(This is part 5 of my weight loss series. Read part 4 here.)
The most important thing that needs to be understood about weight loss is that it’s called a weight loss journey for a reason… because it is just that, a journey. It is not something that happens overnight just because we are wishing it into existence. It will take time, effort, strength, courage and ambition but the end result is incredibly rewarding. Knowing how taxing weight loss can be mentally, it is even more important to understand that mistakes happen in order to prevent unnecessary feelings of self-loathing. You won’t be perfect with your diet every day. Matter of fact, you may go through a month or two or being off the diet. But what’s important is that you jump back on and pick up where you left off. The key to this is realizing that things are getting out of control again and to make a conscientious effort to get back on track.
So why is it okay to fall off track temporarily? I believe the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, correct? Well that’s a perfect analogy to use for weight loss as it shows how hard work and determination can get you to the goal. Do you think that the Romans did the same exact, hard work every day? Absolutely not… people got sick or injured and now that workload needed to be taken care of by less people therefore decreased productivity. How this relates to weight loss is that some days will be harder than others. Some days you will fall off track. You will give into those temptations and have that snack you shouldn’t have. But just remember, you are trying to build your Rome and as long as you get back on track, you will continue on the right path to get back to your positive lifestyle changes. Do not dwell on the mistakes you made and make it a point to forgive yourself for splurging.
For the past three months, I have been the same weight and cannot shed these last two pounds to get me under 220 although I do have to admit I have not been as conscientious about what I am eating and not pushing myself to exercise like I was doing previously. But I have realized that I need to get back on track so that I do not end up being over 300lbs again, so I have restarted watching what I eat, which was something that I had become more lenient with in the past five months or so. I understand that I need to get strict again with myself and get organized in my diet so I am meal planning as opposed to a spontaneous meal that usually is easy to make but loaded with fats, calories and regret. As previously stated in part one of this series, weight loss is a constant battle.
In addition to the tangible things that can be changed during weight loss, an important thing to understand is that mental health also plays a huge role to a successful journey. Have you ever wondered why there is a psychological component that goes along with being cleared for weight loss surgery? This is because your mental health is just as important as your physical health; a damaged mind can sabotage a healthy body. What is the point of going through traumatic abdominal surgery if you have not developed good eating habits prior to the surgery? Or not being prepared with coping skills to deal with the possibility of suffering from a body dysmorphia because you are so used to looking 400lbs that you cannot cope with being 150lbs? So knowing how important mental health is in a weight loss journey will help you to become more successful all the way around.
With how rapidly I lost weight, it was sometimes hard to wrap my head around it…. how did I even lose 80lbs? I believe that this stems from having a skewed outlook on how I felt at 302lbs. Like I said in part one, I could not even believe I was over 300lbs so as time passed and the more weight was lost, the easier it was for me to feel the difference. My, oh my does it feel great to walk and even talk without being short of breath, sleeping soundly because I am not snoring anymore and being able to do things that my weight was inhibiting me from doing. I viewed each milestone of my weight loss as getting me one step closer to do things that I was limited on before. I do have to say that even though I feel more “normal” sized, I know that I am still overweight and have a long way to go. Sometimes my self-loathing rears its ugly head and I see my belly and wish it would just go away forever but I know that a genie will not grant that wish for me – it is going to take my own hard work and determination to accomplish that.
Staying focused without being too hard on yourself is a successful way to lose weight and create healthy lifestyle changes but it is a difficult scale to master. Take everyday as a clean slate, using things that you know works for you to incorporate them into the bigger picture. Do not be afraid to fail here or there and be accepting of these failures in order to be more conscientious of the reason why you failed and find ways to rectify the situation. Making it a point to forgive yourself and limiting self-inflicted guilt trips will assist in a smoother transition to get back on track. Make sure to develop a vast array of tools that will help to get you back on track. Continue to make mini-goals for yourself in order see progress more concisely. And most importantly, do not let a bad day or days unmotivate you to continue with your journey. Stay strong and keep a clear focus on the goal at hand – to be a healthier you one day at a time.