Your weight loss process is rarely a straight path. It is a journey of mountains, curves, rivers and sometimes oceans to cross. Much like life, it is sometimes easy, sometimes more difficult, but never something you give up on.
Embrace and enjoy the journey. It will lead you to your destination and beyond. What you gain by following through, starting over, and persevering during the difficult times is a confidence in yourself that can never be taken away. You learn that everything and anything is achievable. You become the controlling force in your life. This knowledge becomes a part of you and is an inspiration to yourself and all those around you.
Starting a weight loss program, stopping, and starting again may be part of your journey. Accept it, don't fight it and don't blame or beat yourself up, many times this is viewed as failure. Your journey is really a process of elimination, a learning curve if you will. Be okay with it and move on.
Instead of focusing on what hasn't worked in the past, figure out what did work and what you did learn. Each time you try something new you learn from it, and then you can add on to it the next time. Over the years and 100 pounds of weight loss, I have tried many different ways to lose weight. I learned that I hate cabbage (cabbage soup diet not effective), and now when I make vegetable soup, I put Kale or Escarole in it, not cabbage.
Think of the positive changes that you are making as you travel through your weight loss odyssey. Keep a journal of your healthy choices, of foods that you have passed up, and activity that you have added to your life.
Celebrate your victories and successes; share them with your family and friends. Be proud and give yourself credit for every change you have made, no matter how small you may think they are. Feel free to email me at Victories@alwaysyourweigh.com. I am happy to add them to my website under Victories! It can be anonymous if you prefer or you can use your name so you will always know you are successful.
Don't set your aim on perfection in your eating or activity or it will certainly set you up for disappointment. We are not perfect in any aspect of our lives. Don't expect to be perfect with regard to your food and activity either. Celebrate that you are making changes to help you lose weight and keep it off.
The first step is becoming aware of negative thoughts and self talk. Each time you start to think of "bad" choices and being "bad" because of them, refocus your thoughts to changes that you are making. It is very easy to beat yourself up for over eating. It is not as easy to be proud of eating "normally". It takes awareness and that is why it is important to keep a journal. Be proud that you only had 1 or 2 cookies and not a dozen, which may be a BIG change in your habits.
Most people view weight loss as an unwelcome necessity. Something they are forced into by a lifestyle of "misfortune". I have heard people say, "My friend can eat whatever she wants and not gain a pound," spoken with such disdain it actually makes me smile. After all I use to say the very same thing. It took me many years to accept my body type, my eating habits and of course my unwillingness to make the real changes needed for long lasting weight loss and maintenance.
However you view your weight loss journey is in fact how it will be. If you tell yourself that it is hard and miserable and that you hate it, you most certainly will hate it, find it hard, and it will be miserable. If you tell yourself that your weight loss journey is enlightening and a fantastic opportunity to learn about yourself and what you can accomplish, it will be fantastic and exciting and a great learning experience.
I learned more about myself in what could be considered my failures than in my successes. I have found great empathy and kindness for those who struggle because I have. I take great inspiration in those who have started and restarted their weight loss journey because I gained and lost weight many times before learning how to maintain my own 100 pound weight loss. The confidence I have gained during my weight loss, weight gain and weight loss far exceeds anything that I thought was possible.
One of the most important things I discovered during my weight loss process is that I am all about quantity. I like a lot of food on my plate; I learned that I enjoy cooking healthy with lots of vegetables and whole grains. I also learned that I eat plenty of vegetables when I order a vegetable tray from my local grocery store. It may seem like a splurge, but having freshly cut up and prepared vegetables keeps me on track even when I am very busy (or I just don't feel like cutting up a bunch of veggies).
If weight loss and weight management was easy no one would be overweight. If we only ate when we were hungry then a drug that takes away our appetite would work. For those of us who struggle with our weight, rarely does hunger have anything to do with over-eating.
Starting right now, you can take control of your food and therefore your life. Embrace your ability to keep a journal and learn from what you eat. Equally important is to learn from your victories and successes; they are what will keep you motivated. Your weight loss is one part of your life. Revel in the experience and it will give you great strength and unyielding confidence in all aspects of your life.
Move forward with excitement and empower yourself one day at a time.