If I had known that I could enjoy the weight-loss process so much I would have started it much sooner. I think I had a lot of misconceptions about losing weight because I thought the only way to do it was to diet – to forsake every food I had ever enjoyed, replacing all of my regular hobbies with grueling exercise. Wow..I was so wrong!
It’s not easy every day, but I certainly do not live a life of depravity…not. even. close. I eat real foods that are healthy and filling, but I eat cheesecake sometimes (not often..just sometimes) too. Over the last year, I’ve learned how to balance my cravings with what I actually need, and I’ve even seen big changes in what I crave.
I don’t diet. I dislike the word immensely because I believe it sets people up to fail. I make good food choices most of the time. I eat healthy foods and journal what I’m eating (good or bad) so I know I’m consuming just enough to lose weight. Before I began losing weight I had no idea that eating enough was just as important as not eating too much.
And I actually enjoy exercise. Who knew that was possible?! I certainly did not. I don’t always enjoy lifting gigantic weights or doing squats until I puke, but at this point, it’s not necessary for me to do that on a daily basis (though some days I try.)
I do lift light weights, and I do squats and crunches and plank exercises. I also ride my bicycle, walk with friends or solo, dance to exercise videos that have a fun beat and I use a fitness stick to tone my arms. I mix up my workouts, and I do things that I enjoy. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you don’t hate what you’re about to do. I’ll never understand why people put themselves through that!
So, for me, this experience has actually been a fun one so far. Sure, there have been times (more than a few) in which I suffered through saying no to a Kit-Kat or a slice of pizza, but I don’t remember most of those instances. I do, however, remember how happy I feel each time I step on the scale and weigh less. I also remember the first shirt I bought off the rack at Old Navy and at Kohl’s. I remember the first time I jogged up a flight of stairs without feeling winded and the first time I could button one of my winter coats. I also remember the first time I could buckle the seat belt in the car without an extension and the first time I could use the table in front of me on an airplane. I also remember the feeling I got a few days ago when I put a belt through the loops of my jeans. (More on that later…that was a huge accomplishment!)
Weight-loss is not easy, but it’s also not as terrible as I thought it would be. I have learned that I can do so much more than I thought I could do with my body, my heart and my mind. I have ups and downs, but when you add it all up, you see one big success. I’ve said this before: I’m nowhere near my goal, but I already feel like a new person who possesses a bit of personal style, class and confidence. And while I certainly wish I could have felt this way sooner, I’ll just remain thankful that I feel it now.