We all call this crazy diet, exercise, lifestyle change our journey and each person's journey to health and weightloss is different. This isn't my first trip down weightloss road. I made it halfway to goal a couple of years ago and derailed. As I inch closer to goal, I realize how different this time around has been. I feel like I am making it. This is how you know:
1. You can leave
on the plate. I understand now that those last few bites of cake or pie will not be my last. Before it didn't matter how full I was, if you put cheesecake or anything sweet for that matter, in front of me, I felt OBLIGATED to scrape that plate clean. I can now eat desert guilt-free, knowing that it will not ruin my life to endulge, I can savor each bite, say "Uhhm that was good" and put my fork down with some to spare. THAT is growth.
2. You create a life/work/workout balance. I know I failed the last time around because I became an exercise addict and every waking moment was spent burning calories or reading health mags or looking for healthy recipes or SPARKING. I never saw my family or friends or did anything fun because I was afraid of being around temptation. If you want to be healthy for life, you have to realize that FIRST, you must LIVE. You must spend time with family and friends. Of course, you need to work to support that life. Then you must MAKE time to workout. Understanding that there will be times when you will be late to a gathering to get in your burn or you may skip a gathering because you know there will be no options there for you, but that ultimately you have to learn to live amongst those things and be okay if you want to succeed.
3. When you stop giving a flying f*#$ about what others say about your stupid measuring cups and digital scales and your saying "no" to drinking your calories. When you realize that your commitment to your health makes them uncomfortable about their own lifestyle and choices. These people knew you as their buffet buddy, their drinking partner, the cake connosieur and now you no longer participate and it makes them uneasy so they make back-handed compliments, or they say nasty things, or tell you not to get "too skinny". Don't listen to that mess. They aren't the ones who have to pop blood pressure pills.
4. At the same time, you know you have made it when YOU stop trying to change people. This was a HUGE struggle for me. Once you become "enlightened" to the benefits of good nutrition and exercise, you begin to think its your job to "save" all of your family and friends who are overweight. Do you remember how pissed off you would get when someone tried to preach to you about your weight as you ate your burger? Don't do that to the people you love. It is great that you are changing your life but it is not your job to force the hands of others. We all know that no one can do this for you. For months I woke my sister up for workouts, I made her meal plans, I took her grocery shopping, paid for trainers, bought workout shoes. When she didn't live up to MY expectations, I would get sooo frustrated and wouldn't talk to her for days. My fiance told me, "worry about yourself and when she sees how well you are doing, one day she will be inspired to do it for herself." The best advice I could have gotten.
I am still on my way, but this morning I was thinking about these things in particular. I have gained a sense of maturity in this journey that I never would have thought diet and exercise could have given me and I am sure I will make it all the way.