I have only been really successful at weight loss one time in my life. During the Great Weight-Loss of 2007, I lost 50 lbs in about 6 months. Why was I able to do it then but not now? It's not my body....when I actually stick to my plan (any plan, really) I have great numbers. At least a 2 pound loss each week, sometimes more. That proves my body is still capable of losing weight. Then what's the problem? What's the difference?
After much thinking and remembering, these were some defining traits of the *me* in 2007.
- I felt proud about healthy eating. I loved looking at my conveyer belt at the grocery store. It looked so pretty loaded with brightly colored fruits and veggies. The cashier would often comment on how "healthy" my food was. Other people in line would ask if I was a vegetarian. (I wasn't but I guess only vegetarians eat THAT many veggies.) Even when no one esle was around to tell me what a Healthy Hero I was, I still felt super proud in my kitchen chopping away at my cutting board, making my soups and hummus for the week. I liked the person I was.
- I felt "pampered" by eating healthful foods. Prior to 2007 I had never really been on a diet (which is ironic because I was a chubster my whole life). I just ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. And I only thought about what I was going to eat RIGHT before I ate it. I would often find myself in my house with nothing to eat and shoving the most random (and not even very tasty) food in my face (pasta with butter, peanut butter and jelly on crackers, ramen noodles, etc). So when I had real food in front of me that I had DECIDED about ahead of time, that I actually WANTED to eat, I felt pampered....like I was being well cared for.
- I didn't have expectations about how much I should lose each week. Every Monday when I got on the scale I was genuinely shocked that I lost any weight. I didn't have a number I was hoping for. During the week I just put my head down and got to work. I did what I had to do and trusted that it would pay off.
- I didn't ever think of my weight except for Monday morning Weigh-In. I never worried or stressed or even thought about my weigh-in. Ever. Unless I was standing on the scale. Which wasn't even mine. I didn't even OWN a scale. I used the one at my gym. I also never felt fat. Even when I was fat. And really, even after I lost 50 lbs I was still fat (I was 200 lb...so at 5'2'', that's still chunky). I just never felt fat. I felt good.
- I always always always prepped ahead and had healthy food on hand. My freezer was full of baggies of 1-cup servings of brown rice, my fridge was stocked with cut up veggies and home made soups. If I was hungry, I had good food to eat.
- I enjoyed the journey. I really liked seeing the changes in my body. I liked finding and making healthy recipes. It was all so exciting. I loved going for bike rides and walks outside. I was constantly amazing myself. I felt so *sporty* and *athletic*....I never knew I was capable or even WANTED to be those things. I was patient. I didn't feel like I had to be at my goal weight NOW. I was enjoying the ride....so I wasn't constantly asking "Are we there YET??"
- My goal wasn't to get "skinny". I decided to lose weight after a routine doctor's appointment. The doctor took my blood pressure and wanted to send me straight to the hospital because it was sooo high. Scary. The thing is, I wasn't scared. I was like "Well, what's the big deal?" and the appalled doctor was like, "The blood vessels in your heart could burst at any second and you will have a heart attack OR the blood vessels in your brain might burst and that's a stroke!" Ohhh.... this was the first time that I saw *losing weight* meaning more than looking good in a mini skirt. It meant not dying....at 27. So when I started eating healthy and exercising, my goal was to get those numbers down to 120/60....and I did.
- I looked forward to exercise. It was *me* time. It was my time to unwind and think about my day and my goals.
- I loved writing in my "Diet Journal" each night to track my food & exercise. I made it fun with stickers and sparkly pens. I made notes about what I did and how I felt. It gave me a sense of accomplishment to see it all there in black and white (well....pink and purple and orange....i love me some pretty pens).
- I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could do it. Never once did I think I couldn't. I gave myself a very reasonable goal and time frame. It just made sense that it would work.