Yesterday, the scale clocked me in at 209.4 lbs. That’s 58.6 lbs less than the number I saw on January 1st, 2016. Pop the champagne! Wait, no! Tequila shots! In just about two and a half years I’ve been able to achieve what I never thought possible.
Obviously, I was beyond excited. On my morning walk to work, I called my mom and shared the news with her. I told her that the last time I remember seeing a “two” followed by a “zero” was when I was in the seventh grade. She said there’s no way I was 200 lbs at 13… But I was. I remember. I remember losing weight that school year and being happy because at my annual physical when I weighed 208, the doctor said I was heading in the right direction (aka down).
The excitement I felt about the number on the scale wasn’t just about the weight. It made me think about how far I’ve come. There have been a lot of ups and a lot of downs (just see my weight graphs), but the number shows progress. It shows that all my hard work hasn’t been for nothing.
Since January 2016, I’ve been on this journey to lose weight. By definition, a journey is “an act of traveling from one place to another”… and when you lose weight, you’re not technically going anywhere. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I am in fact moving from one place to another. Somewhere along the way, my my focus shifted. It became less about losing weight, and more about becoming the best version of myself. This shift changed my approach and I found myself in a new mental space.
Obviously weight loss has been a huge part of my journey. But so has fitness and self reflection (I’m not doing this blog just to hear myself talk)… and if I’m being totally honest, I have to include dating, relationships, and sex (what up Coach) AND my professional life. If changing jobs isn’t part of a journey, I don’t know what is!
But throughout the last 2.5 years, at each point along the way, I’ve had to think about where I’d come from, figure out where I was, decide where I would be going. And when it comes to weight loss and building healthy habits I’ve learned a lot.
- Understand your motivation – Almost every other time I’ve tried to lose weight, I didn’t have a real reason for it. “To be skinny” did not really motivate me. And shockingly, “to be able to be picked up during sex” didn’t either. When it came down to it, I had to figure out the real why (this is something Noom does too).
- Set SMART goals. I hate SMART goals. I want everyone to know this. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely. Blahhh, but they work. And if you’re not setting SMART goals, then you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
- There is no right way to get to your goal. But there are a ton of wrong ways when it comes to weight loss… like crash diets, or extreme dieting or extreme exercise. Those are not sustainable and not healthy. Don’t do them!
- Slow is good. Slow is lasting. 10, 20, 50 pounds don’t just fall off your body overnight. A serious change requires a lifestyle change (buzzwords anyone?). And a lifestyle change is slow. What’s that saying… it takes how long to form a habit and how long to make one? I don’t know exacts and I’m not in the habit of looking things up…
- Don’t get discouraged. There will be ups and downs. And you’ll focus more on the downs because they are harder to forget. So, you ate more pizza than you wanted to at your friend’s game night? Or you accidentally drank the whole bottle of wine AND skipped your workout? Don’t dwell on it. Just try harder next time.
- Plateaus are inevitable. You’re going to hit one. Or four. Or twelve. Accept it and determine how to get over it. Chances are a change of pace will be necessary. I always hit a plateau when I’m half assing my way… Try refocusing on your goal.
- Change is scary even when it’s a good change. We’re so used to us looking a certain way that when that starts to change, it’s shocking. And while it’s scary and sometimes you start to think that you look “weird” with defined cheek bones or muscular arms or without your “curves”… you don’t. You look awesome! Did I mention I’ve lost my ass (even though Coach doesn’t think so. He says my boobs are gone though -__- ).
- You have to put in the work! But you have to make it enjoyable! If you’re doing something you hate, you’re not going to keep doing it. I know you don’t believe me, but running doesn’t totally suck.
- You need a support system. There’s a reason why most weight loss programs (like Weight Watchers) have group meetings. A support group of people who understand what you’re dealing with and are committed to the same cause is key. My sister’s in my corner since she’s trying to lose weight too. It helps that we’re both conscious of what food we keep in the house or how much time we spend in front of the TV.
- Always celebrate your successes! With champagne AND tequila…or however you want to celebrate.
So there you have it: one piece of advice for each pound I have left to lose to reach my goal! Truth: there will always be speed bumps and sometimes road blocks and I might even end up taking a wrong turn some days… but what’s a journey without a little adventure?
Oh, and to throw in on last piece of advice from Journey… don’t stop believing.