“I think life moves in cycles — earth rotating around the sun, breathing in & out, heartbeats, tides, and times when I am successfully dieting vs. not.”
My awesome friend K said this recently. Last October, I jumped into a new health regimen with the intensity of the burning sun. I was working out 5 times per week, increasing the intensity and length with each passing week. I was chopping vegetables and washing fruit and cooking myself omelets for breakfast. I was dropping weight like gangbusters.
But then something funny happened.
There was a woman who started Weight Watchers the same week that I did. She was celebrating weight loss milestones like crazy. She would lose 3 pounds on a week when I lost .6. I started to get extremely discouraged and resentful. Not of this woman and her success, but of my clear failure.
I started to lose the race.
As of right now, this woman has lost 20 more pounds than me – in the same time frame.
So, what did I do wrong? How could I have followed plan better and matched or beat this woman’s weight loss?
The question is, why did I lose sight of my own journey and get caught up in another person’s journey? Why did I compare myself?
When I started this journey in July 2010, I knew it was not going to be easy. I knew that I would not lose 80 pounds in 5 months, like I did ten years ago. I knew that, considering the sheer amount of pounds I wanted to lose, I should probably take about three to five years to do it safely and keep it off. I wanted to make lifestyle changes that would stick. I wanted to keep eating pizza and cake.
But it’s not enough, is it? If I live according to the messages “out there” then I should be able to whip myself right into shape. Drop this weight in a year by eating chicken breasts and salads for dinner…and oatmeal with a banana for dessert.
Been there, done that. And when I got sick of eating like someone on a diet, I gained back the pounds I had lost. And they brought some friends along.
I want to learn what it means to really enjoy life. I don’t want to live my life punishing myself. I want to enjoy treats in moderation. I want to make healthy choices because they are healthy, not because they will reward me when I step on the scale and see a lower number.
Lately, maybe for 6 weeks or so, I have not been successfully dieting, according to my definition. I have been eating chips and cookies out of frustration. Yes, overeating the wrong foods – out of frustration…with the pace of my weight loss journey. If you can untangle that logic then you can quite possibly solve the obesity epidemic.
But I’m back. I decided that I owed it to myself to keep my eyes front. Stay on my side of the road. Make a focused effort on my health.
I am successfully “dieting.” I call it that, because it’s a common term that we all understand that lets you know that the next time you see me, I will probably be at least a little bit smaller. In reality, I am making small, sustainable, lasting changes that will make me smaller over a long period of time – maybe five or more years. And I am OK with that.