Apr 092014
 

victory-1

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!!!

images
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 *

Share
Aug 152012
 

There have been a few times in my journey to healthy living where I recognized that I was having disordered thinking. The first time was when I was 250 pounds and I had given up on the idea of ever losing weight. I had resigned myself to always being obese, but part of me always thought “I’d be happy if I was skinny.” Of course, losing weight in itself didn’t make me “happy” but getting healthy certainly did.

Another time I recognized this disordered thinking pattern was when I was about 30 pounds away from reaching my goal weight. I had all this extra energy that I’d never had before and I hated to just sit still. If I had free time, I’d go work out. I was also sooo stuck. The scale was not budging. I hit a plateau that stuck around for so long it made me crazy. My solution? To work out every day. For 28 days straight, I worked out in some fashion–gym, swimming, running, walking. This was most definitely disordered thinking! Rest days are important for the body and the mind and I was clearly overtraining. This experience was the birth of my “two rest days a week no matter what” edict.

Fast forward to reaching my goal weight. I was happy, I felt accomplished and satisfied that I’d reached the goal of losing 100 pounds–and kept going! 110 pounds! I was so proud. Then I made the classic mistake: I stopped doing what worked to the lose the weight and thought I could maintain without counting my calories. Add a medication that causes weight gain to the mix and the scale steadily crept up. This time the disordered thinking was denial. I blamed the 15+ pounds on muscles, on training for Hood to Coast, on everything BUT my own behaviors.

Last year about this time I was getting a little obsessed with the scale. Too focused on what that number was. Thinking too much about those stupid ounces or pounds. Weighing too much. STOP. This is disordered. Walk away from the scale. Thus began my Scale-Free Summer which released me from the unhealthy patterns. It broke the habit of the scale, it made me more comfortable in my body and released me from the chains of unhealthy thinking.

I do not have this disordered thinking pattern 100% beat. If I had to guess I’d say it’s about 80%. Most of the time I am comfortable in my own skin, I am happy and content with my body as I maintain my weight loss, I am proud of losing 110 pounds. But every once in awhile, that disordered thinking starts to creep back into my brain…that little voice that says “I feel so fat.” (Note: Fat is NOT a feeling. I need to remind myself of this!)

Lately I’ve been looking at some photos of myself and thinking, “I don’t like how I look in that picture” or “I wish I didn’t have a muffin top.” I weigh the same as I’ve weighed for a long time now. So why is my brain playing tricks on me? Maybe it’s a control thing…there are things in my life that have happened recently that I cannot control and it sucks feeling like you can’t make decisions or go for your goals because you are waiting…waiting…limbo…But controlling food and exercise is not the area to remedy that.

Maybe I will never be 100% over it. But the most important thing to take away from this lesson is this:

I recognize when my thinking is disordered

and I put a stop to it.

Walk away from the scale, stop obsessing, think of something else, change the behavior when you recognize it happening. I need to celebrate my victories, recognize my non-scale victories, remind myself of what I have accomplished and the amazing things my fit body can do! It’s hard, it takes work and positive thinking, but it can work.

QUESTION: Can you recognize when you are slipping into disordered thinking and change it?

Share