We all have to give up something.
Sometimes I get Sparkmail from people telling me that they are inspired by my story. In particular, my bicycle story seems to generate the most mail for me.
A quick recap. Back when I was obese, I bought a bicycle so I could get fit. I rode it for one hour every day. There was a particular hill that I could not peddle up. It was impossible for me; I had to get off my bike and walk it up. I kept at it, though. After many weeks (forever?), one day I peddled all the way to the top without stopping. It was a crowning achievement for me. It was the turn point where I knew that a life of being overweight and out of shape wasn't inexorable. I could change it.
I rode that bike every day. EVERY day. I rode it when I was 'too tired.' I rode it when 'I didn't want to.' I rode it in the rain. I lived in Seattle at the time. If I didn't ride in the rain, then I'd never ride at all.
People ask me, "I really need to lose weight. I know that you lost weight with low carb, but I can never give up x, y, or z. How did you do it?"
This bothers me because I wonder if what they want me to say is, "You don't have to give anything up!" I can't say it. Because I don't believe it to be true. We all have to give up something.
Here are foods/drinks that I never thought I could give up, and I did:
- Snickers bars
- Full sugar soda
- Potato chips
- Processed 'luncheon' meats
- Fast food
- Chili's margaritas
- Fruit juices
- "Convenience" foods
Here are things I eat/drink less of (after I went into maintenance):
- Desserts (reserved for special occasions)
- Diet sodas
Even eating in 'moderation' is giving up frequency or portion size.
When I had a lot of weight to lose, I dropped everything I thought I could 'never give up.' I used to love Snickers bar. I haven't had a Snickers in over 7 years. And I don't miss it. It represents a time period when I used to hate myself. Whenever I see a Snickers at the grocery store, I look at it and remember a time when I stayed inside because I didn't want to be seen. When I couldn't carry my groceries up the stairs to my apartment without feeling like I just ran the Boston marathon.
When I gave up Snickers and all, I also gave up:
- Constant fatigue and tiredness.
- Fear of walking up stairs.
- Fear of carrying groceries across the parking lot.
- Jealousy of watching other people run, bike, and hike without being out of breath.
- Self loathing: clothes didn't make me look fat; fat made me look fat.
If I say I'm going to 'try', I'm not fully committed. I am someone that is either "Do or don't do; there is no try."
How long have you been trying? "Do" or "Try". Which is going to get you where you want to be?