It is still quite unusual for me to think about having lost over 100lbs. It is like a huge barrier that I have finally cleared, but I can’t think how it ever was before. I want to write more about the journey itself and share with you the entire story, but I haven’t yet come up with all the words needed to do so. So, I thought I would give you a few of the biggest realizations I have had during the process.
1. What works for one person does not work for everyone. There are hundreds of methods to lose weight. It is a billion-dollar big business for a reason. Almost all of the people out there who lost a lot of weight (100 lbs. or more) are quick to tell you their method and try to sell you a way or product that is “sure to work.” Well, I am sure it does/did work for someone. We have all spent way too much money trying to lose weight. There are products out there that may or may not help you along the way. The only method that will work for you is one you are committed to and will stay with, no matter what. This is why, for me, it has been real food and exercise. I have grown to love working out, and I have no problem continuing to do so. I change up the types of exercises because I want to do so many I have to choose from time to time.
2. I had to be willing to change. Losing weight changes you. We can think, “I am still the same person,” and, yes, we are, but if we don’t change our mindset, the weight will come back. To lose this much weight, I had to change the way I think about food, about my body, and often about my life. I have read many stories about people who lose friends and people they are close to, or even divorce a spouse, after a huge weight loss. It is because they have changed who they are and how they think about everything. This is why it is important to bring those close to you along with you. You can grow and change together.
3. It is a hard process. Anyone who says it was easy for them, I applaud and congratulate. It is not impossible, but it is not easy. It takes much dedication and hard work to get there. There are days you just want to give in and give up. You have to keep from doing so. There were many days I didn’t want to go to the gym or I just wanted to go gorge myself on ice cream and say phooey on the whole thing. It is completely OK and normal to feel like this, but it is what you DO that matters. Do not give in, keep plugging through, and if you do give in for a time (skipping workouts, chowing down a pint of ice cream or a 1/2-pound chocolate bar, etc.), don’t beat yourself up for it. Just move past it, leave it in the past, and move forward, committed to your newer better way of living.
4. It can take a very long time. Do not stop short of the goal, even it may take longer than you think. You may get side-tracked for a while (I know that I did), but if you keep sight of the goal, you will get there. I am not the most patient person. It has taken me 5 years to get this far and I am not done yet. I know now that I will get to my goal, and I will not stop working when I do. This is a life-long process and 5 years is nothing when I stop to think about the next 50 years to come, if the Lord is willing to let me stay that long.
5.We need help along the way. It is OK to ask for help when we need it. What we need at one point may be completely different than what we need at another point along the journey. Seeking others who can lift us up and help to keep us on track whatever we may need at the time is a positive thing. You never know what life-long friends you might find along the way as well.
These are just a few of the things I have learned on this journey. Is there something you have learned during your own journey? I hope to share more things I have learned in the months to come as I continue forward toward my ultimate goal.