Today marks the one year anniversary on my weight loss journey. I didn't reach my initial goal of 100 lbs in a year, but I've lost close to 80 lbs so far. I am proud of what I have achieved and I have learned so many things along the way.
I changed my relationship with food. I always have loved food and loved eating. I got great comfort from eating. I used food in happy times to celebrate and in stressful times to calm myself. I used food as entertainment when I was bored. Living this way, I ended up 55 years old, 255 lbs and miserable.
When I started last year I didn't really have a plan, just hopes to lose 100 lbs and unrealistic expectations about what it would take. The first thing I did was join the gym and started going there 6 days/wk. I made a commitment to do this for 6 months no matter what. Now I know that weight loss is mostly diet and so it would have been better to focus on the food, but lesson learned. The discipline I built into my day to meet this commitment helped me to be strong in making other changes. I learned that for me weight loss is a process of making small changes and incorporating new, healthier habits. It is not 'all or nothing' it is 'progress not perfection'.
For Lent last year my husband and I went on the Daniel Fast, which is basically a vegetarian diet. So for 6 weeks we ate in a way that was completely different than we were used to. I must say that doing this opened my eyes to the fact that there are other food options in the world. I had fallen into a routine and did my shopping on 'autopilot'. The Daniel Fast cut out all sugar, ice cream, cookies, cakes, soda, breads with yeast, dairy, and meat. I went through sugar withdrawal and detox and came out of it feeling amazing. When the 6 weeks were up I had a new and much healthier perspective on food. I have built on that experience by choosing to eliminate sugar from my diet for the long term, like the rest of my life.
Having a new perspective on food helped me to learn that "If hunger isn't the problem, food is not the answer". Food is........just food! It is not my friend! This realization has taken away the power that food had over me and given me back the power over food.
Another bad habit was being a member of 'the clean plate club'. I was raised that way and would never let food go to waste. Then, sometime during this last year I read 'Your body is not a garbage can'. That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. It rang so true for me. I have internalized it to the point that when I'm cleaning up after a meal and see the food left behind by my family, I am no longer compelled to eat it rather than throwing it in the garbage. I had one time when there were 2 pieces of pizza in the refrigerator for a couple of days and I kept offering them to my son as a snack and he didn't want them for some reason and I actually threw them out. I was so proud of myself for not eating them!
Healthy lifestyles/healthy eating has become one of my hobbies. I spend a lot of time researching and learning. I am planning to do the Primal Blueprint for Lent this year. I am sure that it will be an adventure and I will learn some things that I can incorporate into my life.
I still have a lot of weight to lose but I am no longer in a panic about it. If I keep at it I will reach my goal. I have learned that while I am losing weight life still happens. I have had to learn to forgive myself for bad choices, make the next food decision a good one, and don't look back. I don't ever want to go back. That was not a happy life, this is!