What it's really about for me...
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.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
you are an inspiration thank you so much for this formative blog with great food for thought !!
21 days ago
woo hoo! I know you can do it!
337 days ago
Awesome philosophy, awesome results, awesome YOU as a person!!!
Thanks for the inspiration. You should be required reading on SparkPeople, particularly for newbies who expect the world to change in 2 weeks. They need to know how it's really done, and, more importantly, that it is possible for anyone with your determination.
Thanks again, and much joy to you!
2552 days ago
I read your blog again. So well said. One of the things you (and others) who are getting close to their goal. What should be the next goal? Yes, I know people will say maintenance, and clearly that is important, but other goals are important as well.
Well written, well said, well done...
2587 days ago
Thanks for the wonderful blog! I am so glad that you have found a way of living that works for you and your body and is healthy all at the same time. I can't wait to mentally be in the same place you are. You are an inspiration and i admire your honesty!
I can't wait to celebrate your goal with you!
2592 days ago
Wow, i dont even know what to say. Yes i do, when is the book coming out! You have helped me tremendously, more than i can ever express. And i know you have helped countless others. You are truly an inspiration! I love to see you out of your shell, too! I can't say thanks enough!!!
EDIT: ohh, and if anyone "deserves" true success, it's you!!!!
Susan AND Toby!
2593 days ago
Comment edited on: 4/20/2009 12:13:53 AM
Wow, what a blog! Thank you Lisa!
2594 days ago
Incredible blog! I am so happy you put this in words and allowed us all to read it! I love it when you open up!
You are one of the biggest motivators I know so it is no surprise to me that you were nominated. You have definitely motivated me (oops I know I am not supposed to use the word motivated from your TOTD, lol) but you have helped me tremendously. I was at the same weight for over a year and after you showed me how to kickstart my metabolism again and start losing weight again. I couldn't have done it on my own!
You are really an amazing person and I hope you know it!
2594 days ago
I totally understand why you are being nominated as a motivator. Just reading this blog was an amazing treat.
Congratulations on your accomplishment - you have many reasons to be proud of you and your accomplishments, not to mention a healthier you.
Continue what you do for you and others.
2594 days ago
I am so proud of all your accomplishments and even happier for you that you are proud of them. You definitely deserve to be a motivator because that's what you've been all along. Hope you have a happy and healthy spring!
2594 days ago
Can I believe you've been nominated as a motivator?
Well, let's see...I'm one of the people who nominated you, and I can't think of anyone else who is MORE motivating than you are.. so yes.. I believe it.
You're amazing.. You've DONE amazingly, and you continue to amaze me. If I had a shred of your dedication and consistency I would be so much farther along. I'm learning..
For what it's worth.. I struggle to have the healthy relationship with food that you've achieved. I haven't had the same yo-yo diet mentality in the past.. so I'm doing all of that struggling now.. but I've learned more from you than you will ever know.
This is a fantastic blog from a fantastic woman. (Who is fantastic, wonderful, worthy, and amazing... no matter which 26 is on the label.) I'm so glad that you shared this. It helps. Incredibly so.
2594 days ago
Fabulous! And thank you for sharing yourself, an inspiration to any who take the time to read your words.
2594 days ago
I love this blog. You have come so far and I am truly proud of you and Kayla is too. You have done a great job and you never altered your plan. You are a motivator for me and many others on SP. Keep up the great work. You are Done!
2594 days ago
Keep up the good work. and way to be there for others!
2594 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.