Saturday, June 07, 2008

Secrets to my Success

Thanks again for all your supportive comments. It really is so great to be able to share that information with all of you. Jodi asked how I managed to lose steadily without many gains. Well, WW was my foundation. I don't think I could have done it without the flex plan structure, the meetings (you all know of my love of my meeting leader Melvin), and the eTools online. But, for specifics, this is pretty much what I did ...

* I found new foods that were healthy (low in points) that I could base my eating around. I really didn't have much variety ... cherrios, green vegetables, seafood, pretzels :), diet pepsi, sushi. That's pretty much it. But I liked it and it made me feel safe. It made me feel in control and I really didn't feel like I was depriving myself of anything.

* I basically decided that I wanted to lose weight more than I wanted a hamburger or french fries. A switch flipped and that was pretty much it for me. Granted, I had to make that decision over and over and over again. But I tried to put myself in situations where I had healthy snacks, where food wasn't the focus, just basically made my life about living, not about food. That was a huge change for me. My comfort system really had become food. Its what I did to make myself feel better, or treat myself if things went bad, or celebrate if things went well. Truth is, I was also suffering from a pretty major bout of depression for years. I got help. Then I was ready to lose weight. And now, I'm not saying that things don't go wrong in my life, but I now have the tools to realize I have a great support system of friends and family and I am much more capable of handling problems without trying to solve them with food.

* I realized that my life really wasn't going to change all that much once I lost the weight. I used to think to myself that I just sit on my couch all the time and watch TV, what's going to be different once I lose weight? Would I just be thinner and on my couch? I realized that losing weight wasn't going to solve my social/dating problems. And you know what, pretty much all I do is sit on the couch now and watch TV, I'm just thinner. And you know what, that's okay. I'm not disappointed. It's actually kind of nice to see that people haven't started treating me differently just because I'm 88 pounds thinner. I'd hate to have proof that the world was really that superficial.

* I found exercise I liked and looked forward to doing. I didn't do anything that made me uncomfortable or embarrassed. I find it mind boggling that women who are carrying 100 extra pounds will torture themselves with certain kinds of exercise. Is that really making them feel good about themselves? If it is, great, everyone is different, and I definitely don't know what's best for everyone. But, I just think we need to be kinder to our bodies. And some times that means we should take it slower and build.

* I realized that I didn't gain all the weight in a few months, or even a few years, so I wasn't going to lose it fast. I realized I needed to commit to losing weight for the long haul. I made a goal for one year later, then I made an end goal for 6 months after that. I realized that I was going to still be me one year later, did I want to still be overweight, or did I want to lose the weight? I was okay that it was going to happen slowly. In fact, no one at school notice until I lost about 40 lbs.

* I realized that life was going to happen. I wasn't going to be Oprah at her birthday party not eating cake! I tried to plan for those situations, but I still gained 5 pounds the week of graduation. But, I lost it within two weeks. I wasn't going to miss out on feeling free and celebrating graduation with my friends. But I also didn't beat myself up when I gained. I just went back to what I knew worked. And I am lucky enough to say that it kept working.

* And last but not least, I realize that I am super lucky. I tried and it worked. It isn't that easy for everyone, and I realize that. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have had this easy of a path to weight loss. Yeah, I can say that it took 15 months, but it wasn't the most difficult 15 months of my life. It was a really positive experience honestly. I just can't say it enough, I was lucky. I didn't have a hard time of it. The things I tried worked and I was successful. I didn't have to struggle. I didn't get frustrated. I'll say it again, I am lucky!

So, my friends, those are my secrets to my success. Thanks for asking!

8 comments:

marie said...

Now write it up and send it into WW and become a success story :P

Vickie said...

my process was about 2 years total (I am now in my second year of maintenance) and my progress was pretty steadily down too. I had places where I HELD for longer than I liked - but I did hold. I did not have lots of the zigzag motion either. and now that I am in my goal range (maintenance) I hold very steady - very little up and down here either. My food stays very steady. My exercise is limited because of a spring surgery and restrictions on exercise - but I do not gain - because I am then even MORE CAREFUL about my food.

I have never adjusted my food intake UP with the thought that I had "earned" more calories with exercise - I just don't participate in that philosophy. But I do eat even cleaner when my exercise is restricted - because I know I can't burn it off as easily. so, being restricted makes it easier/simpler in a backwards kind of way.

Vickie said...

and I should add that I NEVER have kept track of less than a pound (fractions of pounds) going up or down as I know that some people do - I pay attention to the whole numbers only. all that fraction stuff would drive me crazy (personally).

jodi said...

thank you for sharing (and answering my question)... it's always a great motivator for me to see others that have been successful on the same plan that i'm on... i have tried my best to not compare myself to others since not every one reacts the same way to the program... but i am also human and am not afraid to admit that i'm jealous sometimes as well... thanks for being such an inspiration to us! :o)

Laura N said...

I'm glad Jodi asked and you answered, because I thought the same thing when I read your previous post. You have a great perspective on it all. And I went through something similar, with getting over depression, getting help, and then a flip switching that "this is IT." I still have 15-20 pounds I want to lose and just joined WW online this past week! So, they lost you, they picked me up, it's the circle of life. ;-)~

angelfish24 said...

Thanks for sharing your tips! You have done an amazing job....and I'm getting back to wt watchers here next week. I just hadn't decided to flip the switch....and keep going due to stress...think I'm ready now. But, it has been a constant struggle back and forth for years.

Helen said...

I agree TOTALLY with almost everything you said -- for me, it's super important to LIKE my food and exercise -- if I didn't, I wouldn't do it consistently FOREVER like I need to. I also am right with you on the weeks where the weight goes up (see my recent vacation)...it's all good as long as you get right back on the program!!! Congratulations on your great loss!!

Kim said...

I am proud of you!! :)