and give a lot of love…especially self love.
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight requires commitment and a total lifestyle change. Once you find your weight loss “groove”, it’s important to remain in that groove; to keep inching forward with a willingness to modify when what you’re doing is no longer working. Losing weight is like running a marathon (not a race) in that you have to stay focused. You have to be realistic in your expectations depending on which stage of life you are in. Have you had a baby or two how many years ago? Have you incurred life altering health issues? You will likely become discouraged if you constantly look in the rearview mirror comparing yourself to how you used to look or to how much you used to weigh… probably when you were much younger. Don’t get sidetracked by listening to the suggestions of well meaning people who will try to tell you to do it “their” way. Stop comparing yourself to photoshopped celebrity images and the people that you see on social media who are not shy about using photo enhancing filters. Weight loss is a “personal” journey…your journey…and what motivates and works for some may not work for others. Get to know your body to determine when it functions at its best. Identify your personal binge foods and avoid them or eliminate them altogether. Pay attention to how certain foods affect your body, especially your digestive system. Too many “bad” carbs and too much processed food makes my body feel like it’s running with a clogged engine. My energy level drops and my attitude tends to become more negative.
Why is it that once we finally gain some ground in the weight loss battle…begin seeing results and people start to notice…that we lose our focus and begin to backslide? Is it overconfidence, a fear of success or failure? Is it because deep down inside we really don’t believe that we deserve the good stuff that a healthy lifestyle has to offer? Why do we sometimes sabotage ourselves and continue to live in the problem instead of pushing forward towards the solution? For over a decade at the conclusion of every Overeaters Anonymous meeting, I stood in a circle holding hands with fellow overeaters, bulimics and anorexics and repeated the phrase “it works if you work it and give a lot of love”. That truth is still relevant today.
Last fall after my son’s wedding, I hit an emotional low regarding my weight. After several weeks of wallowing and body shaming, I decided to do something about it. I immediately gave up the sweets (again) and embarked on a journey of “clean” eating with a goal to lose 50 pounds by June 1st. My start date was October 29th. That goal seemed reasonable enough and attainable at the time because it would allow me 7 months to achieve it. I realized that it would be treacherous with the upcoming holidays but I also knew that if I didn’t get things under control sooner than later, I would only have more work to do in the New Year.
Last Thursday was June 1st…the day of my big reveal…the day I planned to be re-photographed in the dress that I wore to my son’s wedding…my before and after photo! But guess what? I didn’t reach my total weight loss goal…but I’m over halfway there and I’m very proud of that accomplishment. For the last month I have hit a plateau. I have even gained a pound or two but I’m NOT turning back because I have come too far. It would be a lot easier to give up in discouragement than to continue pushing forward. I have a tendency to be a black and white thinker. However when it comes to achieving weight loss goals, that’s a good thing because gray areas complicate things for me. Sometimes I feel like I have one of those heroin flaps in my brain…once I start eating refined sugar, fast food and bad carbs, it’s almost impossible for me to quit apart from divine intervention.
So today, for the remainder of the weight that I want to lose, I have set some “mini” goals to insure that the last leg of my journey is successful. I’ve joked that I’ve made it this far by lying on the sofa (not really), eating healthy and tracking but healthy eating will only take you so far. Exercise has to be a component when it comes to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle and for me that’s been the missing piece.
Once again I’m reminded that “it works if you work it and give a lot of love”.
Are you struggling to reach your weight loss goal? As always your comments are welcome.