Foundation have one mission: To bring smiles and inspire dreams for children fighting a tougher battle than most of us will ever encounter. The two college students and their army of volunteers travel to hospitals and schools dressed as beloved Disney princesses, encountering squeals of joy and lots of toothy grins everywhere they go. The world could use more of this kind of magic.
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