Taking It Off Finale – Month 6
Here we are, the first week of 2020. And I DID IT!!! I hit my goal of 30 + a few extra pounds the first week of December!! I averaged 1.8 pound per week. My first few weeks were all over the place. I would gain 2 pounds one week and then lose 4 the next week, but eventually it evened out.
What’s my secret? Wait for it; I ate less!! You’re welcome!! Who knew?? I am going to reveal this new secret in a book and make millions of dollars.
My big ah, ha moment was that losing weight is one big mind game. You can tell yourself that you want to lose weight, but until your mind is 100% in the game, I don’t think you can be successful?
It also takes awhile for your mind to let you see that you’re changing. The first time I was like; holy shit, you’re doing it! Was when I saw this picture below that my friend took of me on one of our outings. I usually avoid full body shots, because they have made me feel fat and bad about myself. This was the third week of October, I was down 24 ish pounds at the time. And obviously my body was changing, but my mind hadn’t caught up yet until I saw this pic.
By mid November I was down almost 30 pounds and ready for my inspiration outfit. To recap, I wanted to wear a sequin skirt and top that had been hanging in my closet for three years.
Well it turns out the skirt ended up being too big for me!!! So I never got to wear it, but I am fine with that!
Here I was feeling my best self the night of the Mariah Carey Christmas concert. Ok, I may also have been feeling a few lemon drop martinis?
Since your mind can play games with you, I think taking pictures are a great way to gauge how you’re doing, because the camera doesn’t lie, but filters do! But that’s cheating.
It can be hard to stay motivated, especially when your mind is feeding you negative messages, you need to find ways to shut that shit down. Remember when I was having a bad week and went to the grocery store and walked around holding a ten pound bag of potatoes? That may have sounded silly, but it helped re-set my mind.
I was feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere, that it was taking too long; I wasn’t seeing results, I was feeling discouraged because I was only down ten pounds. Physically walking around holding ten pounds of potatoes showed me how heavy that is and how much I had accomplished.
The point here is that I had to find concrete visible or tactile ways to prove to myself that I was succeeding, because there were times that my mind was trying to sabotage me. Why? Maybe because change is harder than the status quo??
I did base myself on Weight Watchers knowing it wasn’t a diet, these were new habits that I needed to adopt for life.
I had to create new habits and train my mind to think differently. I started questioning myself and still do every day; I ask myself why I am eating? Am I hungry? Or am I bored or upset?
And the questions don’t stop there, when I am eating I take breaks and ask myself if I am still hungry? I’ve found that 1/3 of my meal is enough. So I pack it up and eat some of it or all of it later.
I also realized that I need something sweet everyday. In the past I would have denied myself and then lost it and pigged out. On Weight Watchers as long as you allow points for your treats you can eat whatever you want, in moderation of course.
So if I want a cookie, I get a cookie! But again I talk to myself. I don’t eat the whole thing, well sometimes I do, but most times I figure out that half or a few bites are enough to satisfy me. I have shared my tricks with a few people who have said that they could never just eat half a cookie. Yes you can!! I don’t give the rest away, I earned that damn cookie, it’s mine! I save it for later. So instead of having two, or three cookies at 6 points each I have one, but I make it last.
That’s been my approach, but everyone needs to find their own tricks.
Personally, I believe that for me to succeed I need to be mindful of why I’m eating, what I’m eating and how much I’m eating.
I’ve proven to myself that I am a great loser, but I have yet to prove that I’m a great maintainer. If I was, it would be one and done, but sadly it doesn’t work that way. I am sure everyone reading this has also proven that they can lose, the losing part is easier than the keeping it off part.
I also don’t think we’re always realistic when we set out to lose weight. We imagine or fantasize about how life will be different or better if we’re 30 pounds lighter. First of all, you’re the same person, there is just a little less of you. Losing weight won’t make you more confident or happier. Can it help you feel better? Yes, but you’re the same person with the same issues you had before.
So you need to figure your shit out. If you’re an emotional eater, like me, and you do manage to lose weight, but you haven’t found other ways to deal with your emotions, you’re eventually going to gain the weight back.
That’s my thing, I was using food to cope with feelings. If I want to maintain I’ll need to check myself regularly to make certain I don’t fall back into old habits.
Losing weight is exciting. Yes it’s hard, but there is a payoff when you step on that scale every week and you’ve had a good week, you get a rush and a sense of accomplishment. You don’t have that feeling when you’re maintaining. If you stay the same, you’re relived, but if you’ve gained then you have failed.
That’s been my internal dialogue in the past, I tend to be an all or nothing type of girl and I can be hard on myself. If I’m not winning then I must be losing. I am trying to come up with a new, kinder and gentler inner dialogue. I’m currently figuring that out.
Take a look at the pics below, the one on the left was last winter and the one on the right was taken a few days ago. Side note, it’s been exactly one month since my nose surgery, I had a small cancerous thing removed off the bridge of my nose. It’s still a little red, but wow, it’s healing well! I was worried. I am no nutritionist, but I assume that healthy eating and lots of water have helped my body heal itself?
I’m proud to report that I survived the holidays without gaining weight! And that included moving in with my mom while I waited for my furniture to arrive from the US. I did have to tell her to stop buying cheesies!!
I do want to lose a bit more weight, but 30 seemed more mentally manageable, so that was my initial goal. Be realistic and break it up if your goal number is intimidating, go for 10 at a time.
I hope this series has helped motivate you a little? Just so you know, I am a middle aged woman who has gone up and down like most of you reading. I don’t have any special weight loss talent or secret; so if I can do it you can do it too…again! Because like me, I’m sure you’ve been there, done that and have the t-shirt.
We’re all flawed and do our best to survive, so if you aren’t ready to make big changes, that’s ok too. Start small, start drinking more water. Before you chow down on something you know probably isn’t the best choice, down a big glass of water, it will take up some of the available room in your tummy and make you feel full faster.
And finally, can we stop judging each other? You know what I am talking about; she’s too thin, she’s too fat, she thinks she’s better than everyone else…. No, she’s just doing the best she can with the challenges she’s dealing with that you know nothing about.
My goal for myself for 2020 is to use all the tools and tricks that I’ve picked up in the past 6 months to stay on track and to be kinder to myself. I will do my best, sometimes my best will be awesome and other times I’m certain that the best that I can muster will be far from perfect. I need to remind myself that that doesn’t mean that I am failing.
The incredible shrinking cheeks!