I didn’t do it to be on “Oprah”. I didn’t do it to get in “People” magazine. I didn’t even do it for my husband or my kids or for all the other folks who love me.
I did it for me.
There are a lot more of you reading my blog these days (Welcome!) and so I thought I’d offer a quick primer (or refresher) to what led to and sustains me in my weight-loss/maintenance journey.
The top three questions I get asked when people find out I lost 170 pounds are: 1) How did you get started? 2) Do you have excess or loose skin? and 3) How did you/do you stay on plan?
I answered question 2 here: “Closer to Accepting the Flabby Bits”.
But I think the more important questions are 1 and 3. And the answer to 3 stems from my answer to 1.
In 2005, I didn’t understand how vital self love and appreciation are in successful weight-loss. “Successful” being the operative word. All the times before, I lost for someone or something else: a guy, a wedding, or to punish myself. But this last time, I’d crossed a threshold, and a two-week starvation diet wasn’t going to cure my ills. I was on the cusp of all kinds of diseases. Scary diseases. And if I didn’t do something to lose weight, I would further jeopardize my health.
Watching the rerun of “Oprah” today, I was transported to 2004. To the day I bought Bob Greene’s* book, “Get With The Program!” The book that finally got me asking: Was I worth one less helping of mashed potatoes? Worth giving up that bag of sunflower seeds every night? Worth waking up out of my food fog and getting real about how my weight was hindering my life?
The answer was within, and within was a scary place.
I hated Bob for a few weeks as I journaled how I felt emotionally about…stuff. Stuff. Lots of stuff. But the more I wrote, the more I realized (AHA!) that weight was about me…ME!…and not everyone and everything else in my life. I had to occupy the center of my life in order to be in the center of my weight loss.
So the answer to question #1 is: The core of your intent to lose weight must be YOU. YOUR health. YOUR future. YOUR peace of mind. Once you believe that you are worth every moment you will spend cooking, eating, and living a more healthy lifestyle, you will succeed. It’s only through that true, heart-felt belief in yourself that you’ll “get it.” That no matter what life throws at you, you won’t let food or excuses dominate your life.
Sure, your eyes may get diverted (dessert tray, anyone?). You might give in a time or ten to “just one more bite.” But once you “get it” – and to answer question #3 – you’ll always have your original intent to remind you why you are on your journey.
I stay on plan because I am worth this journey. I am worth the hard work. 300-pound me told me so when she got out a journal and started writing about it.
YOU are worth this journey, too. Dig out a piece of paper and start writing. Why? Because it’s remembering what you thought about and felt and went through during that path to “getting it” – really committing yourself to yourself – that will sustain you when you get stuck or want to give up or get lost in that fog.
Trust me on this. I have 170 pounds of experience backing me up.
* When I met Bob Greene on stage on “Oprah” and gave him a big hug (and I feel terrible that I interrupted him during my interview), it felt like my journey had come full circle. I hope one day I get to tell him that in person and to thank him.