V is for Victory

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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 *

10 Responses

  1. Small steps indeed! I remember when I successfully swam my first mile when I took up swimming after 20 years. I let go with an uncontrollable fist pump or two at the end of the pool. I’m sure anyone watching probably thought I had a screw loose, but it felt like such a big accomplishment. Celebrating the victories is an important component of staying motivated, in my opinion.

    Thought of you this weekend when we stopped in Portland for a quick visit with a newly re-located friend. I do love your city!

    1. Woot!! That is awesome! I had the same feeling as you when I swam my first mile! You gotta celebrate those accomplishments.

      Very cool, what did you see/do in Portland?

      1. We were only stopping by on our way back from Princess’s OSU campus visit, so we just had time to grab a bite to eat. I can recommend Huckleberry Pub on 23rd and Kearney – great food, which made up for the meh beer menu. I think that’s a bit out of the way for you two, though, isn’t it?

          1. Definitely Corvallis – Beavers, not Ducks. Princess fell in love with the place when we first visited last year. Her brother is at WSU, so family dinners will probably get pretty interesting the next few years!

  2. I lost weight a long time ago and have maintained the loss for many years, but I’m still working on not dealing with stress with food (my choices aren’t terrible or “extreme” anymore, but still not what they should be sometimes). Recently, I have had a lot of stress, but I did not deal with it with food. Rather, I made sure I ate especially nourishing food. And I’m proud of myself. I think I’ll reward myself with a pedicure, something I haven’t done in years… 🙂
    Andrea@WellnessNotes recently posted..Veggies and the Beach

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