Today is weigh-in day for me so in a couple of hours I’ll step on the scale. And while I always hope to see a positive result of my efforts over the previous week, I’m not as anxious today as I usually am.
One of my favorite new readers sent me an e-mail that forced me to put weight loss into perspective for myself. She asked how I handled weeks in which I knew that scale would not be kind. And my honest answer to her was that it sucks. But I remind myself that this is not the last time I’ll ever step on the scale. And if I keep doing what I know I should be doing, I’ll have continue to have weight loss success in the long run.
Her e-mail made me think back to where I was when I started…how I dealt with my first gain and what made me decide to finally make the changes I needed to make.
I don’t spend much time talking about what made me say “Hey, I’ve had enough. I’m going to change” because I wasn’t really sure what made that happen until I read a post by Pat Barone today at www.stoprentingweightloss.com. As I responded to her post, I began thinking about what got me started.
I got to a point in which I needed to lose weight, and I wasn’t sure how to do it. I had/have more to lose than most people can imagine so it was quite overwhelming to get started.
I considered (strongly considered) gastric bypass, but it was a very big risk. And I’ll be honest..I had not tried everything. I had tried nothing. And I had to try something because my feet were swelling so much (on a regular basis) that they looked like balloons. I also began visiting a podiatrist regularly because my feet hurt so badly when I was walking that I limped around. And let’s not forget that I couldn’t button any of my coats during winter — and I live in New York! It’s freezing here during winter.
Anyway, I knew I needed a change so in April of last year, I learned through Weight Watchers how much I should be eating per day then I started figuring out how much fiber I should have per day…how much sodium. I gave up soda completely. And soon after I began to eat at least 5 fruits and veggies per day. Then I started exercising (resistance training and cardio.) I started eating more lean protein and making my meals much smaller. I also started drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. Now these things are just second nature. I don’t (usually) have to think about it to do it.
It took a few months of weight loss and more patience than I knew I had to feel changes in my body. I couldn’t see them, but I started to feel them. I think the first time I noticed a difference was the night of my birthday dinner over the summer. I had lost 27 pounds at that point. After dinner, a few girlfriends and I spent the rest of the night walking around Times Square, the East Village then SoHo. And as the sun came up, I realized that my foot wasn’t hurting as much as it would have been before. That felt like success.
When you have as much to lose as I do (over 200 total) it’s hard to see changes physically right away. It is easy to want to believe that there’s a quicker fix. And, for many, it’s even easier to throw in the towel.
But the truth is that I have never been as happy with myself as I am now because I am becoming a healthier, lighter and more energized person one step at a time. Some days I still can’t believe how great I feel. There’s no more out-of-control swelling in my feet and ankles…no more hurting feet. In fact, now I can walk several miles without even feeling fatigued. I exercise until I’m drenched without pain. It’s incredible. And I absolutely believe that I never would have gotten to this point with a fad diet.
(Vegas one week ago…Do I look happier? Because I am…)
I know people who diet regularly. They lose then gain then gain more than lose again, etc. And while they might lose 15 pounds in same amount of time I lose 7, I’m not tempted to do it their way because I don’t want to have to lose that same 7 pounds more than once.
I lose an average of 2 pounds per week which isn’t fast by any means, but when I think about how quickly these 82 pounds have added up, it has definitely been worth my effort and my patience to get here. I remind myself of that one days in which people say that I should do a liquid diet or join Jenny Craig.
I look at myself and my progress, and I can see that I have the best shot at keeping this weight off once it’s gone because I won’t have to change the way I eat when I’m done. I’m learning how to cook foods that are good for me as well as satisfying. And I’ll happily take the bumps in the road as opposed to a yo-yo lifestyle in which I’m always starting over.
I’ve accomplished the goals I set for myself outside of weight loss, and this goal is no different. To get to a healthy, comfortable weight I just have to keep eating well and exercising even when I don’t feel like it.
A magic pill sounds nice, but the truth is that fad diets set us up for failure. And failure is hard on the self-esteem. It can take years to regain confidence when it has been shattered, regardless of the reasons.
So, instead, I continue to lose weight the old-fashioned way. And while I may be slower to lose weight, I’ve quickly gained self-appreciation and confidence in myself. I know that I CAN do it because I am. I am that girl! And nothing has ever been so satisfying…ever.
If you feel overwhelmed or you just feel like it’s taking too long or it’s not working, etc. Then take a look at where you are. Be honest with yourself. If you don’t think you can do it then I’ll be here to tell you that you can. Just e-mail me. I also recommend going to Weight Watchers because it’s not a diet. It’s a way of life that makes the balance of healthy living more palatable. At this point, I can already say that Weight Watchers has helped me change my life. One of my favorite quotes ever is “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.” So if you want to make a real change, do it now.
Do you struggle with “dieting” or have you learned how to make real and lasting lifestyle changes? What do you see when you reach your goal…? Do you see yourself going back to the way you ate before or continuing in the changes that brought you to that point?