1. I've learned I can feel satisfied, food wise, without stuffing myself. Hunger is really not an emergency, a feeling I can't handle. I can tolerate a bit of hunger because I'm not feeling deprived. I stop eating when I am no longer hungry. But when I am hungry, I eat, just not as much as I used to.
2. I don't like exercise, but I dislike more the feelings of "I can't," being breathless, being unable to keep up with others, low self esteem. Exercise has improved all of those things. So I can tolerate exercise. It IS better than not exercising.
3. I've learned my body really does like this new weight better. My blood sugar has dropped. My blood pressure has dropped. My cholesterol has improved. Others can gain weight and not have health issues, I can't. My particular body likes weighing less.
4. I've learned I like looking good. I didn't think I cared. It turns out I do care. I like knowing others look at me and see more than just an unhealthy person. They see someone with interests, someone not so different than they are.
5. I've learned fruit often tastes way better than a rich, calorie drenched dessert. Even better because my sweet tooth is satisfied without feeling guilty.
6. I've learned that no food needs to be off limits. The first bite and the last bite taste the best. I've learned to leave out the middle man and eat less of it. Moderation.
7. I've learned all the little steps in life really do add up. An extra 10 calories a day add up to 1 lb weight gain per year, which becomes 10 pounds in 10 years, added over 50 years, becomes significant. Each little step extra I take, each extra flight of stairs, each burst of activity, each extra bite of food not taken, become a habit, which happens so insidiously that it doesn't feel like deprivation. It feels like magic. I learned that not making a plan to get healthy became a plan to be unhealthy.
8. I've learned just how much all or nothing thinking I really was doing. Cliches are true. I don't speed in traffic all day because I got one ticket. I don't zip thru all the stop signs because I rolled thru once. I don't round up money spent on items purchased to the next hundred dollars or more. I don't buy two houses because I've overspent on the first one, and "oh, what the hey, throw a new car in too, and a yacht". I stop. One piece of pizza will always be better for me than two.
9. I've learned It really is important to record my food intake. Now I know about how many calories I am eating and how many I should be eating. I've learned it is really helpful to record exercise. I like seeing the minutes add up, almost as much as I like seeing the pounds lost on the scale. Food and exercise are two separate entities, but together are important for both health and weight.
10. I've learned weight loss is contagious. When I started getting healthy, those around me began to do the same. Now there are many of us adopting healthier habits. Sometimes what works for someone else works for me, too. I've learned just how great it is to have the spark people website. There are always others out there who are similar to me. I'm not the only one.