Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I should have been at my goal weight by now

When I started on this journey, more than a year ago, by this point I thought I would be at my goal weight. I thought I'd shed off the pounds, be fit as a fiddle, and running around at my high school weight. I didn't figure I'd wear a bikini or anything, (pregnancy made sure that the trainwreck that is my stomach is something I'm not comfortable showing to the world) but I thought for sure I'd at least be in a size 10 by now.

But I'm not.

Why?

Well, it comes down to a few things. Life. Stress. Lack of self control. Having a husband who is profoundly overweight. I could point my fingers everywhere. What it comes down to is that I didn't do what needed to be done.

But I don't consider myself a failure. In fact, I think I'm pretty successful, for all I still have 30 lbs  or so to go.

I have kept the weight off. What I've lost, I've kept off. I haven't gone back to old habits.

Over the last year, I've learned to be healthy. I am not dieting or anything like that, and all those babysteps have added up to the point where I'm no longer afraid of maintenance. Heck, I maintained a steady weight for 6 months without even trying, when I fell off the wagon the last time.

So I'm losing slowly. I don't mind that. This has been a journey of education, of self-discovery. Of learning that I like being healthy, that I enjoy being fit. I'm fitter now than I have been since college, for all I'm still overweight. I'm not obese anymore. I'm proud of that progress. I'm wearing clothes that I look good in, I have self confidence, and most importantly, I haven't given up. I haven't done as so many people do and start, and then quit after a few months. I am not on the yoyo train, I haven't had to shed the same 10 lbs over and over again.

I think I'm doing well.

This feels like a turning point for me. I'm almost zen about it; I just feel philosophical. I've been fat for a long time. I've felt fat for a long time. I don't feel fat anymore. I still glare at my gut, and wish it would go away, but I don't frown or avoid the mirror, and I've caught myself checking out my butt a time or two.

So if it feels like your progress is achingly slow, look at the big picture. What matters isn't that you shed the weight to look good in a wedding dress, or for a reunion, or whatever special event you want to reach. It's not about fitting a bikini, or any of that. This is a journey of healthy living for life.

And suppose that I didn't lose a single other pound. I stayed right here, at 184, for the rest of my life.

You know what? I'm okay with that. It's not ideal, and I could be healthier, but as long as I stay active, eat right, I think I would be okay with whatever my weight is. As long as I can outrun my children, play with my dog, lift weights, and enjoy a very tasty slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter... who cares what that stupid scale says?

I have to love me, no matter what my weight. What if I reach my goal weight, but I'm not happy with my body? It happens all the time. People somehow link a certain scale number with happiness, and they reach it, and discover that happiness doesn't magically fall from the sky.

To be successful in this journey, I think you have to do more than just lose weight. I think you have to work on the inside. Focus on that brain. If your brain isn't ready and able to cope with the journey, you won't make it to the end. And even if you do, you won't stay there. I think the reason so many people gain the weight back is because they never go their mind together.

So think about it. What can you do to get your brain in order? How can you change your mindset to be less about the scale?

Photo courtesy of ddddaniel.

4 comments:

  1. First, throw away your scale. Measure fitness in how you feel, how your clothes fit, and how much energy you have. If you know you're eating well, sleeping enough, and getting up to move on a regular basis, your body will respond.

    I say this as an obese woman who is on my own journey to weight loss. It's been both exhilarating and depressing. But I KNOW when I'm not eating right, because I feel "off". I didn't get rid of my scale but I stopped looking at it more than once a week. (And when I do, I make sure it's at the same time each week, because weight fluctuates.) Releasing myself from the scale actually made me more consistent in my weight loss!

    I've lost 30 lbs over the past year, and this past winter was the first time ever that I didn't gain weight over the holidays. Sure, I didn't lose, either, but that's so much better than sliding back. And the few times I have gained back a pound or two, I could deal with it because I focused on the big picture.

    My suggestion is that you put the scale away for a month. Do what you can to adjust your eating habits and exercise. When the month is up, step on the scale and see how you've done. I also personally adore MyFitnessPal.com because it tracks your food & exercise, so you have a way to see what works and what doesn't.

    Do what you can! Do it better this time if you missed it last time. Don't chastise yourself for 'low willpower'. You DO have willpower. When something matters enough to you, you'll find it. Make conscious choices: simply do not drive into the McDonald's driveway (my weakness!) and instead go home for dinner, or choose a healthier option. Go Go Go!

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  2. I don't have a scale problem. ;) I use it as a measuring tool, no more. It's just one of my tools, and the least important of them. That's why I said "who cares what that stupid scale says" - it is an important one, though, and it keeps me mindful. I never use the "low willpower" excuse. I have plenty of willpower... I'm just lazy!

    I do my fitness and nutrition tracking at Sparkpeople. I tried MyFitnessPal, and found it to be too restrictive. I like that SP gives me a range (not a single number) for my calories, and the community's more welcoming.

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  3. I really let the scale control me. If I dont lose I end up binging.
    I too started last year and nowhere near my goal weight.
    We can do it.

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  4. i found u at sparkpeople. I go by themomoftwins.

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