I realized some time ago that I could never make much progress on my journey as long as I was still "tethered" to the garage. I think this is why I had so many false starts. I would begin yet "another" diet or fitness regimen only to make so much progress before I was back where I began. Not only did I return to the "starting gate" over and over but that starting gate got moved further and further from the destination of "Health & Fitness" gaining a bit more after each failed attempt.
I could cut calories and exercise for a time and pull hard against those cords but eventually I failed because I never CUT them. Somewhere in my head was the notion that it was just a temporary deprivation to get that desired loss but you and I KNOW that never works. We can't get there and STAY there without life changes. We have to CUT the cords.
I think before you can cut the cords you might want to try and identify them. Here were some of mine:
1) Continuing to use part of my calorie allocation to eat the poor quality foods that led me to my weight gain. Now, many will say that having a treat here and there keeps you from falling off the wagon. There are some that have that discipline and I feel I have finally achieved it 2-1/2 years into this journey but many do not and will not for some time. It's best to make a clean break rather than set oneself up for the "nibble" that leads to a "binge".
Just this past weekend several have shared that they succumbed to a "little" Easter candy only to find that once indulged they gave themselves permission to go further. This is why we have to view our path as one of PERMANENT change. Our lifestyles have to be altered.
2) Viewing exercise as a scheduled event rather than a daily practice. This one was hard for me. Exercise was not fun. It was not easy. I sweated a lot. I didn't like giving up the time it took and frankly at times I chose to be LAZY and just watch TV or play a videogame.
What changed? A sparkteam I was on offered up a program called STREAKING. The plan was 6 days of exercise for at least 20 minutes (didn't have to be at the same time) and one day of rest per week. I decided to give it a try with 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon/evening. It began what has turned into a LIFE HABIT of exercise. I don't even take that day off anymore. I'm always climbing on the ellpitical, bike, or treadmill and with nice weather around the corner I will be hoofing it outdoors.
You need to make peace with the fact that exercise/activity will be your new norm. It will help you lose the weight and SUSTAIN the weight loss. Find something you can do and DO it. If you get tired of doing that try something NEW. Just get that heart rate elevated. The heart is a MUSCLE and you need to work it!
3) Chuck the old clothing. I can't tell you how hard it was for me to give things away but hanging onto them was giving myself permission if not PLANNING to return to the starting gate. I have some "winter" things I bought this year. I can still wear them even though I've lost 17.2 pounds the past 10 weeks. I am bagging them up as soon as the weather has made the change. WHY KEEP THEM? To keep them means I PLAN to lose nothing between now and October. I won't accept that so OUT they go. This way I buy things I CAN wear in a smaller size come fall.
4) Giving up the ghosts of the past. I'm sure you have met this cast of specters. They moan and wail and pull on you but they are only shadows of what you once were.
a) The Ghost of Holidays Past - This festive wraith beckons you to PARTY HEARTY! It's a holiday! Eat, drink and be merry! This is how it's ALWAYS been. Don't believe it. The holiday will still come with each season and you can choose to celebrate it differently. Do not be afraid to make NEW traditions that co-exist with your new lifestyle.
b) The Ghost of Mom's Cooking - This one comes wearing an apron looking like June Cleaver holding her best pie. Just because mom cooks it doesn't mean you have to eat it. Further more, tell MOM that you would like to contribute a dish to the meal and bring something healthy or better yet - offer to cook FOR her and let her take a turn being the pampered guest.
c) The Ghost of the Fast Food Drive Through - Really - be honest - do you drive through and get just the water and the apple slices? There are a few that do (though one has to wonder why not just go to the market and buy fruit and water). If you choose to drive through you are just tempting fate and may find yourself driving away sipping at a 580 calorie Shamrock Shake or tossing back those greasy fries. This is a MAJOR cord to your past and will hold you back.
d) The Ghost of Neighborly Fun - This is that ghost that comes bearing a bottle of wine, a deck of cards and a bowl of chex mix. He's a jolly sort but you can banish him forever if you just use your head. Take your OWN snacks and water and enjoy the fellowship. Move the snack bowl as far from you as possible or better still - tell your host that you really struggle with snacks in your new lifestyle and ask if you can bring some fresh fruit instead?
These are just a few of those ghosts from the past. This is how we lived BEFORE. Throw open the window, let the light invade the room and march right out into the sunshine leaving those ghosts behind. YOU have a future and it's not tied to your past.
I have cut most of my cords in this journey (down 105 pounds so far) though I will admit there are just a few tugging at my heels. I think my recent progress has carried me to a new place where I'm ready to cut them too. I like what I'm seeing on this part of the journey. I'm feeling hopeful that the rest of the journey is just a matter of time.
Here again to motivate you ( a picture from my past and one made yesterday on Easter Sunday.)
It's worth it. Need some scissors for those cords?