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70 pounds down! What made this time different?

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

Week 50 Weigh In:

Change this week:  -6 lbs
Change overall:  -69.5 lbs

Well, I’m glad that’s over!  It’s been a frustrating couple of months, but it looks like my plateau has finally ended.  Whew!

As excited as I am that I’m finally losing weight again, I’m even more excited to look at the top of this page and see that I just passed Week 50.  And I’m especially proud to see that after going through such a challenging time.

Looking back over my weight tracker for the past 2 months and seeing the small losses followed by equal gains, I’m pleasantly surprised by my success in simply sticking to my program and not giving up.  After countless tries, this is absolutely the longest time I’ve ever stuck to a weight loss program and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what’s making this time different.

Making myself accountable

I have to say that writing these articles and talking so publicly about my efforts has had a great influence on keeping me motivated. It’s also kept me really honest and, frankly, made it so the last thing in the world I want to do is fail or give up and have to write about that.

Taking advantage of support

In the past when I’ve tried to lose weight, I haven’t talked about it a lot.  I’ve always been embarrassed by how much I have to lose and I don’t like it when people focus on me and draw attention to me.  But along with writing about my efforts this time, I’ve been talking about them a lot, too.  And it’s made a huge difference.

Because my friends and family and co-workers all know what I’m trying to do, they are incredibly supportive.  They don’t tempt me with food or drinks that I’m trying to avoid.  They don’t try to talk me into going out to bars instead of to the gym.  If I have plans with friends for dinner and I know that I’ve eaten a lot that day and need to keep it light for dinner, I just tell them – and we plan accordingly.  It’s amazing how simple it is and how much it helps.

Going outside my comfort zone

It’s easy to make excuses when you’re trying something that feels overwhelming:  I can’t cook.  I’ll be self-conscious in a gym class.  I don’t have time.

This time I’ve tried very hard to keep myself from falling into those excuse traps.  I buy all sorts of fresh food and experiment in the kitchen.  I also have friends who are teaching me how to cook!  When I’m concerned about a gym class I just talk to the instructor first and let them know I’m a little nervous.  I make morning gym dates with friends so I won’t bail even though I’m not a morning person (and, surprisingly, found I like going to the gym in the morning better than at night anyway!).

Remembering that I’m not on a diet

In a lot of ways, this is the most important thing – it’s a cliché because it’s true:  In order to succeed, you need to stop thinking like you’re on a diet and start thinking about changing your life.

In the weeks where I wasn’t losing significant weight, I concentrated on the knowledge that I was making healthy choices and, no matter what, simply feeling better.  Even when I wasn’t seeing inches come off, I could tell I was breathing more easily and had more energy.  And I never completely deprive myself – when someone has a great looking dessert or a fabulous meal I’ve never tried before, I’ll have a taste.  But just one taste.

Acknowledging that I’m not perfect

One of the hardest things for me to come to terms with is that no matter how good my intentions are, I’m not going to be perfect all the time.  I’ve definitely had my share of bad days on this journey when I’ve eaten way more than I planned to or skipped the exercise or had a few drinks.  But I don’t beat myself up anymore and I take to heart what Anne says in Anne of Green Gables: “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.”  And then I go to sleep and when I wake up the next day, I start all over again.


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