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….
I’ve been reading your blog for a while. You’re the reason I stuck witth C25K. You’re the reason I’m a runner today. Thank you!
I identify with you, we’re kindred lol. I was almost 300lbs at my heaviest (under 200 now for a few year, but have more to go). So I understand the mental battles & the “comfortable” weight.
However, this post inspired me to comment for the 1st time. I just want to say this :
I AM SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!
Happy New Year!
I am thankful for you–you got me going and I have done a few 5K (walking not running) and completed the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race 10K on 4th of July with 5 friends/family. I too have gained my weight back and will hit WW on January 3rd, I already have my monthly pass. I too can only do it by going to meetings. I tried it on line but lost nothing cause I did not have the support. I did not make any resolutions but have set goals for 2012, Get back to walking every day, getting bikini ready (LOL) with WW and doing the Peachtree again on the 4th of July. As a 61 year old, it gets harder every year but keep on doing it.
Your blog is really terrific Carli; you’re a great inspiration and I love your honesty and your perseverance. You have a really positive approach which is very admirable. I always take something away from what I read here 🙂 I’m about to get back on the the C25K wagon myself – made it through once already with thanks to your fantastic podcasts so I know I can do it again 🙂
All the best for the new year x
Carli–You are such an inspiration. I have been doing C25K for over a year and am doing your bridge. I ran yesterday for a half an hour with my whole family with your encouraging words in my ear. I am certain that your positive attitude will lead you in the right direction. Thanks and best of luck!
Keep it going Carli.
Looking forward to your next post.
Awww…Shauna, thanks for commenting. Congrats on your weight loss, it’s good to hear from someone that’s “been there and done that” , that I’m on the right track. Keep on running!
Diane, I almost signed up for the online version, and then I said who am I kidding? I got my monthly pass and went to my first meeting yesterday. If I can’t take 30 mins for myself once a week, then I need to reprioritize, and that’s just what I did. Good Luck fellow Weight Watcher.
Thanks Angela, I look at the bloggers that I admire most, and it’s those who take time to do it right, and are honest. Sometimes,I think I’m the only person struggling and then I write a blog post and see that I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing and reminding me why I do what I do!
Thanks Kelli, you’re “real runner” now 🙂