I subscribe to the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog and love it. If you’ve never read it before, I suggest taking a peek at their website. The articles are usually pretty inspiring. Recently they posted an article called 10 Harsh Realities that Help You Grow. Reading the article I found myself thinking “YES! Yes, THIS!” and I decided to write a post delving into some of their 10 harsh realities but using the topic of weight loss.
1. The First Step is Never Easy
How many of us have the desire to lose the weight and we put it off and put it off, vow that “The Diet Starts on Monday” or wait until January 1st to finally start. Why do we wait? I waited. A long time, actually. When I had my first wake up call, My First Wake Up Call: The Sweat Lodge, I didn’t make the change right away. In fact it was probably a good 8 months or so before I listened to that voice that had been nagging me. It took a more vocal, more negative voice to WAKE ME UP. Read it here: Bitch, Don’t Call Me Fat: My Second Wake Up Call.
I know it’s hard to start. Putting on those running shoes is the hardest part of running. There are a million excuses to make –it’s raining outside, I’m a slow runner, I’ll always be fat, I don’t have time…the list goes on and on. But really, if you REALLY want to lose the weight, you will find the time. Read this post: I Don’t Know Where to Start.
2. Good Things Rarely Come Quick and Easy
Weight loss is not easy and there is no Magic Pill that will make will make the weight fall off and stay off. It takes work. Hard work and consistency. Don’t let that discourage you. If I can do it, the biggest (ex-) couch potato ever, you can do it! Don’t let plateaus stop your progress (P is for Plateaus) and don’t quit when it gets hard (Q is for Quitting). Stay on track and prove to yourself that you can DO IT.
I’m sure there was an “easy” way I could have lost weight. Gastric bypass surgery, lipo-suction, etc. But neither was a feasible option for me and I’m happy for that reason. I had to work really hard to lose my weight, it took 1.5 years to do it, but it makes me even more motivated to keep the weight off. When you work really hard for something you tend to value it more than if it’s just handed to you. Here is more reading on the topic: What Happens After You Lose the Weight? and Five Truths of Weight Loss.
4. You Cannot Avoid Risk Without Avoiding Life
During the year and a half that I was losing my weight, I kind of took a step out of the social scene. I don’t regret that because it did help me be successful. I didn’t trust myself to make good decisions when faced with tempting restaurant food so I didn’t eat out. I didn’t trust myself to only eat one serving of pizza and ice cream so I didn’t eat it for 2 years. Now I can eat it and not binge. I learned how to trust myself and make better choices.
While I don’t regret my choices that helped me lose 100 pounds, I do feel like I avoided life. I no longer avoid life, even when it sometimes makes me anxious. I go out with friends, I eat in restaurants, I go to parties and practice moderation instead of completely denying myself the food at the buffet. It works for me but it took time to get there. Read this post for more info: Why All or Nothing Doesn’t Work For Me and Five Truths of Maintenance.
5. Your Biggest Problems Are Often In Your Head
Ain’t that the truth! I told myself FOR YEARS (like 10 at least) that I would always be fat. ALWAYS BE FAT. This was my mantra. I was negative, I talked down to myself, I never REALLY tried to lose weight because I believed that lie I told myself.
The truth was, I could lose weight. I just needed to do it the right way. That meant really looking at what I was eating and how much. I had to be honest with myself and I had to move my body. It was that simple. So why did I lie to myself for so long saying I couldn’t lose the weight? Read: Psychology of Weight Loss.
7. Not Everyone Will Support You
This is most definitely the harshest truth of weight loss. There will always be that Negative Nancy in your life. They may talk down to you, they may push food on you when you’re trying hard to stay on plan. They can be the aunt that says “just have one bite” or the best friend that wants a friend to binge eat and drink with them. Often times it’s a spouse or significant other that feels THREATENED by your changing body. Sometimes the non-supportive person in your life will be quiet and sneaky about it and other times it will be in-your-face-obvious.
I’ve had my fair share of the Weight Loss Saboteurs and the Partners Who Sabotage. For some reason, it was easier to eliminate the negative partners from my life and harder to eliminate the ones I thought were my true friends. Read: Lose 100 Pounds, Lose Friends?
My hope is that people won’t give up if not everyone in their life is on board with the changes. There will definitely be a readjustment period and perhaps people in your life feel like you’re making a judgment against THEM. Give it time. Give people second chances and hope they come around. If not, they weren’t real friends anyways, right?
I hope this post was helpful to my readers and I hope the links to old posts gave new readers some insight. If I reach even one reader and convince them not to give up on their efforts, I’ll be happy.