As I sat on the couch at 300lbs earlier this year and watched shows like “The Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Make Over Weight Loss Edition” I couldn’t help but feel jealous, fat and unworthy. I watched these shows because they were intriguing, I love to watch people grow and accomplish and deep down somewhere in the pit of my stomach – they motivate me. Or did they? All to often, as I was watching these shows, I would be eating ice cream or snacking endlessly on a bag of chips. I felt as though the contestants and participants on the show were the “chosen” ones and they were removed from reality to focus on their weight loss. Me? Not so lucky. As much as I wanted to lose weight and be as successful as they were, I just couldn’t figure out HOW “normal” people without trainers, without six hours of your day dedicated to exercise, without a nutritionist, a specific diet plan and all that support; could lose over 100lbs too.
The idea seemed so far out of reach for so long that I never REALLY tried.
Then one day something in my mind clicked. It was the day I saw photos of me earlier that month from Disneyland and I didn’t recognize myself. A few days later, I stepped on the scale and it read 300.4lbs. WHOA. I’m over 300lbs? How can that be? I knew I ate bad but I didn’t think I ate THAT bad. It was my reality slap in the face. I signed up at Weight Watchers that evening and made the decision that I COULD and AM GOING to lose the 100lbs that I want to lose. That was May 18, 2011. Here’s the thing- Yes, its probably easier with a celebrity trainer, a certified nutritionist setting up your diet plan and being able to allot a huge amount of your hours in a day to exercise. But you know what? Doing it on your own, working out as hard as you can for even 30 mins a day and spending two hours at the grocery store reading labels on EVERYTHING you THOUGHT was healthy, can get you there too. Its totally do able. It takes hard work, it takes dedication and it takes strength.
Having over 100lbs to lose seems like a HUGE goal that could take YEARS. When I first started eating healthy and exercising, I thought, “Oh man, I need to lose 100lbs so I feel good again. So I look cute in my clothes again. So I can move better, breathe better, run faster, play harder and feel like ME again”. Its not true. To date, I have lost 33.4lbs. and you know what? I feel AMAZING. Yes, I still have over 65 lbs to lose before I make it to my long term goal, but I am so happy and proud of what I have accomplished thus far. When you weigh 300lbs + you don’t think that 30lbs would make a big difference. I didn’t at first. I thought I’d have to lose atleast 50lbs before I really could see a difference in my body. – Not true again! Even after losing 10lbs, I felt lighter. I had more energy. Now, after 30lbs, my clothes are getting to be a little too big on me, I can do a TWO HOUR spin class, I can run and play with my step daughter and I can look in the mirror and SEE the changes in my body.
When you are going through your journey, it is important to set small goals for yourself. Instead of saying “I want to lose 100lbs and that’s IT!” like I did. Say, “My long term goal is 100lbs, but my short term goal is 5% of my starting weight.” Break down the 100lbs into smaller goals that you can accomplish sooner and celebrate!
I’m not going to sugar coat this blog and tell you that this journey has been easy for me thus far. It hasn’t. Its been honestly, one of the hardest things I have EVER done in my life. In my older days, I would come home from work, my fiance and I would go out to dinner (usually somewhere pretty bad for you) then come home, watch TV and go to bed. Every. Single. Day. My new routine is after work – I go to the gym (usually spinning class) then we reheat a meal that we cooked together over the weekend. (We cook about 3 meals for the week on Sunday so all we have to do is reheat). I also try to fit in little bits of movement where I can – take the stairs, walk around the building at lunch, walk in place while you watch TV or using the microwave etc. I get tired. I have bad days at work and don’t feel like going to the gym. I crave chocolate. I crave cake. I crave Alfredo sauce. I crave things just like you do, and occasionally – I give in! Most of the time, I stay strong because I KNOW that making that decision, whether it is to go to the gym or NOT eating the cake, is going to make me way healthier and happier than that piece of cake can.
Be strong, let your successes motivate you, keep pushing yourself forward, let the past be the past and don’t look back, try new things (recipes, exercise routines, etc) and be PROUD of yourself making healthy choices TODAY.
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