Five Truths About Weight loss

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Three years ago I began my journey to health. Just over two years I began my blog about it over at Blogger. You read those posts here and here. I have learned much and had to from time to time relearn the lessons of losing weight and maintaining.

Here are my five truths about weight loss.

1- You have to want to get healthy.
We all know what we should do to live a healthier life. Having knowledge and wanting to use it are two vastly different things. Your own desire for a better life is what will motivate you. My motivation for getting healthy were numerous. Among them were wanting to change and having someone willing to help me in doing that.

2-Getting healthy means being uncomfortable.
You are eating new kinds of (somewhat) unfamiliar food as well as exercising. Not only that but mastering these new skills in PUBLIC. It means watching your portion sizes and saying “no” to the workplace birthday cake. You may limp into work or curse the day you discovered squats (as I did).

3- You will receive a lot of attention.
Once your weight loss is noticed, it will be the ONLY thing people will want to ask you about. Everyone wants to know what your “secret”. You will disclose that its watching your food and exercising (sometimes twice a day). Then they will get that disappointed look on their face. Because there is no short cut to true change. During this phase of my weight loss I found I had to have a pat answer. It was easy enough to do since I was repeating myself over and over and over.

4- Losing weight will have to become your life for a time.

Changing your life takes a lot of energy, both physical as well as mentally. I would say it takes more mental energy to do this. Constantly pushing yourself to eat well and work out hard. You can not do this half way. IT is all or nothing, especially with initial weight loss. This reality can be hard for you and loved ones, when opting to keep your work out date instead of hanging with friends. Don’t neglect them during this time but your health is important.

5- There will be that awkward stage where nothing in the closet fits properly.

At first when your favorite jeans are just a bit loose, its a great feeling. Enjoy it! Not long after you will need to a belt or suspenders to hold them up. You may be halfway to your goal weight and suddenly EVERYTHING hangs oddly. At some point, you will need new clothes to get through this period.

Don’t spend a lot of money. What I discovered is that friends often had bags of clothes they had intended to give away. Or go to Good Will to get a few key pieces. Your body will continue to change as you pursue a healthier life.

Next week’s posts will focus on maintenance.
What surprising thing have you learned about losing weight?

Looking In The Mirror

I have been thinking about body issues lately. More so about the perspective I have about my body. I have been rather hard on myself lately as I have not been running.

I was allowing for the fat girl to return. Someone who I had thought I had let go of nearly three years ago. You can read this post here. I had to put away some clothes that were no longer fit me. Clothes that I had worn since I lost weight. This began my downward spiral in doubting all that I had done. The old fear I had that I would wake up and find myself back at my old weight haunted me.

The thoughts of am I good enough? Did I deserve to be healthy began to pop up in my mind.

So I turned to food as I have always done to find comfort. This time though, it was different. I had no real desire to eat in the way I once done. While I did not always make the best choices, I was making better choices than I would of three years ago. That is where the victory lies.

Maintaining weight is just as hard as losing it. Maintaining for over two years is no easy feat. During the initial weightloss, a lot of attention was given to me. Once people began to notice I was often pulled aside and told to keep going or way to go! It was weird and awkward but thrilling at the same time.

Then it stops because it would be weird and awkward to continually congratulate someone on their past accomplishment.

What I have realized is that my body has finally settled into itself. After the initial weight loss, which was also rather quick, I was simply thin. My mom feared I was too thin. So did a good friend of mine.

At the time,it just felt good to fit into size 4 jeans. It really did. The attention that came along with did too. But being thin isn’t this magical key to the life. I did not become a millionaire or instantly fall in love and get married. Those things are not a “reward” for losing weight.

My body was still changing. I had more muscle to gain. My body was still adjusting to the drastic changes.

It has been three years after I began this journey. Three years of change and adjustment. Both physical and emotional. These days I am more comfortable with myself. I have to remind myself that a my worth is not my jean size.

That as I get older my body will continue to change. As I age what matters is that I take care of this temporary vessel. So that it may carry me to the end of my days for a life well lived.

So look in the mirror and stop being so hard on yourself. Make the changes you need to become healthy. But meet yourself where you are today, right now. And love the person staring back at you.

How have you dealt with your body changing on your journey?

There was No Plan

This is my personal story, I am not a doctor, therapist or dietitian. 

Writer’s Note: This is a repost from my old Blogger account. I have had issues importing them to Word Press and decided to copy and paste them here instead. I began this blog to tell my story of losing weight and discovering who was there all along. My hope is for those of you struggling with this area to find a place where you can relate. For those of you who have been there from the start this may be a bit of a retread but I felt it was important for new readers to understand where it is I came from in my journey. The next few weeks will be reposts that explain this better. Not all of my old posts will end up here as I do want to move forward with this blog. However I feel for you dear readers it will help you to get to know me better. Thank you for taking the time to read!

        There was no plan. I did not set out to get healthy. Oh I made noises about wanting to get healthy of course. Then I would go and enjoy another ice cream cone. Reaching out to friends ( half- halfheartedly I admit) to start walking together were made. Nothing ever came of that. I knew I needed to do something, but just was not ready or knew what I should do. I used the excuse I could not afford to lose weight. In my head one had to go to a gym and buy fancy food to get healthy. That kind of money I most certainly did not have.

The first few pounds were lost with out me even realizing. Due to financial restrictions, I could no longer go through the drive- thru or buy the usual not so great food at the grocery store. I was forced to buy healthier and actually ration out my food. I do not mean to say I was starving by any means and believe me I still found ways to get “good stuff” when I wanted it. Slowly though my pants began to droop just a little. It was only after I posted a picture of myself on face book at Christmas 2011 did I see the difference. Well reading the comments that followed actually woke me up to the fact that I had lost weight.

That day, at my mother’s house I weighed myself. It had to have been over a year since I had ever stepped on a scale. The number was lower than I last recalled. At that time I was not sure what to do next or at all. Little did I know what was soon in store for me. If I did have an inkling I doubt I would have ever said yes.

This was my first year participating in One Word 365, something I had read about in Twitter and decided to give it a try. It seemed better than writing out a list of things that I knew would not happen.  My one word 365 for 2012 was YES. I would say yes what God held for me. I do not know why this word chose me, but it was all I could see in my head. I prayed this on New Years Eve and New Years Day I was tested. Don’t you just love when that happens?! I received a message from my friend Jackson* from church. He was offering to be my personal trainer for all of a dollar. He had helped another friend prepare for the army and thought I would be interested in getting healthy. I had never spoken to him about my health and the way he wrote it was very kind. Before I knew it I had replied yes to him.

We met at Starbucks the following week to discuss it. This was the first one on one conversation we ever had. Really, it was. He talked about diet and exercise and what my goals were. Of course I drew a blank, I mean does anyone really have a ton a questions when asked that? I text bombed the poor guy later that day with what I hoped to do and a million questions for him. We agreed to meet Monday through Friday around the same time at a park near his house. Consistency I would soon learn was key to what lay ahead.

I will go into more detail on my diet and workout at this time in a later post.

My only goal at that time was to be able to walk up a flight of stairs with out losing my breath. That was it. You know what? I learned through this process that it does not matter what your goal is, but it is so important to have one. At that time I did not know what I would later be capable of doing. As I grew more confident, my goals grew from just wanting to get up a flight of stairs. Soon I found I wanted more, to run further and faster. To try new things and not worry about other people in the park. I also learned that you do not need a lot of money to get out to a park and exercise. It is just a matter of getting out there and doing it!

   While I did not have a plan, I know that God did. He knew it was time for me to do this. Deep down I knew I was ready.

Was there a time when you got a needed push to make changes in your life? *Name has been changed per request