Monday, January 07, 2013
Starting Out Small
Don't faint... but this post is actually going to be about weight loss. Trying it again, anywho. I know, you're shocked. That can be expected. It's only been about...urm...well, I have no idea how long it's been since I've written an entire post about wanting to lose weight - again. But, it's time.
I did something this weekend I'd been meaning to do for a while. That's look back in my blog to when I really had the most success with my weight loss. It's crazy to realize that it's been two years. Two years since I had that wonderful year of shedding 60+lbs. And it's taken two years to gain every bit of it back.
To be honest, I was looking back in my blog to help re-motivate myself. I figured if I read all of the stories about my success, I'd be pumped and ready to go at trying it again. That totally back fired...kind of.
I've been writing this blog since 2009. That's almost 4 years! I've been religious with my blog posting since May of 2010...writing almost every single day. That's a lot of stuff written... but no matter how many words I write - the answer to my weight loss problem just isn't in my own blog. Well, it is and it isn't.
You see, one thing I've realized this weekend is that when it comes to me and weight loss it's either do or die. I either go at it with 150% or I don't go at it at all. There's nothing in between. When I was having success with my weight loss I was working out almost every day, doing very vigorous work-outs, and planning my meals to the T. That lasted a while, and then I would just slowly start to fizzle out, lose my momentum, and crash and burn. Rinse, repeat.
Last week, while having a conversation with a friend about losing weight, I was giving her some advice. Don't laugh. Yes, me...giving advice on weight loss. HA! You know what I told her? Don't stress yourself out with it. Start off small. Do something like going for a walk for 15 minutes a day. Cut back on the sweets and snacks. Lower your portion sizes. Drink more water. And eventually, you'll start making habits with these things.
And then it dawned on me this weekend - why the heck wasn't I following my own advice? I don't care what anyone says - that's bloody good advice! You don't have to join a gym, work-out an hour a day, plan and list every calorie that enters your mouth, and go all crazy. I know this. It was the exact same advice given to me a couple of years ago by a personal trainer of all people. But, I didn't listen. I wanted results straight away and figured the only way to get them was to go balls to the wall crazy with things like boot camp, 5K races, online weight loss tools, and hundreds of dollars of work-out equipment, gym memberships, and work-out DVDs. Sure, that all worked. But look how long it lasted.
The truth is, and I don't care what anyone else says, weight loss doesn't have to be an obsession. It doesn't have to be a life consuming, soul sucking, nothing else in your life can be important thing. It takes time. It takes baby steps. It can be something that's eased in to - not forced.
I know that there are many people out there who woke up one day and declared "I'm going to lose weight by all means necessary" and then changed their lives that instant and have lost tons of weight and are keeping it off.
I also know that there are many more people out there that woke up one day with the same feeling, had some success for a little while, and then burned out...quickly...gaining the weight right back again. I know, because I'm one of them.
And, no, I don't want to hear any lectures about needing commitment and motivation and drive...etc. etc.
At the end of the day, what works for some people just doesn't work for me - and vice versa. I think it's great that many people have had wonderful results with their weight loss commitments. I read their blogs every day and wish that I had their motivation and drive. But you know what the cold, hard truth is? I don't. I just don't.
But, I do know that I have the ability to make small changes. Little things here and there. Like filling up my water jug when I get to work and drinking it - rather than a cup of ice-tea or Kool Aid from the cafeteria. Like spending 15 minutes walking after school while Butter has basketball practice. Like cutting back on my portion sizes and avoiding sweets. Little things.
OK, so I might not lose 5lbs a week just making those minor changes... but I will bet my last dollar that I will start to lose a little weight. I bet after a few weeks of walking for 15 minutes a day, I might feel like walking 20 minutes and then a few weeks later maybe even 30 minutes.
So, this year...instead of coming out of new year with the declaration that I'm going nutso crazy with my weight loss efforts - I'm breaking the mold. I'm not making any promises. I'm not committing myself to anything. I'm just going to make the effort to changing a few minor things. Walking. Cutting back. More water. That's it.
No deadlines. No restrictions. No forcing.
Believe me, I've tried everything else...so maybe less is more. Maybe this is the mentality I need to actually succeed. Only time will tell, I suppose.
But a baby doesn't learn to walk by running a marathon. They start out small. They move around a little, start getting up on their hands and knees, crawl for a while, and then finally take their first few steps. I truly believe that weight loss is the same way. I've been trying for too long to be the baby that started walking by running a marathon...and it just doesn't work. So, baby steps it shall be!