Thursday, January 30, 2014
Recently I have been surprised, pleased and humbled to be contacted by several new members asking for advice on how I have been successful in my journey. Something about my page inspired them enough to reach out to me. I have to tell you how incredibly satisfying it is to feel that I have touched someone in that way, especially when I have all the ups and downs of everyone else and sometimes feel that I am falling far short of the expectations I have for myself.
When they asked me for advice, this is what I said. I thought I would share it here for anyone who might need something like this right now and for myself to be reminded of this the next time one of the "downs" comes around.
The best advice I can give you is first of all to BELIEVE that this is possible. I was over 50 years old and 295 pounds at my highest weight before I began my journey to health and fitness. I hated everything about exercise and didn't even like taking walks.
Remind yourself regularly that you didn't get this way overnight and you aren't going to be thin and fit overnight, either. That knowledge and understanding will go a long way to keeping you on track even when you feel discouraged because the scale isn't cooperating.
Third, I would say, is to learn to forgive yourself and move on. You will slip. You will slide. It isn't how many times you fall down that matters. It is how many times you get back up. I have fallen off track many times, but I am still here and still plugging along toward my goals.
Last, but not least, I would say, follow the basics -- exercise regularly, eat high quality foods, count your calories, drink your water, get enough sleep. I can't tell you how many "lose weight fast" schemes I have tried in my life, and while I lost weight on many of them, I never could keep it off. Do you know why? Because I never developed any new habits. I simply dieted and then I didn't. When I dieted, I lost weight and when I stopped, I gained it back.
What SparkPeople teaches works. Over the months and years that it has taken me to reach this point, I have developed new habits that make me FEEL GREAT! I feel physically better, I have more energy and I am happier. Because of these changes, when I slip, slide or fall, I get back on track with those healthy habits not just to lose weight, but to regain those great feelings.
My journey has not been one of perfection, but one of improvement. I am moving fairly consistently toward a better version of me and you can do it, too!