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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Oct 292013
 

5-Reasons-Why-You-May-Not-Be-Losing-Weight

There are a million reasons to lose weight. It can be health related, vanity related, or just a self-improvement challenge. I have a friend who struggles with the motivation to lose weight. One of the things I suggested she try was to try and lose weight for her kids. I asked, don’t you want to be live a long life to see them grow up and become amazing people?

Whatever the reason, find one that resonates with you. Turn it into your mantra to keep you going on days when the struggle with the scale is so frustrating you want to give up. The point is to find a reason that really speaks to you. Write it down, post it somewhere you can see if every day.

1. For better health.

This is obviously a no-brainer. We all want to be in better health! Losing even 10 pounds can make a big difference with a lot of issues.

When I was 250+ pounds my doctor wanted to put me on blood pressure medication because it was so high I had dizzy spells. I’d have moments where my vision would black out and it felt like my heart was racing. It was not a good feeling. Losing 20 pounds lowered my blood pressure to a more normal level. The more weight I lost, the better it got. Now when I go to the doctor my heart rate is somewhere around 110/65.

Another medical issue I had was that I was developing diabetes. Becoming pre-diabetic was the tipping point for me. I was terrified of becoming diabetic and having to give myself insulin injections. Weight loss cured me of diabetes. My friend Star has struggled with her diabetes for years. She’s been losing weight and she recently went vegan and that put her blood sugar at a normal level. She’s no longer on diabetes medication!

Something simple that losing weight fixes pretty quickly: body aches and pains. I wonder how much that extra weight put strain on my joints.  I was only in my mid-20’s and yet I hobbled around with stabbing pain in my hips, knees and back. I had chronic pain in my ankle after I had surgery on it to repair the ligament. The more weight I lost and the more fit I got, the less my ankle hurt. I’d had weak ankles my entire life, which lead to many sprains and strains. I attribute my super strong ankles to swimming and running. Both of those activities strengthened my ankles and I no longer roll my ankles.

Losing weight and getting healthy can also reduce doctor visits. I used to get sick ALL THE TIME. I always seemed to have a cold, then bronchitis, then pneumonia. I just had a crappy immune system. Becoming more fit knocked that chronic illness down to only once or twice a year.

2. Your world will open up to new experiences and challenges.

I have done so many cool things since losing 110 pounds! I am now fit and active and I want to DO THINGS instead of just sit on my couch eating ice cream. My lifestyle changed drastically as I lost my weight. I became active and rarely have time to just sit on the couch.

I biked 55 miles to the Oregon Coast in Reach The Beach: Recap 1,Recap 2Recap 3 with my now fiance Michael. It was such a cool experience that we could accomplish together. We both got the “bug” and went on to bike The Portland Century: Part 1Part 2The EndRecovery (75 miles) and then the Peach of a Century Part 1Peach of a Century Part 2.

I started running and ran a 5k, an 8k and Hood to CoastLeg 12Leg 24Leg 36Crossing the Finish Line , Good Luck Lisa!  Having those experiences made me stronger as a person physically and mentally. I got to see what I was made of, how I dealt with challenges and difficulties. I got to feel ACCOMPLISHED when I finished! Crossing a finish line, no matter what your speed or pace, feels AMAZING.

If it doesn’t challenge you, what is the point? Challenges change you.

3. Losing weight and maintaining a fitness routine can help depression.

I can attest to this! So many times in the last few years I’ve turned to fitness to boost my mood. All those people that boast about the runner’s high? It’s valid. Exercise most certainly boosts your mood. I use exercise as a stress reliever. I use exercise to battle seasonal depression that sets in every winter. It really does help me.

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Getting to maintenance mode and changing my weigh-in schedule to once a month changed my outlook. I no longer felt dread every single week, wondering what the scale would say. It would effect my mood in such a negative way. It wasn’t healthy! Losing the weight and keeping it off and seeing a consistent number on the scale makes me feel so much happier!

4. To look and feel attractive/sexy.

Don’t dismiss the huge motivating factor that vanity has. There is no shame in wanting to lose weight to fit into a particular dress or look great for an upcoming event!

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After years and years of low self-esteem, telling myself I was fat and ugly and no one would ever love me, I finally LOVE MYSELF. I love how strong I’ve become. I love that I can lift weights and swim fast. I love that I can fit into a size 4 jeans and that I can FINALLY wear cute clothes! No more baggy crappy clothes that were unflattering and ugly. I can wear sexy dresses and short skirts to show off those legs I worked hard to get!

5. More energy.

I have so much energy now! I used to feel lethargic and tired all the time. Now I can barely sit still. When I walk, I walk fast–to the point that I’m almost running. I just don’t feel run down all the time. It’s nice to feel ALIVE. :)

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to find your own motivating reasons.

What’s your motivating reason?

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