The Hardest Part of the Journey
Friday, January 20, 2012
I have been on my weight loss journey for 13 months now and have learned so much along the way. I still make mistakes and try to learn from my mistakes. I still have to plan out my meals and schedule times to get my workouts in. I still have to track my food and have better success if I track all my food at the beginning of the day. I am still tempted to overindulge in my favorite foods. And honestly, some days I would much rather curl up on the couch after work than workout. I still make the same positive choices that I did at the beginning but for some reason now, those choices are SO much harder.
People told me that losing weight is really the easy part. Every week is exciting as you drop weight. Every week you are driven to see a big loss on the scale again and again. Eventually, though, those big losses start to taper off and you may go weeks without a loss at all. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah. Whatever! When you are skinny, it HAS to be easier!!" I hate to admit it... but they were right. It is hard to get excited about maintaining your weight when you still want to lose some poundage. Or when even seeing a half pound loss is a cause for celebration when you are so close to your goal weight. It just isn't the same.
When weight loss isn't exciting anymore, it can be so hard to keep going. To not slip back into old habits and to keep living a healthy lifestyle, because now it is an every day thing and a rest of your life sort of thing. It is really easy to look at yourself and say, "DAAAAANG, I am HOT!! Pass the pizza, please!" It is really easy to settle for the weight that you are currently sitting at. Everyone in the world is telling you how awesome you look and how tiny you are but you know that your body can stand to lose a few more pounds. It is simply easy to just take the easy road.
So how do you keep going? Keep making the right choices and know that THIS is a lifestyle. Not a diet. It doesn't suddenly end when you reach your goal weight or size. I am still trying to figure out the answer to that question. I have a motivation that will some day be gone. I want to be as stinkin' healthy as I can be, BEFORE we get pregnant. I want to be solid in my ability to make healthy choices BEFORE we get pregnant. I want to be super fit BEFORE we get pregnant. But even with that motivation, some days it is just plain hard to make the right choice. So how do I beat my brain into knowing that, yes, a piece of pizza is okay SOMETIMES but if I consistently make high calorie choices, my health and waistline will be affected???
I try to always be mindful of the quality of the food I am eating. I try to be mindful of how my body will use the food I am eating. French fries taste good but how is my body going to use it? This has helped me stay on track as far as nutrition goes. Also, swapping high calorie foods with lower calorie substitutes that taste just as good, if not better has helped as well. When I want french fries, I make oven fries and I love them! And, honestly, I let myself have foods that I am craving once in awhile. It is the best way that I have found to stay on track 95 percent of the time. If I try to be perfect, I will fail. End of story.
With exercise, I have a few little tricks that I have found help me stay on track. The first trick is that I can only watch The Biggest Loser if I am on the elliptical. I also don't let myself fast forward through commercials SO that is a good 2 hours a week. I also remind myself of how great I feel after I workout. I feel magnificent. That mental reminder is sometimes enough to get me downstairs and into some sort of workout. Another thing is to vary my workouts. I have a selection of videos, my Wii Fit and, of course, my elliptical at home and when it is nice out, I'll go running or just walk the dog.
So while, the end of the journey has been a struggle and I have had a few frustrating weeks, it is worth it and a healthy lifestyle is so worth the hard work. And when you are maintaining, it is just your way of life and your family will be healthier because of it. No matter where you are in your journey, keep going. Your body will thank you and the happiness that good health brings is worth keeping around for the rest of your life. Don't choose to give up... your future self will regret it.