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Slow Progress is Still Progress!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Since January of this year, I've lost 21 pounds. That's a little less than 1 pound a week...frustratingly slow. But progress is progress, and I need to be happy with how far I've come.

At the dietician last week, I registered a 7-pound loss at my 8-week check-in. She was ecstatic. I was disappointed.

My reaction prompted her to tell me that it's important to celebrate my accomplishments. Now, I'm sure somewhere along the line I've told myself that, I've read that, I've heard that...probably dozens of times. But I'm not living it.

Every pound I lose, I think about how many more I could have lost if I would have done better. Every fitness improvement I see, I think I should be stronger. I just can't be proud of anything I do.

So that is my focus for July - figure out how to celebrate my successes, no matter how big or small. A success is still a success, and a pound lost is a pound closer to my goal.

I read somewhere that a good way to get started is to have a journal where you write down one positive thing you did during each day. So I will try to post at least one good thing I've done each day on my blog and hope that doing so will turn my attitude around. It's about time I let go of perfectionism.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? How do you stop wishing for better results, and just be happy with what you've done?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You should be very proud. 1lb a week is a great accomplishment and a healthy way to lose weight. emoticon

    It can be really hard to change our perception and our dependance on the number on the scale.

    Magazines and television shows all have us wrapped up in losing weight with large number losses and losing it fast but it doesn't work for everyone and how long does it last for most people who do. I think they are teaching us the wrong lesson. For the most part the people losing weight on TV have teams of trainers and other resources that regular people do not have and they are working out all day every day. Not attainable for us regular folks who work and have other obligations.

    As others have said also look at the non-scale accomplishments and don't beat yourself up for a 1lb. a week loss. Keep working on changing your perception and celebrate the small stuff. emoticon
    2085 days ago
    emoticon Jen on the pounds lost so far this year! You are doing emoticon and are so right, slow and steady is the key.

    Your journal idea sounds like a great one. Because you should be proud of yourself for how far you have come so far this year. (And after the surgery too....) Keep that flame shining bright!

    2085 days ago
    You are right, you need to embrace and accept your losses, you are headed in the right direction. Just imagine where you would be if you weren't trying and you were allowing your former self to take back over. The important thing is that you make this work for you and your lifestyle. Everything you said resonated w/ me, the perfectionism, the not being able to be happy about anything I do good. For whatever reason weight loss is good to me this time around, but I still expect Biggest Loser numbers w/o putting in that kind of effort;) I think this is some of our self-sabotage, that voice inside trying to get us back to our former selves and letting the negative self-talk rule. This is something I work on daily, because I think this is my most major hurdle to overcome for long term success!
    2085 days ago
    It's definitely progress! And just think of how many awesome things you've done this year - the stair climb, the Amazing Race challenge and I think I remember a few blogs about how your swimming had much improved, how much yard work you are now able to do now and some new shirts that fit well. I think you'd agree that these accomplishments are much better than a number on the scale.

    All of that said, we do expect more out of ourselves and have an idea of what we think we should be doing and should have done. I think your blog/journal with a positive accomplishments is a great idea. That way you have a source to review when you are beating yourself up with your lack of accomplishment. Other things you could track are measurements such as inches, body fat, heart rate and stamina. Also, I know you are a numbers person, maybe change things to a percentage versus a pound. Losing 10% of your weight sounds greater than 21 pounds. Plus I am always amazed when you Google things that weigh 21 pounds and see how much weight that really is. It's a toddler, 4 5lb bags of flour (have you tried to carry that much?) and so on. It gives you a different perspective.

    You are AWESOME and losing the weight the right way. You are making a good balance between life and losing weight. Be proud of all accomplishments as they add up to huge things!!

    Keep up the AMAZING work!! You GOT this!

    2085 days ago
    I needed to read your blog and all the comments. I've only lost 16 pounds since January and I'm so disappointed in myself. I had been losing around 45 pounds a year - still slow, but not this slow. I know I need to stop focusing on what I consider a failure and be proud of the 80 pounds I've lost since I changed my lifestyle.

    2085 days ago
    Yes. Progress is progress. I know how it is to lose slow and I know how important it is to focus on what you ARE accomplishing rather than what you're not.

    I bet that even though the scale isn't moving as fast as you'd like, there are other things you've noticed are better/easier. I know I get up and down my stairs so much easier. I wake up less achy, go to bed less achy. I don't worry so much about parking close to the store because walking doesn't hurt as much. Little things add up. Maybe writing a blog about improvements you see? Or writing a list of mini-goals. I know for me, mini-goals really help. I wanted to walk a 5k and did it. Things like that. It gives you things to focus on other than the scale.

    You're doing great! Comparison is the thief of joy. Relish in your achievements and stop comparing!

    2086 days ago
  • TERRIH8118
    emoticon emoticon Great work on the 21 lbs. Remember slow and steady is whats going to stay off. Look for the non-number benefits, like other people mentioned. Take it one day at a time and be happy with your successes
    2086 days ago
  • FIREFOX0119
    Congrats on the 21 lbs Jen!

    Someone hit on something I was going to suggest. Inches, bloodwork improvement and how you feel are important "non scale victories", but for me, being able to do something that I couldn't before is really where it hits me.

    For instance, you can measure things like your resting heart rate or your heart rate after a 3 minute step test. If you are working on strengthening your core muscles, how long can you hold plank position? How many flights of stairs can you climb without being completely winded? Find some things like that to track and blog about them or write them down somewhere and track your improvement there.

    With the things we hear all the time like "lose 2-3 pounds a week" or people on the biggest loser dropping weight like it is easy or sabotaging ourselves telling us that if only we'd have done x, it is easy to get discouraged. If you practice thinking positive, it gets much easier as time goes on.

    I had a roommate who wrote motivating things in dry erase marker on her bathroom mirrors and she would change it up frequently. Things like "you are beautiful" etc. See if you can find ways to surround yourself with positivity rather than negativity. The power of positive thinking isn't just a tag line :)
    2086 days ago
    I read lots of stories on here about people who lost 100 in a year. I'm always astonished and proud, but sometimes in the back of my mind I it really going to last? Is a year enough time to really change for good all your habits and thoughts that have been with you a lifetime? Were you so eager to lose quickly that you became a workout addict and didn't leave room for pleasure? Do you now risk having to maintain an insane exercise regime in order to make sure nothing climbs back on too quickly? On the other hand, if you continue the rest of this year at the same pace you're doing now, you will be able to say you lost 42 pounds in 2012. oh my goodness...doesn't that sound incredible? If I read that kind of success story, I don't have all those questions in my head about "will it last." I think "wow, this woman changed her life, but did so in a way that she will always be able to keep up with her newfound healthy habits and fitness...because she took the time on her journey to actually evolve. It was more important to her to do it "at a healthy rate" and I'm sure she was so excited every couple of months when she went down a size." In one year's time, with 42 pounds GONE, you will be wearing a New Year's Eve dress almost 4 sizes smaller than what you wore this January. What I wouldn't give to be able to go down 4 sizes in a year! And keep it off! And still do more with my life than live at a gym. For what it's worth, I think you're doing an amazing job and should lay off the scale for a whole month. That anxiety over a number is going to stunt your progress. In a month, you'll be down about another 5 pounds, and that's exciting!!!

    2086 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/4/2012 5:10:30 PM
    You are losing weight at a healthy rate. after 21 lbs lost there may be some other benefits like better blood pressure numbers, clothing size gone down or nergy gone up.

    I know people who were working towards their goal and have gained 5-10 lbs in a few months
    2086 days ago
  • LOJACK73
    For some reason, we measure our success by a number on the scale. It is a great way to measure but if it is not moving in the direction that we want or as fast as went, then we set ourselves up for destruction.

    In your case, seek out non-weight related goals. For example,
    In July, I have completed the following items:
    15 push-up on toes
    Jumping Jacks for 5 minutes without stopping
    Jogging for 2 minutes without stopping
    Tracking my calories everyday

    Write them as though you have already done it.
    2086 days ago
    Remember that a 1 -2 pound loss a week is better in the long run!

    Most people that consistently loose the weight the way you are have a better chance of keeping it off for life with focus :)

    Great job!!!!
    2086 days ago
    I have lost 6 pounds in three months and I am happy! As you say slow progress is better than none! Congrats on your weight loss....21 pounds GONE in a healthy sustainable way! emoticon
    2086 days ago
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