Some of you remember my passionate decree from August of 2014. It went something like this: “This year I am going to lose 100 pounds!”
I meant it! I was in the zone! I was ready to work hard! I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired! It was my time. I am woman… hear me roar!
Eric helped me set up a blog, I started strong, and was surrounded by supportive friends! It was going to be great.
The first month went well. I made some changes to my eating and started exercising. I lost about twelve or so pounds. Right on track! October had its ups and downs. It was not a new concept anymore and I was no longer running on the excitement of something new. By the end of October, I was finally down sixteen pounds and met a milestone. Only losing four pounds in my second month was a drag, but it is not uncommon to lose quickly at first and then slow down significantly. Plus, I was still consuming far too much sugar!
November, I wanted to crush it! I made a goal to be down thirty pounds by Thanksgiving, and came within a pound of my goal! It was sad to miss my target, but I was only ounces away and that was worth celebrating! Christmas was not surprisingly challenging because I basically ate what I wanted at Christmas. ~smile~
As the New Year dawned, my resolve returned. In January 2015, I did my first diet bet. I turned in the money, had a month to lose 9.4 pounds, met my goal, and I netted… (drum roll please)… a whopping $11.24. It seemed like a sad little reward for the hard work, but the true reward was the weight loss! I was on point again and down 36 pounds.
February met with some major discouragement, but by March I was back on the wagon. I decided to do a seven-day fruit and veggie cleanse to help me keep the weight loss rolling. After a few days of surprise migraine attacks, I added a few eggs and coffee to my diet. It made the difference! After a week, I was down about 47 pounds! What?!?!?!
Eric and I made an unofficial diet bet of our own for March. I gave him some money, and the deal was if I lost down to fifty pounds by the end of March, I would get my money back and he would give me some money from his personal stash! (We combine our finances but we each get a little fun money every month that we can spend on whatever we want.) But, it was a bummer. It seemed like no matter what, those last few pounds would not come off! March 31st came and I was still more than two pounds away. So, he extended the bet and said, “If you meet your 50-pound goal by Friday, I will give you back the money you paid into the bet.” It was not ideal, but better than losing my fun money!
The morning came, April 3rd, 2015. Did I make it? I stepped on the scale and I was still up 2.4 pounds. So, what did I do? Did I cry? Did I say, “Oh well, better luck next time?” Nope – I. Got. Mad. Mad with my body. Mad with myself. Mad in general. It was on.
This was the beginning of the end
First, I put on several layers and ran on the elliptical for 45 minutes with no water and sweated out over a pound. Then I spit in the trash can, soaked in steam, and did whatever else I could think of to make my goal. A few hours later, I finally reached it. My goal was “met.” Even though I knew I met my goal due to dehydration, I still met it and I got my money back.
That day was not about weight loss at all. It was about control and getting what I want. It was about beating my body into submission no matter how unrealistic.
After I weighed in “successfully,” I got coffee and a snack from Kroger and went to my friend’s house. She did not seem pleased. How could she? There I sat, extremely weak, probably white as a sheet, and for what? A few dollars?
That is the day my journey ended
I lost sight of what was important: not winning a bet at all costs; rather, winning with my health. Nothing about that morning was healthy. Not only did my body get weak that day, but my spirit did too. From then on, I could not seem to find the will to keep moving towards my ultimate goal.
Slowly but surely, the weight crept back on despite my plans to get back on track. By the end of the summer, I had to revert back to my old bathing suit – the one I said I would never wear again. It was a bit sad, but I was not stiff when I walked and I still felt relatively good. So, I was not too far gone. That is, until I reintroduced cereal back into my life. When I allow cereal back into the house, it is basically a sign of me giving up. Why? Because I will eat it morning, noon, and night. It is easy. It is filled with carbs. And, after I eat it long enough, I feel terrible inside and out.
As more than a year has passed since the day the diet died, I have watched the scale go up and felt my well-being go down. I battle negative thoughts constantly: You failed. People were cheering for you and you failed. If you could not do it with ‘the world’ watching, how can you do it in the privacy of your home? Excitement and passion do not work for you. You always fall down again.
So, now I have a choice. What is my perspective?
If I give in to these negative self-thoughts, I am basically doomed. If not, what is my alternative?
In my self-reflection, I concluded that I can come at this in one of two ways: I can say, “I worked hard and I failed, thus proving I cannot do it.” Or, I can say, “Look at how much I accomplished when I was trying! I proved that I can do this! Maybe I gained some weight back, but last year proved that I can do what I set my mind to. I simply need to make a realistic plan and follow it.”
How About You?
What failures have you endured? What do you tell yourself about them? Do you see the overall failure or do you see the accomplishments within the failure? Do you resonate with any of the below scenarios?
- I never finished college, but I remember doing well in my classes when I was focused.
- I have accumulated some debt, but when I set my mind to it a few years ago, I paid down several thousand dollars! I can buckle down and do it again!
- I lost a dear friend due to some mistakes I made this year and have struggled with whether or not I am much of a friend. But, I have many good friends who are still by my side. I can ask for their help and work on becoming a more engaging, less selfish person.
We will go where our minds take us. If we let our mental game run amok and sit in a pool of our shortcomings, we will never succeed at those goals that matter to us; but, if we wash off the losses and dwell on our victories, it will be hard to stop us!
I did not lose 100 pounds in a year. I never reached that ultimate goal. I did lose 50 pounds (or 47.6 realistically ~smile~) in seven months, and I can take joy in that! If I look at what I did not accomplish, I will remain a victim. But, if I look at my amazing accomplishment of 47.6 pounds, I can jump back into the game with a spring in my step. Look how much I proved I can do!
How much have you proven you can do?