There’s one question I get asked a lot that I still struggle to answer. When people discover that I’ve lost over 60 pounds, I get asked, “How do I get started?”
I wish there was an Easy button for that. You just smack the button, and Boom! You’ve got the will, desire, and motivation to lose weight, right? Yeah, it doesn’t work that way. I’ve thought a lot about why this time stuck for me. I’d tried many, MANY times before to lose weight and was never successful. What was different this time? If you’ve followed my weight loss story, you know there were several things that had a huge impact on me: Made to Crave, goal setting, realizing fat didn’t happen overnight, accepting that safe weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.
But how did I get to the point of being ready to make changes? I think, for me, it all boils down to two main things.
- Education. I spent the first 8 months of 2013 just reading. I read Made to Crave which gave me a new perspective on my weight issues. I read about setting realistic goals in the context of losing weight. I read about fad diets, about what they consisted of and the pros and cons. I read about weight loss in general. As I read different things and synthesized what I was reading, I came to the understanding that I was using food inappropriately. Instead of using it as fuel for my body, I was using it to treat other issues like stress, boredom, and fatigue. It became crystal clear to me that diet pills are potentially dangerous and that fad diets do not produce lasting results. I learned that I had unrealistic goals when it came to weight loss. And probably the biggest message that oozed out of everything I was reading was that weight loss needs to be a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. I can’t just change what I’m doing for a few weeks or months. I needed to find something that gets and keeps the weight off that I can live with. In a word, my weight loss plan needed to be SUSTAINABLE.
- Finding my why. Yes, I had to have a reason beyond “I don’t want to be this size” before I could began losing weight. I think weight loss is like other things in life that we attach value to. For some people, paying boatloads of money for a painting may be worthwhile because they attach a different level of value to the painting than me, who may look at it and say, “Yeah, it would look good in my house,” but that’s not reason enough for me to empty my bank account to buy the painting. Same with weight loss. I had to find a reason that made it worth my while to work hard to lose the weight. When I found it, making those healthy choices suddenly just seemed like the right thing to do. Not that making those healthy choices was always easy, but I had a higher goal to reach than just being a smaller size. Does that make sense? Sure, I wanted to be a smaller size, feel better, look better, but the one thing that made all the hard work worth it to me was my desire to put food back in its proper place in my life. I was tired of being controlled by food. Maybe your why is to keep up with children and grandchildren. Maybe your why is to lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Maybe your why IS to look better (there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s enough motivation to kick your butt in gear). There could be a million reasons why people want to lose weight, but I’m convinced that having a reason important enough to invest the time and energy that lifestyle changes demand is key to getting you to the starting line.
So I don’t know if that’s helpful or not or even makes sense. But for me, once I really understood what weight loss involved and what would be required of me and I had a reason worth losing weight for, everything came together, and weight loss simply became a by-product of a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s to you and being ready to take the first step down the path to health and wellness!
Talk to me:
What’s your why for wanting to lose weight?
Have you read any health related books or articles that have been especially helpful for you?