In my travels and talks with people struggling with their weight, I often see a common thread. We just do not see the many daily victories we achieve and only look for grandiose things and grandiose achievements in order to define our success. This truly bothers me.
As we begin a new year and look for 2012 to be our healthiest year ever, I really want to encourage people to start giving themselves credit where credit is due. This journey is all about a daily struggle to beat obesity. It will never end and for most of us, we will battle this daily for the rest of our lives. Now, some people are reading this who may be at the very beginning of their journey or who are at a rough place in their journey and they are getting a feeling of gloom and doom and of “you mean this never ends?”
Don’t look at it that way. No it really never ends for the majority of obese and formerly obese people, and we will deal with the reality that the weight COULD come back EVERY DAY. BUT- that is okay! Life in general is not easy! I prefer to look at this as an adventure. I am on a never-ending adventure and I learn new things about myself every day! Some are good and some are not so good but that is all a part of me and who I am and where I am going.
How do I manage? By breaking things down as much as possible. I think for so many of us, we look at the scale and say, “Okay, I need to lose 100 more pounds.” That can be daunting. I prefer a much simpler approach. Here is my personal example. For myself, I would like to lose my last 10 pounds before I have reconstructive surgery. When Dr. Joseph Michaels ( see photo below) removes my excess skin, I want my body underneath to be as lean and healthy as possible.
Yes he is specially trained in reconstruction after excessive weight loss, but it is also my responsibility to do my part. Those 10 pounds could seem overwhelming if I just looked at them as TEN POUNDS I MUST LOSE. Instead I break it down into daily goals that add up to ten pounds shed in a few months. I break everything into small choices and celebrate when I make good ones! This is how it works…….
Instead of saying you must lose a certain amount of weight, focus on daily choices. CHOICES…this whole journey is about CHOICES. We need to focus on making good ones and celebrating when we do. We talked about hurdles we face in our Healthy Through 2012 Facebook group yesterday. We all have hurdles. One person mentioned that their big hurdle is a bowl of candy in their office that calls their name each day. If you are a sweet eater, that one bowl of candy can kill all of your progress if you let it and it is often hard not to give in when we are tired or stressed.
If it were easy, we would all be thin and fit. Think of a way to celebrate STAYING AWAY FROM THE BOWL! Tell yourself that if you do not touch that bowl today, you are going to _______________________. Fill in the blank with something you like and that is doable for you. For some it may be allowing yourself a 30 minute bubble bath, or for some it may be giving yourself ten minutes to read your favorite book. For some it could be that if you do not touch the bowl today, you are going to put a dollar into your vacation fund. Make it something that works for you and motivates you and personalize it.
Once you have that reward in place, you can now focus on the COOL reward for NOT giving in and that could very well help you MAKE A GOOD CHOICE. Now some people may say, “Erin, give me a break please. Skipping the bowl of candy for one day is no big deal.” That is so untrue. For a food addict or person struggling with weight, skipping that bowl EVEN ONCE is something to celebrate and we should DO JUST THAT!
Have you ever heard the phrase that it takes 21 days to make something into a habit? If you can work on one day at a time of skipping the bowl then think of where you could be after 21 days? If you do not already know this, then take note- THIS WHOLE GAME IS ABOUT 70% MENTAL AND ABOUT 30% WHAT WE PUT IN OUR MOUTHS.
One person posted that they cannot stay away from the drive-through and convenience store junk food. I would suggest that they too give themselves a reward for skipping those things. Figure out how much you would have spent on the junk and make yourself a fund for something you REALLY desire. A trip? A new dress? A piece of jewelry? Plastics? It can be anything and every time you drive by without stopping, add what you would have spent on the garbage foods to your fund. If you visualize yourself in that new dress or wearing that new necklace etc., that will surely help keep your car from stopping in junk food hell! If it is convenience store junk that is trapping you, plan to pay for your gas at the pump and avoid even going into the store and come up with a reward that works for you and CELEBRATE EACH TIME YOU SKIP THE JUNK AND MAKE A GOOD CHOICE.
We are all so quick to beat ourselves up over one bad day or one bad choice, but how many of us make a big deal out of just passing up dessert at dinner or walking for 15 minutes as opposed to sitting on the couch for those 15 minutes? Every time you make a good choice and do something good for your body and life and health, you are one step closer to Beating the Beast! It is something to be celebrated with everything you have!
Now I do not post these little victories on Facebook all day or call my mom to brag, but my husband Ben is my support person and he is the one I celebrate with. Sometimes I will text him and tell him how I looked right past the Doritos and grabbed a bag of almonds at the store. Little things like that he understands are BIG for me. Be sure to have a partner like that as it really helps and makes you feel so good to share even a small success with someone. If you do not have that person in your life who can celebrate with you, join our Facebook page and I will be that person for you!
We have to learn to cheer for each other when we make even what seems like small strides in this fight. I promise it can change your outlook and even change your results. Once I walk past the Doritos once, and then twice, and then 21 times, it becomes a habit and I realize the calories and heartache I saved myself by not eating them.
Once you walk past the candy bowl 5-10 times and drive by the fast food joint 5-10 times, and you see that vacation fund growing, or feel the relaxation of those bubble baths, you will crave those things more than the bad foods!
WE CAN DO THIS!!! ONE CELEBRATION AT A TIME!!! LET’S GET THE BALL ROLLING RIGHT HERE! FOR THE NEXT FOUR DAYS, I WANT EVERYONE TO POST EVERY LITTLE VICTORY AS A COMMENT, NO MATTER HOW SMALL! WE WILL CELEBRATE TOGETHER!
I WANT TO SEE AT LEAST 500 CELEBRATIONS ON HERE BY FRIDAY!
Yes it is ALL A BIG DEAL!!!!!