This is the time of the year where we all wish just one work out would whip us into shape! One meal would make us thin! There are some other “one” wishes I would love to have come true, one pill would cure-all cancers, one meal would feed all the hungry, one house would be a home to all the homeless and one prayer that would unite people of all races, cultures and languages to live in peace and harmony.
Once we reached a certain age, we learned that just wishing doesn’t make anything happen. We must put some action behind our wishes and dreams to make them come true.
“A dream is a wish your heart makes”
We all know that popular Disney song but we know as with anything in life, we have to work for it, and weight loss is no different. If you are trying to set your mind on losing excess weight and becoming healthier for the approaching next year, it does begin in the head. Wishing you could do it is a start, a small start. I suggest approaching your weight loss and greater health just as you would any major purchase. Get on-line, read the consumer reviews, read all you can about nutrition, exercise and weight loss. Ask friends and acquaintances what they would recommend or what has worked for them.
I might not be a friend or an acquaintance but I will share with you what has worked for me. I have lost over 120 pounds living the Weight Watchers Lifestyle. I will not kid you, it is not easy but it is simple. The basics of eating right and moving are the foundations of Weight Watchers to which you add: proper portions of foods, more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, more water, and some fun type of movement (exercise).
You aren’t leaving behind doughnuts, pizza, candy, pastries and bread but you will learn that by eating those in proper portions and in moderation you can enjoy all the things you love and learn to love how great you are feeling. I like the phrase from one commercial, what will you gain when you lose? Greater health is priceless. You can’t buy good health and this is a treasure worth pursuing!
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
The first thing you need to get into your head is that diets do not work! They are a temporary solution for a permanent problem. A lifestyle change is the path to success and permanent weight loss and greater health.
Another good thing to get into your head from the beginning is that losing weight will not: make you happy, make you beautiful, make your marriage work, make you have more friends, make you popular, make you a fashion/swimsuit model nor will it cure depression or emotional issues.
Healthy weight loss will: help your total health, change how you look, change how your clothes fit, open you to new experiences and opportunities, make every day things easier to do and enable you to make some internal changes.
At some point, you will have to face what is eating you–tempting you to eat poor food choices or improper portions. This is not easy and takes: time, patience, brutal self-honesty, and lots of brain-sweat equity. How can you go about this aspect? This might involve; journal-ling your feelings before you eat, or after you have binged, or some time with a professional counselor.
Many years ago, I went to see a counselor and he said something to me that puzzled me a lot for a long time. He said that based on my personality I had to work very hard to stay overweight. Through the years, I have started understanding what he meant. I had used being overweight as a wall/protection between me and other people. I had created my own self-fulfilling prophecy, I felt that I was going to be rejected by people (men in particular) and I did whatever I could to make sure I would be rejected (on my appearance alone) and I could say “see I knew (he) didn’t really like me, I was right.” Being right has been very important to me through the years. This has been a tough one, to accept and learn that I did not need to be right about everything! It was ironic really, I was so “right” but yet so “wrong” about myself!
The last few years, I have spent a lot of time journaling about things going on in my life, my thoughts, feelings and anything else I wanted to write about. I started noticing some common threads and started learning some new coping mechanisms. The journaling has helped me to see that “if hunger isn’t the problem, food isn’t the answer” and to hour by hour test myself (hungry or something else) to keep on the healthy track.
I would encourage anyone who wishes to be healthier to spend time inside their own head, perhaps with the guidance of a professional to learn new strategies for dealing with emotions, food and people.
This time last year I was finally barely able to squeeze into a size 12 pair of Levi’s and this year, I just purchased a new pair of Levi’s in a couple of sizes smaller which have a loose fit. This time last year I was finally under 200 lbs. and pressing on toward my next 5 lb goal. During the last year, December 1, 2013 to December 1, 2014 I have lost a total of 44.2 pounds, achieved my Weight Watchers Goal Weight, and earned Lifetime at Weight Watchers. I have been at goal since July 6th and working on maintaining/protecting my weight loss ever since.
I didn’t protect my loss as well has I had hoped on a recent cruise vacation (12 days in November), I came home with an additional six pounds (according to my home scale). It took me a couple of weeks to work and get those extra pounds gone. The positive side, I had planned and lost some “extra” pounds so that I could enjoy my vacation and not return over my goal weight. Success!
I can report at my first weigh in since returning from vacation I was already down 4.4 lbs. and just 1.6 lbs. up over my Lifetime Official Weigh in for November! And let’s have a big drum roll–still 5 pounds UNDER goal weight! Big celebration time! At my December 1st weigh in (my “official” December Weigh in), I was down another pound! I have a net loss of .4 (4/10 tenths of a pound) between November and December and 7 pounds under goal!
I made a decision to lose an additional eight pounds since I have been feeling good and feel I have too much additional fat on my midsection. After I lose the additional eight pounds, I will evaluate and determine if I need to lose anything additional. If I do not feel good or feel it is too hard to maintain the additional weight loss, I will try to slowly re-gain the weight. If I feel good and it isn’t too hard to maintain, I will drop my goal weight by five pounds. This is one of my goals for 2015. Many people have been telling me that I do not need to lose anything additional and how great I look but I think I still need to tweak my weight a little bit more. I am sure I weigh more than anyone thinks I weigh as I am built very solid. I had a doctor once tell me that I could easily “hide” 20 lbs. so I feel an additional 5-10 lbs. really won’t hurt my health or my physical appearance.
It certainly is a different mindset when on maintenance as contrasted the mindset you have when totally focused on trying to solely lose weight. I find my mind now on a constant teeter totter, of a stream of questions ranging from:
- Is this food worth it (the points)?
- Is this food something that will help me maintain my weight loss?
- Is this food something that I really want?
- Does this food taste as good as I hoped?
- Can I have just one bite and leave it alone?
- Is this food going to be a trigger food?
- Why do I want to eat this food?
- Am I really hungry? thirsty? upset?
I think all of these questions are good, healthy and keep me focused. On my recent cruise vacation I did not track but for the most part thought about what I was eating even though I knew it wasn’t the best choice, it might have been one of the few choices. I did manage to get on average 8 activity points a day on my Active Link though! No elevators, I used the stairs and a morning mile walk and a mile walk after dinner too!
Since reaching my goal weight, I have been trying to give my skin extra moisture and tone up my muscles under the sagging/stretched out skin. I am starting to see some improvement in my skin and the tone of my muscles. It is my goal to maintain my weight loss for at least two years before I consider any type of surgery to deal with the excess skin. The look of my arms and legs bother me with the crinkly/wrinkly sagging skin so I keep the out of public view for the most part!
As I approach the coming New Year, I think, where do I want to be this time next year?
My 2015 Personal Goals
- Able to do a pull up/chin up
- Learn how to jog/run a little maybe even do the Gasparilla 5K in February!
- Maintain/Continue to be under my goal weight
- Lower my goal weight by five pounds (or more if possible to maintain a lower weight)
- Celebrate my one year anniversary at my goal weight(or under goal) at Weight Watchers
- Celebrate one year as a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers
- Work for Weight Watchers (on a part-time basis) and help others to obtain their goals.
I have learned to set obtainable goals! No matter how small the goals are, the better and more easily you can feel successful!
Tomorrow is my birthday so I am happy to be able to say…Happy Birthday to me! (December 11th) And YES, I am planning on having a slice of cake to celebrate!