Today is day 6 of my current streak!
In 2012, I was at the highest weight of my life, and I was dying from obesity. I had no energy, I hurt all over, and the slightest exertion made my heart race and got me out of breath. I was not really living anymore. I was trapped in an unhealthy, out of shape body. I wanted to change, but I had such a huge amount of weight to lose that just thinking about it was daunting. But I knew I had to save myself, or else I was going to die before my time. So on March 1, 2012, I started my journey. I decided to focus on HEALTH, not WEIGHT. I weighed myself on my Wii Fit, and then I put it away. I didn't want to worry about numbers. I just wanted to do my best to make each day as healthy as I possibly could, and to focus on NSV's. (Non-scale victories.)
It wasn't easy, and there were many times that I thought "I can't do it." I wanted to give up, but I knew that I had to keep going. I told myself "Just give it two weeks." So I stuck with it, even when it was hard and uncomfortable and painful. I started counting my days in a row, and I was so proud of the streak I was building up. After two weeks, I began to notice that I was making progress. The workouts were still hard, but I was getting stronger. I could even feel some firmness beneath my belly fat. My clothes were getting looser. These NSV's helped me to keep going for another day, another week, another month. Seven months later, I finally weighed myself on the Wii Fit again. I'd lost 71 pounds! I was so proud of myself!
And then I put the Wii Fit away again. I kept eating right and working out, and I could tell I was losing a few more pounds, simply by how I looked in my clothes. But I didn't feel any temptation to weigh myself. Even when the plateau finally hit, I didn't want to weigh in. I knew the weight loss had stalled, but I was kind of okay with that. I still had plenty of NSV's to celebrate. Although my clothing size stayed the same, I could feel my body firming up and getting stronger. I had more energy for my daily life. My husbands arms could go all the way around me when we hugged. I could do better during my workouts. I had no more achy knees, and I didn't get out of breath from just walking to the kitchen. So I just kept doing my best to stay on track.
But the plateau lasted a long time, and finally it started to get to me. I started to have occasional binges that would last a day or two. Then I'd pick myself up and get back on track. But I could tell that these binges were leading to small weight gains. And then, over the holidays, I really started to struggle. Slowly, I started to gain more weight. In January, hubby was in the hospital for a week, and then home recovering for 3 weeks. I was completely off track during that time. I hardly ever worked out, and I was eating a LOT. My jeans got way too tight and I had to go out and buy a pair of elastic waist jeans, which to me was a huge failure. It was also a wake up call.
So last week, I got back on the scale again. I needed to know exactly how much damage I'd done. It was heartbreaking to see that I'd gained back 31 lbs, but it wasn't the end of the world. It actually re-strengthened my resolve. I gave myself a total fresh start. And so far, I have been staying on track, and I'm starting to feel so much better...even though I have to wear elastic waist jeans for now!
A few people have suggested to me that I might not have gained 31 lbs if I had been weighing myself, but I have to disagree. My mind was in such a place that not even daily weigh ins would have stopped the gain, and I know this from experience. You see, in 2006, I lost 86 lbs while going to a women's gym and getting weighed there once a month. Once I lost that weight, I was at my goal size, and I wanted to stay there. So I bought a scale, and started weighing myself once a week. Then I started weighing once a day...and then several times a day. And then slowly, I started to go off track. The weight began to come back on, in spite of those multiple weigh ins. I would weigh myself, see how much I'd gained, and then binge to comfort myself. I had lost 86 lbs, but within a year I'd gained back 100 pounds!
I ended up throwing the scale away, because those weigh ins were crushing me. In spite of weighing myself so often, I had still gained weight. I don't think I ever want to own a scale again. What works for me is just paying attention to how my clothes fit and how I feel. I'm not saying that this would work for everyone. I know that some people need the accountability of weighing in, and there is nothing wrong with that. I just know that I don't want to have to deal with a scale. I'm back on track, and I know that if I keep eating right and working out, the weight will start to come off...and eventually, if I don't give up, I will reach my goals!