Accomplishments Discipline Eating Well Emotions Lifestyle Milestones Motivation weight loss Weight Watchers

My Reflection

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.

(This is from a little over a year ago. Now this coat is so big, I don’t wear it anymore.)

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.

(Now I can button and zip all of my coats, even the smaller sizes, which means I can enjoy playing in the snow!)

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.

(Vegas one year ago…)

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?

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    WaistingTime
    February 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    This hits home for me. I am a yo-yo dieter. I finally decided that I need to realize that I am not on a diet – but really and truly changing how I eat forever. Last summer I was at my goal weight thanks to South Beach but went off the plan and gained a lot back. Now I know that I cannot ever go back to eating how I did, unless I want to go back to weight what I did.

    You look great!

  • Reply
    Keelie
    February 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I can NEVER go back! I am so inspired by you! It is so good to hear that when looking back the time seems to have gone quickly. I keep telling myself to be patient–even if it takes a couple of years to get where you or I want to be, that is still a very small amount of time in the span of our entire lives.

    You are doing such a fantastic job! Keep it up and thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of us:)
    Keelie
    http://wearelosingitblog.blogspot.com/

  • Reply
    Keri
    February 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Kenz, you're really pretty.

    I am such a huge advocate of Weight Watchers, I'm so glad you are too whole-heartedly.

    Keri @ lifelessonaday.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Lisa
    February 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Great post! Those Vegas photos are amazing, you look like a totally new person in the second one! You are so motivating, keep up your hard work and good luck with your weigh in tonight.

  • Reply
    Sheila
    February 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Girl – you are beautiful! I can not believe how much you have changed in just one year! AMAZING! GREAT JOB!!!

  • Reply
    The Dworianyns
    February 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Kenz – I have been reading your blog for a while but never commented. I am officially de-lurking myself! I just wanted to let you know that your story is amazing and inspiring! I just hit my 60 pounds lost mark and can definitely identify with your story. You are doing such a great job and are 100% committed which is exactly what it takes. Keep it going!

    http://dworianynlovenest.blogspot.com/

  • Reply
    Diz
    February 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you yet again, beautiful girl, for an amazing post. It's good for ALL of us to hear and be reminded that this journey takes time. I, too am guilty of wanting things quickly and getting frustrated that it takes so looong. But that's ok! It's a permanent life change, so that means the rest of my life. And life changes take time. But just like you said, when you look back, suddenly it doesn't seem so bad, but you realize you've come so far! Thank you! And you look fabulous in the 2nd picture, btw. Simply fabulous. 🙂

  • Reply
    Genie @ Diet of 51
    February 18, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Your leader should be contacting Weight Watcher's corporate office about you becoming a spokesperson for their program. Those pictures and your attitude would go a long way toward rounding up new members.

    I really admire you! You are so wise beyond your years, and you have quite the fab smile:)

  • Reply
    Julie
    February 18, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Hey Kenz! I don't know if anyone has ever told you this :), but you are extremely motivating! Everyday that I read your posts I walk away with a more positive attitude then when I arrived here at your little home on the web! I am still new in Weight Watchers. Tomorrow will be my 5th Weigh in. I truly feel great… but still have some pain in my legs when exercising, but I really think that will go away in about another 20 pounds! I can't weight and that gives me even more incentive to step up the exercise! Take care! Julie

  • Reply
    Deb Willbethin
    February 19, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Kenz, Such a thoughtful post. You rxpressed a wise and sane way to think of this weight loss process. You have the mindset that will get you to victory! Thanks.

    Deb

  • Reply
    Katie J
    February 19, 2010 at 12:56 am

    You are BEAUTIFUL Kenz! I love that pretty smile of yours.

  • Reply
    Mae Flowers
    February 19, 2010 at 2:32 am

    You have a very healthy attitude on creating a healthy life for yourself. You are gorgeous and you can really see a difference in these pictures! Great job!

  • Reply
    (The) Ladybug Lounge formerly Msslaydbug
    February 19, 2010 at 3:46 am

    What an inspirational post for many of us. I love that you can put into such wonderful words what many of us struggle with on a day to day basis. You should be proud of yourself !! I can't wait to follow you through the rest of your journey !

  • Reply
    jenjen
    February 19, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Kenlie –
    You are so beautiful! I can see such a big difference in the picture from last year and this year. You are an inspiration and so so amazing! Love you girl!

    XOXO
    Jen

  • Reply
    Stacey at Living by Faith
    February 19, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I love how you have pictures to compare last year to now. What huge changes…inside and out.

    I struggle with dieting and have for over 20 years! That sounds horrible to say. I have been on more diets than I care to remember. I know how to diet and did a great job many years ago at WW. At that time I worked on the outside, but sadly there was a lot of junk on the inside of my head that has taken a little longer to work out. In the meantime the weigh came back. But I am there now ready to work again and that is what matters!

    I don't really have a number goal at this time. My obsession with the scale has been part of the problem. I think for me what I will notice when I reach 'goal' where ever that will be, is that I will have broken free of my unhealthy relationship with food and have an improved self image.

    I have been so encouraged by you and Keelie at Real Fat that I have begun to post weekly updates of my journey to help me stay accountable.

    Like everyone else has said, You really are an inspiration! Thanks

    ~Stacey

  • Reply
    Bought For A Price
    February 19, 2010 at 11:44 am

    This post was SO timely, as my post yesterday was about only losing .6 lbs. this week and only 6.6 lbs. in 8 weeks. I am beginning WW again (I am a lifetime member) and looking forward to honoring whatever method that I choose for my weight loss! Thanks for the post.

  • Reply
    Becca
    February 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Great post- I love seeing the difference in the Vegas pictures- and I love how real you make it for you- 2 lbs of loss each week is steady and do able and will remain off!

    Love your inspirational attitude!!!

    ~Becca

  • Reply
    Tammy
    February 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Such a great story — thanks for sharing the photos. You look great, and so different from just a year ago. I see that you lost another 3 pounds — that is spectacular! I so appreciate you putting your thoughts out for all of us to share. You are so upbeat, and that makes the weight loss journey seem like less of a struggle. I love your quote about a year ago. A friend of mine gave me this one earlier this week — You alone can do this… but you don't have to do it alone!!!

  • Reply
    shortmama
    February 19, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    This post brings tears to my eyes. You success is everything I want for myself. I have been up and down but more up than down. I have definitely been a yo-yo dieter for years. I start gung ho….doing all the right things and then it all peters out. I live in the middle of nowhere so WW meetings dont work for me…I used to go to them when I worked in the city and I was successful. I have subscribed to WW online but still just cant stick with anything. The eating right I can do, its the exercise that I cant get motivated to do. I have the time…I lack the desire. I aspire to find your strength and motivation

  • Reply
    ♥ Shrinking Kenz ♥
    February 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    The truth is, ShortMama, you do it even when you lack motivation. I didn't start thinking exercise was fun. I just started anyway, and now I crave physical activity more than crave any food.

    So..you do it even when you don't feel like doing it. You tell yourself sweating is a good thing (because it is,) and eventually, you'll start unerstanding that it's true.

    There have been some very honest comments on this thread, and I appreciate them so much! Thanks girls!

  • Reply
    Bombshell Beauty
    February 21, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Great way to address fad diets like the liquid ones and Jenny Craig – anything that can't be maintained for the rest of one's life. Short term success is just that; and more often than not it sets you up for long term failure (I can attest to that!)

    I also like the fact that you mentioned other people weigh in on your weight loss, suggesting quick fixes, etc. That can be so disheartening to anyone who goes their own way and measures sucess one pound at a time. So much of weight loss is about the journey – not just the end result. Great post!

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