Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know that last week I hit a milestone.
I FINALLY REACHED MY WEIGHT LOSS GOAL!
At official tally last Monday, I hit my goal weight right on the nose. After 19 weeks on the program, I lost 44.4 pounds and 43 inches. Those numbers astound me. It doesn't really seem possible. Especially when it hasn't been that hard! The program is so simple and easy to fit into our lives - but the way it has transformed my thinking over time is just incredible.
I am not the same person that I was at the end of May. In May, I was exhausted, frustrated, and powerless. I was exhausted because I wasn't fueling my body correctly (but had no energy to change) and I wasn't managing my stress well. I was frustrated because I thought I knew how to appropriately fuel my body and was doing that - and instead of losing weight, just kept gaining. The combination of exhaustion and frustration left me feeling defeated. I felt like no matter what I did, I could not change: in short, powerless.
I am SO thankful that my mom suggested that I try this program. I was skeptical that a program could work because nothing was working! I've done lots of programs in my life and have given up before reaching goal. She was right that this could be the one thing to turn things around for me.
I am SO thankful that Dan agreed to do this with me. We have both been able to make changes to our habits and see results. We have cheered each other on and kept each other focused on our priorities. He helped me get to goal.
I am SO thankful that this program paired me up with a free, personal health coach. Without Marie, I would have given up. I would have called it "good enough" about 7 pounds ago when my size 12s were all fitting, albeit loosely for some. I wouldn't have seen it through to completion. She kept me focused on what I wanted to create in my life - not just what I was trying to lose/undo. She taught me how to focus on my health and not just on the scale.
What I have learned most about weight loss through this journey is that what really matters (besides a good, safe, effective, and healthy program) is commitment. If there is no commitment to change, there will be no change. If you are already planning to cheat, you are sabotaging yourself. If you aren't willing to tell your friends or family that you are making healthier choices, then you aren't owning your choice to become healthier. You are letting others dictate your life choices. You may see success, but it won't be lifelong.
I had a rough month of September. I lost a total of 6 pounds. I thought I'd be at my goal by the end of the month, and instead I was 5 pounds away. I was really disappointed. I had become fixated on just reaching a number because deep-down, I just wanted to be done. I wanted to BE THERE already. I was fixated on a destination - not on a lifestyle.
What changed for me was that week's "Healthy Habit": breaking the yo-yo cycle. The image used to illustrate the yo-yo cycle and consumption with a particular number on a scale (or size of pants) is a rocking chair. As soon as you reach that goal - if you haven't determined that the changes you are making are for life, you will start to rock back up again. It may happen slowly, but it will happen.
However, if you focus on making those changes for life, you are emulating more of a racecar on a track. Your goal is just one stop along the way. When you reach goal (or near it), you set a new health goal to work toward.
This really helped me evaluate my attitude. I had wanted to be done; I had wanted to reach goal without having added a bunch of exercise. But, when I heard that, I realized my heart was in the wrong place. I wanted long-term health - not simply to tap the sign and then creep back up again. So, I am now running again - a few times a week. Is my goal to work toward a 5K? Sure. Really, my goal is to simply be healthy and be active. In addition to running, I do morning yoga - and still plan to do longer yoga sessions at night a couple of times. I walk during lunches when I can. I try to stand more and sit less. Choosing health doesn't have to be grand gestures.
If you want to lose weight and choose health - or know of someone who does, please let me know. I would love to help them.