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This Is Whatís Different

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Old 04-27-2009, 04:12 PM   #1
nirvikalpa samadhi
 
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Smile This Is Whatís Different

You know, it occurred to me last night while I was out walking my dogs…there have been dozens if not hundreds of times in my life, particularly in the last five years when I was over 300 lbs, that I have “woken up” all of a sudden and said, man I wished I would have stuck with that diet I started last (month, year, January, summer, whatever) because then I wouldn't be feeling so huge and miserable.

I would have said to myself, DCHound, you have to lose this weight because you have (a party to go to, to fly home for Christmas, to start dating again…). So I would start a diet and of course something would come up, and I’d fail. Again. And give up. Again. Then eventually wake up, look around and be miserable. Again.

Last night though, I was bringing the dogs in from going potty. I looked down, and I was wearing a short skort. And sandals. And a cute top. It was really hot, and I wasn’t wearing sweatpants, horrible wornout tennis shoes, and a ratty t-shirt. I actually looked fairly cute. I didn’t have to hold onto the stair railing to haul myself up the stairs; I walked up normally. My ankles, knees and back didn’t hurt. I didn’t have heartburn. I didn’t feel sick and tired and old.

This is what’s different: I made a promise to myself, I made a plan, and I stuck to it. August 14, 2008, was my mental click. Why is it working this time, when it never has before except in very limited ways (I lost 100 lbs in 1999, I lost 50 more in 2003 then immediately gained it all back and then some by 2004)?

This is why it's different: It’s working because I finally think I’m worth it. I finally have learned to love and value myself. I had to learn to love myself at 350+ lbs before I could start, and stick to, this journey. I didn’t love myself a lot, but I loved myself enough to start. I’ve been able to love myself a little bit more each day since then. And it’s not because I’ve lost weight, although that helps. It’s just because I’m being mindful of it and I’m doing it deliberately.

I force myself to give myself compliments. In return, I am now able to accept compliments much more gracefully than ever before. I force myself not to belittle myself or cut myself down. In return, rather than always feeling bad, guilty, stupid and worthless, I fluctuate between feeling average/normal, good, and even great sometimes.

I think what I’m trying to say is, there’s a lot more to weightloss than simply losing weight. It is more than just a physical journey, it’s a mental journey.

I’ve made this journey before but ultimately failed because I only made the physical journey, the “being on a diet and losing weight” part. I didn’t change my mindset one iota, and when tough times came I caved and gained it all back, and then some.

Late 2003 is a blur. I remember making the first bad choice (at about 180 lbs/size 14, the smallest I’d ever been as an adult) then really I don’t remember anything else til Christmas and having to borrow a size 26 outfit from my sister because I literally had nothing to wear for Christmas dinner other than pajamas or sweatpants.

I had to love myself, at least a little bit, BEFORE beginning the journey.

I had to believe I was worth it.

I had to take this love and this belief in myself and use it to prop myself up and fight back whenever temptation struck.

All this added together equals a lifestyle change, rather than a diet.

I stick with low-carb because it’s a lifestyle and I love how I look/feel from staying on plan, not because it’s a diet.

I go to the gym because it’s a lifestyle and I love how I look/feel from working out, not because it’s punishing exercise.

I wish someone would have sat me down in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, early 2008, and forced me to spend time reflecting on my life, choices, habits and reality. I might have gotten here earlier. But what’s past is past. I’m here now. It’s a total life-change. And I’m truly happy.

And last night, when I realized that I have finally stuck with it, and I’m really reaping the rewards…for a few seconds I was completely and utterly happy and content. What a wonderful feeling it was.

Maybe reading this will help someone who’s teetering on the edge of beginning their journey take that first step. I hope so, anyway.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:43 PM   #2
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DCHound... this is a wonderful, moving post. Keep on loving your beautiful self.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:49 PM   #3
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Hear hear! Great Post I agree 100%, all those other times I tried and failed I didn't see the big picture and I didn't value myself like I do now.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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What a wonderful post! You sound so happy that it brings a smile to my face.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DCHound View Post
It is more than just a physical journey, itís a mental journey.
I could not agree with you more. This is the first time that I've ever felt so committed to sticking with my plan to lose weight and get healthier. I believe that this time is different because I am concentrating on the mental as well as the physical. I recently began using visualization techniques each day. I literally close my eyes and invision myself as a smaller woman who feels lighter, healthier and stronger. I'm looking at myself in a mirror and really loving and accepting what I see. Or, I'm trying clothes on in the dressing room of my favorite store. Or, I'm running a marathon (this one is used quite a bit while I'm on the treadmill!) Ever since I began doing this, my mind has started to truly believe that this can be a reality for me. This is the first time I've ever felt like I could have this for myself. This is huge!
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
I am concentrating on the mental as well as the physical. I recently began using visualization techniques each day. I literally close my eyes and invision myself as a smaller woman who feels lighter, healthier and stronger. I'm looking at myself in a mirror and really loving and accepting what I see.
Yes, yes, yes ~ that's exactly the way to succeed!
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:43 PM   #6
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DCHound!

I totally agree that 98% of weight loss happens between our ears. Several chapters of Tom Venuto's new book, The Body Fat Solution (which may be the best "diet" book I've ever read) focus on the mental aspects of weight loss -- what he calls mental training. He considers it just as important as nutrition and exercise for weight loss. The book goes into great detail about goal setting, reframing, affirmations, attitudes and beliefs, self-talk etc. He's a big advocate of just the kind of affirmations Rhonda is using. It sounded hokey to me at first but ... it works. I highly recommend the book.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
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thanks for those words.

i think loving myself is the hardest thing i have to learn how to do. the other stuff is habit, planning, navigation.

finding that space inside me where it's going to be okay to be me?

that's the real work in all of this.

and you look wonderful today!

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Old 04-27-2009, 06:46 PM   #8
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I like this post! Even though I'm not that far into it (this time), I also feel differently about it. Working out is not optional, it is what I do 5 days a week. Counting calories is not optional, it is what I do all the time.

I had someone make a comment that they admired my determination to keep going to the gym as I do. I said, "Yep, I'm really doing well." instead of "well, ya, but I have a long way to go and I'm not that great, etc."

We are so awesome!
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:10 PM   #9
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I love your post and so glad you posted it. I am really trying to change my thinking on this whole weight loss thing myself. Right now I am in what I call "smooth sailing" mode. I'm amped and this all seems easy right now. But I know from past experience that this phase doesn't last long. So I am trying to build up my mental now. I am going to look into that book Meg mentioned in her post.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:13 PM   #10
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Your whole post is brilliant. Brilliant. I nodded my head in agreement throughout.

I definitely, DEFINITELY agree that majority of weight loss occurs in the brain. Ones thinking and attitudes about food and exercise. Not to dread it, but to embrace it. Not to be "sad" about making the lifestyle change, but to be happy and excited to do it. To "want" to make these changes. Willingly and happily.

It just amazes me how so many of us, when we get to "that point", how very similar we are. It's like we're all reading each others minds. It's like we've actually GOT the same minds. Certainly the same mind frame.

Quote:
The book goes into great detail about goal setting, reframing, affirmations, attitudes and beliefs, self-talk etc.
Meg, that book sounds like a winner to me. I rely on those things - HEAVILY.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:52 AM   #11
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Oh DC! God must have whispered in your ear to write this so I could read it! Thank you so much for this!
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:33 PM   #12
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Thanks so much for you inspiring words.I recently have decided to try to do this for my health and not the way I look.I don't want to be scared of leaving my family at an early age.Before it was always about the way I looked but I must not have cared that much because I'm in the same boat yet again.This time it is to save my life.To see my children grow up and be there for them.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:11 PM   #13
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DC Hound...this is a fabulous post!! I couldn't agree more with each and every word! I have been there...done that and back again and this time is different for me as well. Thanks for posting!
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:42 PM   #14
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Thank you for that post. It was very moving and oh so true.
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:17 PM   #15
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Your post really spoke to me, especially this part:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCHound View Post
I didnít love myself a lot, but I loved myself enough to start. Iíve been able to love myself a little bit more each day since then. And itís not because Iíve lost weight, although that helps. Itís just because Iím being mindful of it and Iím doing it deliberately.
I started because I wanted my life back, but now I see that I didn't even want it back as much I do now, as much as I do increasingly. I honestly didn't know when I started that it would be like this. (If that makes any sense.)
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