Saturday, April 18, 2009
Well, as of this morning, I actually have less than 10 pounds to go to reach my first major weight loss goal (9 pounds to go). I have officially lost 94 pounds, and did it in 10 months. I have not hit one plateau, even during that time of month (thank you God), and have consistently lost something every week without fail. I never weighed myself more than once a week (to finally destroy my obsession with the scale - which is a "diet" mentality). I have lost 15 inches from my waist so far, and around 20 inches from my hips. I am proud of what I have accomplished, but the best feeling for me comes from HOW I did it, not what I did.
For the first time in my life, I did not diet! I have historically been on every fad diet known to mankind, some more than once. Just to show you that I am not kidding, these have included (but are not limited to anything other than my memory) Atkins (several times), Weight Watchers, Michael Thurmond, Physician's Weight Loss (lost 100+ pounds both times - last time 140 pounds lost), Medifast, Optifast, Beverly Hills Diet, Cabbage Soup diet, hot dog and ice cream diet (one of my faves LOL), SlimFast, etc...basically all of the fads out there. The worst thing was that after each attempt, I only damaged by body and metabolism even more. Talk about yo-yo effect. And I ALWAYS gained back way more than I lost...EVERY TIME WITHOUT FAIL! Except this last time.
I was DONE..DONE being the fat girl, DONE being miserable, DONE being on a diet, DONE feeling worthless, DONE digging my grave with a fork, just plain DONE!
One of the positives, probably the only positive that came from years and years (since age 10) of yo-yo dieting, is actually a "gain" not a "loss"! It is the knowledge I have gained as a result of destroying my body. I have spent many many years learning about nutrition, weight loss, nutrients (both macro and micro), fitness and optimal health. So had I not experienced my past, I would never have arrived at my present, and definitely would not have been able to look forward to my future.
I decided that since I was DONE, there was only one way to do this...only one right way... the right way for me. I need to eat clean, eat smart and treat my body the way it deserved to be treated. I wrote my own food plan, and I have remained consistent every day since then...without fail. I knew that if I resorted back to my old habits and old ways of dealing with food, then I would never reach my goals of being height/weight proportionate, of having a healthy relationship with food, of being strong and muscular with a nice physique, of loving how I feel. The focus was no longer going to be about how many pounds to lose, how many inches to lose or what size I wanted to be. The focus was (and still is) on consistent clean healthy eating, dedication to working out and unparalleled discipline and consistency. And, it has worked...really worked.
Again my goals were to:
1) Have a healthy relationship with food - AND I DO! I no longer eat to "medicate". I eat solely for nourishment...but only physical nourishment, not psychological nourishment. I now deal with my feelings without trying to medicate them away. And I use food the way it should be used - to nourish and feed my body, not my mind. I treat it like a prescription written by my doctor. I do not take more or less than what is prescribed...I eat based on how my plan is written, getting exactly the nutrients my body needs to function optimally.
2) Become strong and muscular with a nice physique - I am 9 pounds away from my 1st goal. I went from a woman's size 26 (tight 24) and a woman's 3X to wearing a junior's size 1 and a misses size 2, and a size 26 or 27 waist size in pants (see the irony - size 26 to size 26?). I have developed muscles that I can actually see. My Phase II goal, once the fat loss is complete, is to continue to build muscles and strength. So I am not there yet, but closer than I have ever been.
3) Loving how I feel - I LOVE how my body feels. I love HOW I eat and I love WHAT I eat (REALLY LOVE WHAT I EAT - I cannot say this enough). I look forward to each meal, and I am pretty creative when I cook. I have created so many clean healthy recipes (see my Spark Page if you're interested in just a peek at some of them). I never run out of wonderful foods/meals to eat.
I am NEVER deprived, like I was in the past, by dieting. The focus was (and still is) no longer going to be about how many pounds to lose, how many inches to lose or what size I want to be. The focus was (and still is) on consistent clean healthy eating, dedication to working out and unparalleled discipline and consistency. This is what works for me.
Many people have asked me what the "secrets of my success" are. They truly are not "secrets". The "Successful Seven" or "A,B,C,D..." major key components of my success are:
2) Blogging, journaling and chatting - sharing and spreading the "spark"
4) Common sense
6) Nurture my metabolism
7) Honesty (keeping it real)
* Accountability: I track everything I eat. EVERYTHING! I do not falter. This keeps me accountable and keenly aware of everything I put into my body. It also keeps me acutely aware of how my body responds to certain foods or nutrients.
* Consistency: Again, I do not falter. I set very specific goals, and I have not done anything to shoot myself in the foot or keep me from reaching my goals. I remain as consistent today as I did when I began. I know that each choice I make brings me one step closer or one step further away from my goals...the choice is mine.
* Dedication: I have made my goals my number one priority...above everything. I struggled initially, feeling I was being selfish, but soon came to realize that I have to come first. Without a healthy, fit and strong Lisa, I cannot help anyone else. So I made "me" my #1 priority by making my health plan my top priority...no matter what. This dedication has been through months and months of holidays, birthdays, food days at work, temptations at every turn including junk food, fast food, media torture, processed garbage, etc. I take a cooler with me everywhere I go, whether it's to work or to NY to visit family for the holidays. I am always prepared. I keep clean healthy portable choices at work, in my purse, in my car and anywhere else I am at risk of being ill-prepared. Others may struggle with my tenacity and determination ("don't you ever cheat?"), but it works for me...IT'S SIMPLE, but NOT EASY! Make sense?
* Common sense: Seems silly, but it's true. Common sense dictates that I know what is good for me, and I know what isn't. I can read nutrition labels, I know what my triggers are, and I am ALWAYS prepared. One of my mantras is that "I must be prepared to fail if I fail to prepare". I am always prepared. Don't get me wrong, there are times where it's VERY difficult to do, but I do whatever I can to avoid pitfalls and any risk of sabotage. Again, this is what works for me.
*Nurture my metabolism: I have destroyed my metabolism by years and years of yo-yo dieting, to the point that it was probably flat-lined when I began my program. I consistently (there's that word again) eat 5-6 small balanced meals every day, roughly 2.5 to 3 hours apart, and do whatever I can to make sure my metabolism is always working and churning away.
* Honesty: I don't make excuses (you know what they say about excuses and what they're compared to). I don't make rationales. I am open and honest with myself and anyone I come in contact with. I am honest about what I eat, why I eat and how I eat. I spent years of making excuses like, "I deserve to eat this...I have done so well", or "it's my birthday or Christmas, Memorial Day or Valentine's Day, and I am allowed and will own this", or my favorite, "it won't kill me". I not only own the choices I make, I make sure to improve and get better when I make the next choice. I don't aim for perfection, but for progress. There was a time where if the diet said "eat 4 oz of chicken", I would only eat chicken, not turkey or any other lean protein. It was maniacal for fear of not losing the most weight possible. Today, I am much different...consistently making progress, and never aiming for perfection...Lord knows I am far from it. But, I am ALWAYS honest with myself, and NEVER make excuses...period!
And finally, the 7th key component is...
* Blogging, journaling and chatting - sharing and spreading the "spark":
For those of you who have come to know me through SP, you know that I am an incredibly private person. I tend to isolate more often than I should, and I struggle to share my thoughts and feelings. That being said, I have come to learn how to do this, and be able to help others, which to me is priceless. I would rather help just one person, than dedicate everything I have to me. It helps immensely to chat, blog, journal and share my "ups and downs" (no pun intended) with all of you. It gives me a window to look through and monitor how I am, where I am at, and how far I have become. It's also a glimpse of where I am going.
I have even been nominated as a Spark People Motivator - can you believe it? I actually motivate others :o) This means the world to me, and I cannot explain that in words. Sense of self-worth is not something that goes hand-in-hand with obesity, so this is HUGE for me (pun actually intended)!
So, I have rambled on more than I ever have, but I am hoping that it helps at least one of you. It helps me to know that you take enough of an interest in me and my life to even read what I have to say. It helps to keep me accountable...it helps to keep me honest...it helps to keep me consistent...it helps me to reach my goals.
So here is to all of us and our journeys we have chosen to take together. I would not be where I am today without you.
More to come...stay tuned.