Apr 092014
 

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V is for Victory

I think one of the biggest factors that will lead to success in weight loss is positive thinking and recognizing how far you’ve come. Celebrating the successes is SO motivating. It helps us get through those plateaus; it helps us get back on track when we stumble along the way (which we all will at some stage).

When I first decided it was time to lose weight, I knew I couldn’t do both the exercise and the food part at the same time–not right away. I needed to take it step by step. I chose fitness first. I started swimming a few times a week and it was HARD. It was so hard. I hadn’t been swimming in probably 5 or 6 years and I was so out of shape I could barely make it down to the end of the pool. Instead of being discouraged or giving up, I made that my goal–to swim to the end of the pool without stopping.

The first victory came a month later. I hadn’t changed any of my food habits yet, but after just one month of swimming I was 10 pounds lighter. It was amazing! It was the boost I needed to see that this could really work! The next victory came a few months later when I was able to swim the length of the pool. As time went by I made knew goals. I wanted to be able to swim a lap (down and back) without having to rest on one side. The tenacity worked and slowly but surely I was becoming conditioned to swim. My next goal was to swim half a mile. It may have taken me a very long time, but I got there. Then the goal was to swim half a mile without stopping to rest!

Each step of the way I made mini goals for myself and focused on that. Instead of dwelling on the number on the scale I celebrated my successes at each milepost. It was such a good feeling to accomplish my goals. The day that I was able to swim 1 full mile without stopping to rest, I was ecstatic! When I got home I called one of my friends to tell her of my victory. I wanted SOMEONE to know what I had done! The positive support helped me in so many ways.

There were other victories on my journey. Each time I went down in a pant size I was euphoric. It was such a cool feeling to buy new clothes in smaller sizes! When I reached my first goal of losing 50 pounds I celebrated by buying some new clothes.

My suggestion for celebrating your victories is to choose rewards that are not food oriented. That will just sabotage how far you’ve come. Instead, do something nice for yourself. Get a pedicure. Buy some new clothes. Go to a movie you’ve been dying to see, ask a friend to help you celebrate. Basically, make note of your success and relish in!

Your victories don’t have to be the number on the scale, either. As I illustrated above, most of my victories were related to reaching a goal as opposed to the scale. Celebrate those NSV’s!!!

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You would think the ultimate victory for me was when I reached my goal weight (150 pounds). As I wrote about before in the post The Arrival Fallacy, that wasn’t the case:

“…the ‘arrival fallacy’ the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy. The arrival fallacy is a fallacy because, though you may anticipate great happiness in arrival, arriving rarely makes you as happy as you anticipate.”

Honestly, reaching goal was kind of anticlimactic. Once again, all the things that made me happy were the goals I accomplished as opposed to the scale. Finishing 55 miles in Reach the Beach made me happier than seeing 150 pounds on my scale.

Do I still celebrate my victories? Not as much anymore. My maintenance mode has become the norm for my life and I don’t really think about stuff like that anymore. I do still try to have goals for myself but even those seem to have less emphasis. Time will tell if that changes.

Do you celebrate your victories? What is one you can share with me? 

A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes *N-Nemesis * O-Open * P-Plateaus Q -Quitting * R-Runner’s Knee * S-Support * U – Unattainable *

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Mar 262014
 

impossible-unattainable

U is for Unattainable 

One of the common themes in emails I get from readers is the concept of weight loss being allusive and an impossible goal. This post is meant to discourage that negative thinking.

A question people often ask, myself included at various times in my journey, is  Why Can’t I Lose Weight? The short answer is that often times we make unrealistic goals for ourselves. According to doctor charts, I should weigh about 125 pounds. My body doesn’t like that and I’ve never seen a weight that low. In fact, I think I would look gaunt and unhealthy if I weighed much less than 140. My body likes the 145-ish range and so I don’t give myself grief about not weighing 125 pounds.

Another reason why weight loss can be unattainable is that the “diet” is vague or there isn’t a PLAN for weight loss. You can’t just say “I will stop eating chips and lose 100 pounds!” Sure, eliminating the junk food from your diet will help, but there are so many other things that factor in. Exercise. Eating a balanced diet. Drinking water instead of soda, etc etc.

For me, focusing on calorie intake and calories burned is what helped me lose 100 pounds. It’s also helped me maintain that loss for almost six years. That worked for me. Maybe the Weight Watchers points system works for you, maybe Paleo or a vegetarian/vegan diet is what your body responds to. Who knows. You gotta try to figure it out–and the negative self-talk discouraging you from even trying is not going to help. Find what works for you and stick to it.

For most of my teen years and early 20′s, I told myself that I would NEVER LOSE WEIGHT. I used words like never and can’t. I couldn’t lose weight. I’d “tried”! Really, I hadn’t tried to lose weight. I never addressed the binge eating food habits that were sabotaging whatever efforts I made in the gym. (Check out this post: We All Start Somewhere for some inspiration.)

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If you never REALLY tried, you can’t use the words like never! Give it a fair shot and you might be pleasantly surprised! I sure was when I dropped 10 pounds that first month I started swimming!

Check out some of these old posts if you’re struggling with where to start:

New Year’s Resolutions To Skip

How to Start Losing Weight Now

10 Harsh Realities that Help You Grow

A few years ago I also wrote a series on How To Lose Weight. It was a big task to write about and so I broke it down into a weekly series covering a lot of the issues that come up during a diet change. It takes each topic one by one because baby steps is less overwhelming! Trust me!

How to Lose Weight Series: 

Week OneWeek One Check In

Week Two , Week Two Check In

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Five Truths of Weight Loss

Five Truths of Maintenance

Over the years I gave up that drive to try and reach a seriously unattainable number on the scale. Like I stated above, 125 pounds would not be a healthy weight for me. We need fat and we need muscle on our bones. I don’t want to be a skeleton just to achieve some ridiculous goal that isn’t something I can maintain for very long! Perfection is never going to happen, so I try to be happy with where my body is.

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My hope with this blog is that the four years I’ve been writing it have inspired readers to try to lose weight. I wanted my readers to see that it WAS possible to lose weight and it was possible to keep it off too! I wanted to be an open book for everyone to see that you can eat “fun” foods and enjoy life without gaining all the weight back. Losing weight doesn’t have to make you miserable or deny you the foods you want to eat. Moderating all of that stuff is really what works in the long run.

I hope that this blog has shown you all that weight loss is ATTAINABLE.

Have you stopped the negative self-talk regarding weight loss? 

A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes *N-Nemesis * O-Open * P-Plateaus Q -Quitting * R-Runner’s Knee * S-Support * T-Truth *

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