When I am OK with Weight Loss by Maria Scrimenti

SroutStep provider spotlight

- Maria Scrimenti -

My heart breaks for the women who count every calorie, weigh every food, cut out carbs and protein and vegetables because they are on the 32nd diet of their lifetime.

My heart goes out to the women who hate having their picture taken because they aren’t confident in their bodies. They would rather hide than be seen.

My heart hurts for the women who feel deeply embarrassed and are sick of living this way. They are convinced they lack will power and discipline. They just want to feel better.

Women across the globe are busy hating themselves when they could be creating, playing, laughing, loving, and kicking some serious butt. Instead, they are stuck living as half a person because all the shame they feel around their weight keeps them only ever operating at half their potential at best.

Having this knowledge is devastating to me. Don’t get me wrong- I used to drown myself in food and drink. From what I remember, it started when I was around 21 years old.

I had reached an insane level of fitness. I was doing one-arm push ups and scoring as a superior athlete on VO2 max tests (some nerdy fitness test that was important to me at the time).

I put college on hold to take my dream job, which required a move from the flourishing city of Nashville, TN to Erie, PA. In 2014, Nashville was on its way to becoming a real hot spot and I was sad to move across the country and miss out on the action.

But I wanted the job more than anything, so I moved. I settled into life there as I was helping to grow a fitness business; working as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I was thrilled to have that job, but I missed Nashville. To be honest, I think I missed being able to act like the 21 year old I was. I didn’t interact with anyone my age. In fact, my clients were mostly middle-aged women who hated their bodies (even though they were beautiful), so I internalized that as my fate.

Their fear of weight gain rubbed off on me. I started to fear it, too. It’s almost like I couldn’t accept the unknown, so I wanted to see what it would take for me to gain weight and how that would feel. Because then, that fear wouldn’t have power over me.

In addition, I think I couldn’t stand not being able to relate to these women. I still had my abs, and they felt out of place. I wanted to be a trainer with a normal body.

So, I began binge eating every night. I would eat copious amounts of food, then go to bed and do it all over again the next day. I got the normal body, and when I got there, I hated it.

I didn’t want my toned body, but I didn’t want my “normal” body, either. I kept losing weight for as long as I couldn’t accept my body. It took me 5 years of disordered eating to come out on the other side. I know I should count myself as one of the lucky ones that it only took me 5 years to wage the war.

All along those 5 years, I was reading the right books and listening to the right podcasts unknowingly priming myself for when I was ready to live a life where I didn’t feel crazy around food.

Cut to 2020. This past year, I discovered the type of movement my body craves, and I don’t put expectations on myself to move in any other way. I exercise almost every day, but I do not kill myself. I eat in a way I love. I don’t overthink it- I put nourishing foods in my body every single day and I eat kettle chips and chocolate and I drink wine because I value living an abundant life. And guess what? I’m still losing weight.

I’m 20 pounds lighter than I was when my eating was out of control. But I lost weight almost by accident. I didn’t know I was losing weight until my clothes didn’t fit anymore. I was too busy enjoying my life to focus on the scale.

Today, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, nearly a decade of experience working in the fitness industry, a handful of fitness certifications, and almost 20 master’s level courses in counseling under my belt. I have studied health & wellness coaching, basic nutrition, and body kindness and I consider myself an expert in living a balanced, free, and full life.

I love my life and I believe all women deserve to love their lives!

I know that the way to get there is not through a diet. You don’t have to eat anything you don’t want to eat or give up foods you love. You do not have to move your body in a way that makes you want to throw up. These are not rational or sustainable behaviors. They are punishments and they make no logical sense.

It is better to reach, accept, and maintain your body’s natural set-point. It should be noted that some clients may need to gain weight if they are under their natural set-point. I also want to be clear that I am not saying anyone needs to lose weight. If that’s a desire of yours while we are working together, I will work with you to reframe weight loss. We will set personalized goals that uncover your unique motivators and focus on adopting healthier behaviors. The healthy habits become the focus; weight loss is a byproduct, or as some clients say, a “bonus”.

It’s time more women started living their lives. If only you could see how worthy and capable you are. If you commit to doing the work and embracing the unveiling, therein your transformation lies.

Maria’s passion is helping women exercise and eat in a way they love so they can finally feel confident in their skin.