Thursday, January 31, 2013

Some wise words

Yesterday on a weight loss forum, someone posted this:
I've put my life on hold because I can no longer get along with myself. In a last ditch effort to make myself worthy of myself, I hit the gym, hard. I've lost 50 lb in 5 months which is something I'm proud of but not necessarily happy about. I want more, I need more, I can't celebrate 50 lb when I have 50 more to go. Sometimes I fear enough will not be enough, I fear I'll always remain lost. Have any of you reached a goal and still felt unaffected? Do any of you fear this happening to you once you reach your destination?

And it got this wonderful reply:
You only have one body, and nobody ever hated themselves to health. Give yourself a break and be realistic - YES, you still have a ways to go. But the remaining distance does nothing to diminish the importance of the road already traveled. Quite frankly, if you never lost another pound but kept off those 50 you'd be doing an incredible and laudable feat that few dieters ever manage.  
Consistence, determination, and a willingness to never get frustrated to the point of quitting are what is required to not only lose the weight but keep it off.  
Self loathing, crash diets, or alternating between either diet perfection or complete abandon are NOT the recipe for success. 
I say this because your upset and inability to celebrate a huge achievement like losing 50 pounds throws up a big red flag in my mind. If you never lose the last 10 pounds, will you become so disgusted with yourself that you regain the other 90? If all you can manage for six months is another three pounds lost will that be failure in your mind? Keep it in perspective - losing is incredible, simply not GAINING is as good or better, given that most people are putting on extra weight every year. 
Losing weight is important, but please don't pin your self image and definition of success on a number. That way lies regain and self loathing for far too many of us.  
Your success hinges not on losing that other 50, but on permanently redefining how you look at food and your own body. If those things don't change permanently and for the better, what does the weight lost matter? Most people can lose weight, few can do it and keep it off, and the difference between them is often as simple as who is most patient, forgiving, and determined with their bodies and choices. 
Which one do you want to be? The choice is yours, and it all begins with the proper mindset.

I've read a lot of things from people who are losing weight or want to lose weight or have lost weight and I've read lots of wonderful things right alongside lots of coo-coo things, but this response is probably the best post I have ever read about losing weight and maintaining weight loss. It is so well said and I'm glad that I've gotten to know the author of that post a wee bit and hope I know her for a long time - such a positive force!

I know that's the mindset I hope to have and maintain. I could have been all "Man, I regained 30 pounds!"  No.... I thought this, "I can stop this. I know better and can do better. It's only 30 pounds and you took it off once, you can take it off again and you can learn from this so it doesn't happen again."

And I hope I can learn from it. I learned that: a. lack of sleep is extremely detrimental. I knew it, but I 'forgot' it.  b. sugars are bad, bad, bad for me. If I eat them, I want them and can't resist them. I simply cannot take a week or two off and hope to be able to jump right back in. Those sugar cravings are akin to an alcoholic's addition to alcohol. 

I am proud of the success that I had and continue to have. As of this morning I weigh 187 pounds. I used to weigh 275 pounds. Yes, I have 28 more pounds to get to my goal, but look how far I have come? Look how much I have accomplished? That is awesome!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Awe, thank you Melissa! I take it as high praise that I was able to help a bit with that comment. I really hope the OP took it to heart, too, because so much of the struggle of weight maintenance can be eliminated simply by having the proper perspective on it all.

    And you ARE doing amazingly. You've maintained a massive loss with minimal regain, you came BACK after a busy season and were willing to try again, and you're learning the entire time. Those things are so important to long term success and not given nearly enough thought by most dieters.

    It took me two YEARS to figure out that just plain calorie counting wasn't going to work for my body. Imagine if I'd gotten frustrated and quit before then? I'd be fifty pounds heavier than I am now, or worse, and wouldn't have learned a thing from it other than body hatred. Four years into this and I am still actively learning about nutrition, endocrinology, and my own body's response. And the learning never stops, does it? In my mind, that's a huge blessing :)