Why is it that losing weight is such a challenge?
The end game is glorious! You feel better. You look better. You have more confidence. You enjoy shopping for clothes instead of loathe it. You don’t mind having your picture taken. Oh my — so many reasons to lose weight!
Yet, it’s not glamorous. It’s a struggle. We start out highly motivated, knowing that we want to look and feel better. We do a little bit of research and we start hitting the gym. But shortly after that, many of us give up. It starts to get hard and you realize that you can’t eat the same stuff that you used to on a regular basis. You have to start opting for a grilled chicken breast and spinach salad with sparkling water instead of a whopper with fries and a coke. But the whopper sounds so much better! I’ll just have it this once…
Before you know it, your bad habits are creeping back up. You lasted only a short while where you were highly motivated and making healthy decisions. Cookies, cakes, candies, fast food, soda…many of these are weak points for people and they can’t seem to say no. The healthy eating habits disappear and you’re suddenly back to square one. Oh, how many times have I been there.
When I was a kid, I wasn’t overweight. Then puberty hit and it all went south. Pepsi® and Cheetos® were my preferred lunch and it wasn’t uncommon for me to have several Pepsi’s a day. I couldn’t care less about my health, or my looks. It wasn’t pretty.
A few years later, I realized that I did actually care about my health and that high school wouldn’t be so great if I kept doing what I was doing. From 8th grade to freshman year, I dropped 40+ pounds. I felt great. I kept it off in high school and was in the best shape of my life. I not only played volleyball and softball and joined the dance team, but I also took aerobics and made a solid effort to work out during the summer months off and the weekends. I cut soda and candy out completely and over time, it was very easy to say ‘no thank you’ when it was offered. I kept off the weight for the entire length of high school.
Just days before my graduation, I tore my ACL, my meniscus and broke a piece of my femur. I didn’t know anything was torn until about 3 months later. Surgery came next and my ability to workout like I had been doing just vanished. Suddenly it was physical therapy exercises and retraining my knee. Then it was time for college classes and work and working out just didn’t happen as often. Time went on and I gained and I gained and I gained.
In the 10 years since I’ve graduated high school, I’ve had some successful weight loss journeys where I was able to drop about 10-15 pounds — but then something always happened. Either I re-injured my knee, stress took over my life, or I had far too many excuses to be successful.
Well now, I’m out of excuses. I’m not stressed out, I have a healthy knee, and I live on my own so I am in charge of what comes and goes in my kitchen. This time it feels different too.
In the past 50 days, I’ve dropped 8 pounds on the dot. It all started because my 10 year reunion is approaching fast. I knew that I couldn’t be anywhere near my goal weight in the time that I had, so I started with a small goal. My goal was to lose 10 pounds before the reunion and then keep on chugging along. My reunion is 3 days away and I’m 2 pounds away. It’s likely that I won’t reach my 10 pound goal, but I’m happy to say I’ve lost 8!
This time around, I started slow. I started striving to get in morning workouts as often as I could. I started going on walks on my breaks (actually, I started taking breaks). I started eating smaller portions of sweets. I started swapping sparkling flavored water for soda and then shopped for healthier snacks.
Since it’s been over a month, I’ve been making bigger changes. I’ve started tracking my food and documenting my workouts to see how I’m doing. I’ve started doing research on the number of calories I need to cut in order to lose the weight that I want. For the last few days, my lunches and dinners have been various large spinach and spring mix salads with healthy portions of protein. I’ve found myself going days without being tempted to eat something sweet. I’ve found myself looking forward to working out in the mornings or when I get off of work.
I’m only in the beginning stages of this process, but I have high hopes for this journey. So wish me luck!
[Update! On the morning of my 10 year reunion, before another workout, I weighed in with a 9.4 pound loss! Just shy of my goal. But still pretty cool!]