As I mentioned in my one of my recent posts, I’ve gained most of the weight back that I lost and maintained for a few years. Within the last year or so I’ve completely struggled with sticking to any food plan all while consistently gaining weight. I tried several different plans, Weight Watchers, South Beach, HCG drops, weight loss competitions and even the ridiculous Beyoncé maple syrup lemonade Liquid diet. I was stressed and I had more financial problems than I’ve ever experienced before. Things just were not going according to my “master plan.” But, I don’t want to get comfortable in those explanations or excuses.
I’ve decided to approach my obsessive compulsive eating problem, like I tackle most issues in my life. I look at the pros and cons, study successful role models, take classes, read books, and set achievement goals. I decided to look at times I successfully lost weight and times I gained weight. I lost 50 pounds in college with Weight Watchers, never missing a meeting, tracking my food, and having a regular fitness routine. I gained that 50 pounds back, when I stopped going to meetings because I thought I was “cured” and I was mostly satisfied when my body image. Sadly, I was not “cured.” Old habits snuck back in and I gained all the weight back. Then a few years ago, I lost about 50 pounds with the hospital sponsored weight management program that included high protein, low carb, meal replacement, food diaries and weekly discussion meetings. I couldn’t afford the $80/week fees anymore and stopped going. So, when you look at my history, it appears that I was most successful when I religiously attended weekly meetings and tracked my food. I figure, why should I re-invent the wheel? I should just go with what is tried and proven to work…. But, didn’t I try Weight Watchers earlier this year? Why did I quit? Why wasn’t I a successful loser? If I go back what will be different this time around? Something must change in order for me to succeed.
To answer these questions, I went to Roni’s website, the weight loss blogger I always talk about, and re-read her journey to maintaining a healthy weight. Even though she was never as heavy as I am, her struggle with yo-yo dieting and emotional eating almost mirrors my story exactly. I’m stuck in the same cycle she was, Feel bad about my body –>Eat because I feel bad –> Get excited about new miracle diet –> Fail impossible diet –> Feel bad and eat everything in sight –> gain weight….and repeat. What’s the defintion of insanity, doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting different results. I’ve decied to use my standard life approach to accomplish my goals. I first studied the professional. I looked into how Roni broke the vicious diet cycle. She has a 3 step process. I was honestly shocked to see that the first step was not “join weight watchers.” Step 1 was Self-Acceptance, and loving yourself enough to want to be healthy. I can honestly tell you that each time I lost weight “getting healthy” was not my true motivation; health was more of a by-product of losing weight. My motivation has always been to look better, which is why, when I hit a certain point (typically 50 lbs lost) and I looked better, and I lost that drive to push harder. I was no longer miserable, but comfortable. If your true goal is to be healthy, then fad diets and the numbers on the scale will not have so much of an influence. Step 2 is to get out of the diet mentality; there is no “on plan” and “off plan.” Lastly for Step 3, she suggests that you move more. Thank God, I at least have the fitness aspect figured out. But, for now, I’m circling back to step 1, the area that needs the most work.
I’m focusing on accepting me as I am today, flaws and all. When I was interviewed about losing weight and asked the most important factor of my success, my response was “talking back to negative thoughts.” Recently I’ve underestimated the power of self-respect and self-appreciation. When you accept yourself and love yourself, you take care of yourself, and strive to be healthy and the weight loss is essentially and added bonus. If you often read my blog, you know that I might hit bumps in the road, but I don’t quit! So here is my new year’s resolution. For one of the first times in my life, my resolution does not include Lose ____ pounds by _____date. My resolution is to accept who I am, speak positive things over myself and my life, attend weekly support meeting (because I need them) and strive to be the healthiest version of me that I can be….