My Lightbulb Moment - A Must Read For New Dieters!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have always struggled with weight. After high school, I just kept gaining weight. I gained about 140 lbs when I hit my heaviest weight (316) after pregnancy! emoticon I tried different diets, most of them very extreme, like the Atkins & HCG diet because I wanted to lose weight, and I wanted to lose it FAST!!! I would get super focused, make extreme changes to my diet, and sometimes, I'd even work out a little. I lost weight on the diets, but soon after gained it back. I just couldn't seem to stay on a strict meal plan for any given amount of time. The cravings for everything horrible would take over me until I gave in to them. No wonder I couldn't stick to the diets, they felt like a punishment rather than a good thing. In June, I started noticing my clothes were fitting tighter and there were some that I couldn't even wear anymore. I got on the dreaded scale to discover that I had packed on 25 lbs in the previous 3 months. Off to the gym I went! After nearly two months had passed, I noticed I wasn't losing any weight. It was my diet. I ate whatever I pleased, whenever I pleased. I craved sugar badly all of the time. I couldn't seem to escape it. When my husband went to the hospital for stroke-like symptoms, I freaked out. Thank goodness he didn't have a stroke, he's only 26 years old. During an ultrasound on the arteries in his neck, the tech said, "these look like that of a 40 year old's arteries". That really hit me! I felt guilty for allowing us to eat so unhealthy and then wondered what my arteries look like. Scary! I knew I had to get a handle on our eating at that point! I prayed for God to give me the strength to start this journey.
I have a wealth of knowledge abouit losing weight, it is just a matter of practicing what I preach. People always say it needs to be a life style change, not just a temporary diet. I never fully adopted that concept until recently. So when trying to come up with goals, I kept asking myself, can I do this over a long period of time? If I couldn't, then I made modifications. I started calorie counting and set a range of 1200-1800 calories (it's seldom less than 1500). I write everything down in a journal, not just my food, but also my workouts and how I felt that day. Surprisingly, this has been working well and is something I feel like I can stick with. After a week of doing this, and losing 1.2 pounds, I was thinking, "Ugh! This is going to take FOREVER!". Then I had a huge lightbulb moment. emoticon I thought to myself, how many YEARS of my life have I wasted on failed diet attempts and being severely overweight?? 10+ years! College and most of my 20's, I have been fat and missed out on a lot of stuff. I felt embarassed to go swimming, shopping with thinner friends, wearing shorts in 100 degree heat and being seen naked when getting intimate. It is sad to see how much of my life wasn't lived to the fullest potential because of my weight. It makes me sick to think about how much time I have wasted. However, this realization helps me in 2 ways. 1) I've already spent so much time dieting, why am I in such a rush now? Why not do it the right way, even if it takes longer? and 2) if I mess up on my diet, quitting isn't an option. Look where quitting has gotten me... nowhere. I'll just be wasting more of my precious time if I give up. So keeping these things in mind, I have tweaked my diet into something that I can do long term. So in a year or two from now, I will be much better off than I am now! This realization makes me happy and helps me be more patient with my body transformation.
After having my revelation, and still doing great on my food intake, I began setting more goals for myself and feeling better and better. It's like a domino effect. Once I got it started, the changes kept coming. I started drinking 8+ cups of water every day, sleeping 8 hours every night, taking multi-vitamins and fish oils, making healthier food choices, and working out 5 days per week. I have done all of these things consistently for over a month now!
Last weekend I experienced the dreaded food gorging. Rather than give up and continue to stuff myself, I got right back on track. I was disappointed in myself on Monday, but remembered that there is absolutely no point in giving up. Every goal I set for myself is doable and quitting won't help me lose weight. So I continue on my journey, knowing that no matter how long it takes, I WILL reach my destination eventually! "A journey of one thousand miles must begin with a single footstep."

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, this was really cool. It is a lifestyle change! I tell people all the time that I am trying to lose weight, they may not notice but I think to my self, I did not get big over night and I cant expect to get small overnight. This is a slow process but your right on with your thinking. Imagine all that time had we been doing this and where we would be now! It is mind blowing. I'm with you on this journey! emoticon
    2977 days ago
    Awesome blog! I identify with about 99.9% of what you said here. The missing out on life, wasting time...such bs. There's no excuse for me to keep living life on the sidelines and I can't let one bad day throw me off track.
    2981 days ago
  • no profile photo MAT5501
    Well said! I agree with everything you just said. I've done no carbs, no fat, cabbage soup, slim fat and raw diets.....all of them worked until I quit because I wanted chocolate! I've conjured up a plan that I've stuck to for a couple weeks now & it's working well. I wish you the best of luck.....you'll do it emoticon
    2990 days ago
    I identified with so much of what you wrote about in this blog entry: trying to use extreme methods, setting myself up for failure and then giving up completely every time that I did...

    You are SO right about what you've said, though. No matter how quickly or slowly we achieve our goals, the point is to stick to it, make healthy lifestyle changes and believe that it WILL happen!

    Thanks for the inspiration. I'll bookmark this post to come back to when I have days where I'm feeling discouraged, so I can be reminded of what I know to be true today... I am worth it, I can do it, and I WILL do it! :) So will you!

    You rock! :)
    2991 days ago
    Thank you for sharing! I feel like I am in a similar situation. I have tried everything under the sun including atkins and diet pills. You made a great point and I never thought about it like this before---I too have spent about the past 10 years overweight and uncomfortable with many of the same things you listed---even if the weight doesn't drop off immediately, quitting will get me no where. I guess this has been an "ah-ha" moment for me as well. If I keep up the work (all of us!), it will become routine and fun. I hope to think back to this post a year from now and see where I stand. Best of luck in your journey! emoticon emoticon
    2991 days ago
  • MGO09190
    That's awesome! I've recently-ish had kind of the same revelation, even after working on losing weight for nearly a year.. I was SO determined to get it off as fast as possible that I restricted every "bad" thing from my diet and that worked ok for a while, but then around April my brain had had enough. I went on a several month long "I don't give a darn" fest and my weight loss halted/backtracked a little... I gained nearly 10 pounds from my lowest I had gotten. Ugh. I also thought that if I couldn't lose 2 pounds a week then why bother? It would be a waste of time, right? Wrong :/ haha. I didn't want to "waste my time" losing a pound or less a week so I didn't do ANYthing... Which doesn't make any sense but was sound logic at the time...

    Now I think I'm getting the balance back. My technical goal is like, half a pound a week but these past two weeks I've gotten "lucky" and lost about 1.5. It's awesome that you're getting this lightbulb moment because it's really a helpful one :) :) Good luck!
    2991 days ago
    I know how you feel, I was always wanting to lose weight the fastest I possibly can and would get discouraged when the scale didn't say I lost 5 lbs. in a week or so. I still have those moments once in a while, but not as much because I realize that losing 1-2 lbs. a week makes me appreciate the hard work I am putting in more. I know that it will be harder for me to gain back the weight I lost because I know how long it took me to lose it, basically I am more conscious.
    It sounds like you are too which is amazing, so keep it up we are all rooting for you!!

    2991 days ago
    Well done! I know how hard it is to start and to keep going. It's like you and everyone on this site says it's a lifestyle change. I am so glad you are taking the first step of your Spark Journey!

    Good luck!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2991 days ago
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