I'll never forget the desperation I felt before I found Spark People. I loathed looking in the mirror, and when I did, I stared in disbelief at the sad face returning my gaze and cry. Then I found Spark People, by chance, after reading a Biggest Loser article, where one contestant said she'd used this site, and my life was changed.
So here I am, only days away from my second Spark anniversary, and over sixty pounds lighter. Reflection is always fun, and this morning, I started thinking about the eating habits I've left behind, the struggles and the successes.
What really amazed me though was the realization that it's getting easier. Let me explain. Last night I went to see the new Disney movie, Tangled, with my husband and youngest daughter. They ate candy, popcorn, nachos and cheese and drank pop. I had a couple of pieces of candy, and four nacho chips lightly dipped in cheese -- all leaving me well within my calorie range for yesterday. The popcorn didn't even tempt me.
The popcorn didn't even tempt me! I need to re-write that sentence to believe it.
I flash back to my pre-SparkPeople days when I could, and would consume an entire large tub of popcorn, loaded with butter and kettle corn flavoring during a movie, as well as a box (or two) of candy and a large diet pop. Over two days worth of calories in one sitting. Wow. I couldn't imagine not eating popcorn at the movies. They went together in my mind, like county fairs and cotton candy! Yep, I did those too.
At first, it seemed so hard to give up these treats I loved and so I didn't. I ate a small amount of popcorn at the movies, and limited my pop intake. I drank water and hated it, but I drank it. I didn't dare drink the pop too, or I would be up and down to the bathroom all night.
Over time, things changed. Given the choice between pop and water at a restaurant, suddenly pop didn't sound so great, and water it was. Now water is my drink of choice when we eat out, not because I have to drink it, but because I want to!
I had the "sweet tooth" to beat all. At my heaviest, it was nothing for me to consume two or three bags of candy a day, as well as my overloaded regular meals. Now, two years later, I can honestly say, a few pieces once in a while is okay with me. I just don't want to eat it. I'd much rather 'spend' my calories on something more filling and nutritious. Never imagined I would lose that sweet tooth along with those pounds of fat but I'm sure glad I did.
It's no longer a matter of "forcing myself" to eat less, or more healthy -- it's become my preference. Given the chance to adjust, it seems my body knows what's good for it after all.
The same goes for exercise. That I would learn to enjoy, even love exercising amazes me. I LOATHED exercise, and I mean LOATHED it. Not any more. I look forward to going to the gym and feel disappointed when I can't make it.
I've often quoted the saying, "Losing weight is hard. Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard."
It's true, but the great news is that while being overweight gets harder and harder, losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle gets easier and easier.
So if you are struggling right now, and wondering if you will ever get over that wall that seem so insurmountable, just walk right up to it, and find the door of encouragement hidden in the corner so you can unlock it and walk on through. Here's the secret key -- it gets easier.