I noticed that my profile says I've been a member here since August of 2000. In the past 8 years, I have been on the boards/off the boards...reading, posting, being inspired...but never losing more than 10 pounds at a time, usually gaining back that and more. For some reason, April 2008 was when I hit 260lbs and I finally seemed to get my stuff together and make something happen. I still have a long way to go, but I feel this is for good, and that 2009 will show me Onederland and much, much more. Having said that, I just wanted to share what was different this time for anyone who is needing some support who is in the same place in this journey. Every story is different, of course, but I think I've found my way.
1) I picked up Bob Harper's book that had just come out. I've never been a self-help kind of person, but the first part of that book really spoke to me about how I see myself and how much negativity I had in myself - about myself.
2) With the help of the book, it finally sank in that yes, I weighed 260lbs. And it wasn't okay. The sedentary person I'd become was just me being mean to myself and I needed to finally step in and be nice to myself. And that if I was going to make something happen, I needed to find my own weight loss/eating style and work with it. I had to realize this wasn't going to be temporary, this is the way it's got to be for the rest of my life...even after I get to a goal. I've read so many stories here of people who have made their goals and it sounds so easy. But until it "hit" me - I never would have been able to succeed as I have so far.
3) Many people can go on Weight Watchers, Body for Life, South Beach, etc and be able to stick with it. I realized I can't follow a specific, pre set diet plan - I felt too boxed in and controlled with Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, etc. I love food, it's a part of my life. I love meat, I love veggies. I love healthy foods, and not so healthy stuff too. If I don't feel satisified with what I eat, I will not be able to keep it up. I realized that I can eat a little of everything in moderation. That plan is working for me.
4) I have learned to fully accept that I can't live without exercise. I have made it a part of my life at least 5 days a week. I work hard, challenge myself and have learned to enjoy watching my body change, and seeing what I can do. I was a member of a gym for years but realized it wasn't the place for me. I went "gym shopping" and found a place that I feel good about walking into each day and I love it. It's a part of my life. I reward myself with things like new running shoes, a new headband, a new water bottle, a couple new workout songs downloaded from itunes, new no-show socks. Those things excite and motivate me.
5) I've become a bit anti-social. It's been a somewhat solitary journey. I remember hearing Dr. Phil say something about if you want to change, you need to change your environment as well. And if that means not hanging out so much with girlfriends - because it's always a coffee/lunch/dinner/bar date - something that can distract me from my daily goals. I've tried the "buddy" system and it never worked for me because I haven't found someone with my exact situation/goals. And that's okay with me, but more and more I'm finding people who I can say - "hey instead of Starbucks, want to visit my gym with me?" That's why it's nice to visit 3FC and find all kinds of inspiration that way.
6) I've learned to be prepared. Weight loss/maintenance takes so much preparation. I have my gym bag. I pack it every night before bed with my work clothes, and have my workout clothes laid out. I literally wake up, get dressed, have my yogurt/vitamin and can be out the door. Anything that is a distraction can and will take me off course. My husband thinks I'm a bit crazy that as soon as we get in the house after I come home from work, I HAVE to pack my bag before I let myself have dinner. But he knows this is a major key to my success so far.
I feel so happy that I'm doing it. For everyone who is in limbo, falling on and off the wagon and feeling sad and depressed the way I was on Jan 1st 2008 - I wish I could make your realization moment happen the way it did for me. But it will happen, just don't ever stop thinking about your goals. Make small changes. I don't know how many times I've "started anew" all of a sudden and expected myself to do it all at once. Be good to yourself. Think about the way you treat your friends, your spouse, your pets...and treat yourself well. You're a good person and you deserve health and mobility.
I look forward to sharing with everyone in 2009 as we all move farther toward our goals and beyond!