Last year on my birthday, I decided to take the weight-loss plunge. For years, I have been lying to myself and saying, “This year, you are going to get healthy!” But, I would make no lasting changes to my eating or exercise.
When I came home to work in 2010, I just knew I would have time to devote to my health; and, while I did have the time, I lacked the motivation. Even though I was disgusted with how I looked, was tired all the time, saddened by my health limitations, and in all ways negatively affected by my weight, I still could not seem to muster up the energy to get started and stay on track.
Why I Decided to Start the Blog
Mom, knowing that I was struggling to get started, prayed and asked God to give me the first step. She believed if I made one significant change, it could lead to another and then another. Thus, the Heather’s Hundred blog was born. I had been contemplating the idea of creating a weight-loss blog as a means of motivation and support, but was uncomfortable starting it. On my thirty-second birthday, after many years of being significantly overweight, I decided to stop thinking about it and just do it. My incredibly supportive husband helped me get the blog set up – and off I went. Once I told “everyone” that I wanted to lose 100 lbs. in a year, suddenly the journey became real. It was not just about me and my promises to myself. I was declaring my intentions publically; and, even though I did not know how many the blog would reach, there was still something powerful about telling the world what I was doing.
Am I Happy with My Success?
Am I happy with my success? Well, yes and no. ~smile~ There is that voice in the back of my head which wants to wallow in the mistakes I have made along the way.
“Why did you allow yourself to gain weight back during Christmas?”
“Valentine’s Day got you so off track. Do you know how much further along you would be right now if you had mustered up more self-control?”
“You should have exercised more in the beginning. If you had, you would not have to play catch up now!”
Yet, despite the negative voices, I am thrilled to have come so far in just eight months. These are the thoughts I like to entertain – and they are far more motivating than my negative self-talk!
“Wow, you lost thirty pounds! You have never lost that much weight at once before!”
“Forty pounds gone! Wow! You have lost a kindergartener. How cool is that?!”
“You weigh less than you did when Eric married you! How exciting!”
“Fifty pounds! You are halfway there! What an amazing milestone. How can you be disappointed after accomplishing so much?”
“You weigh less than Eric! You have never weighed less than your husband! Woot woot!!!”
“After years of feeling out of control, I am so close to ‘onederland’ (i.e., weighing less than 200 lbs.) and it feels great! All the hard work and sacrifice has been worth it!”
Why Have I Been Successful?
Support. Support. Support. Different people have different needs. I am driven by affirmation and “atta girl”s from other people. When Eric says he is proud of me, I beam. When a friend says, “Wow, I can really see a difference,” I am motivated. When I am feeling discouraged, I gain so much momentum from encouraging words.
In addition to support, I have focused heavily on drinking water, walking or running on the elliptical, lowering (almost to the point of eliminating) processed sugar, eating high amounts of fruits and vegetables, and choosing proteins over simple carbs. I confess that I am probably more fearful of carbs than I should be. Complex carbs are not the same on the body as donuts and candy bars!
Has It Been Worth It?
Yes. 100% Yes! I passed a mirror in a clothing store the other day and, for the first time in years, I did not hate what I saw. That was such a precious moment – the kind of moment I revisit when I struggle to put on my walking shoes or to stay out of the fridge at night. Struggles and food cravings come and go, but the end result is so worth the climb.
Recently, I decided to walk a new route, and when I got to the end of the road, I realized I was in a valley. There was no way to get home that did not involve a hill. So, I slowly but surely started making my way up a steep hill that even my car would not have done well on. I was panting, I was in pain, and I could almost hear onlookers laughing, “She will never make this mistake again!” But, I knew I would get to the top soon. I knew the pain would only last a little longer. I knew I would be so happy once I conquered it. And, I knew I could do it.
This journey is like that hill. I got to a place in my life where I had two choices – stay stuck where I was or courageously fight my way up the hill to a better life. There have been times I have questioned my decision. There have been days I have wanted to quit. Occasionally, I can almost hear the naysayers whisper, “She will never make it.” But, as I get closer and closer to the top of the hill, I am more motivated than ever. I know I will be glad I did it. I know it will be worth it. And, I know I can do it.
Take It On!
If you have a dream, take it on. Invite other people into your journey with you, and decide to succeed. When you find your strength dwindling, reach out to other people. There will be pain. There will be doubts. There will be failures. But, if you truly want it, it will all be worth it.
When is the last time you climbed towards a life-changing goal?