...One year in.
Yup - that's right. It's been a year since I made my first post. I can't begin to say how proud I am that I'm still here - through all of the ups and downs of the last year - I'M STILL HERE!!! Better yet, I'm 30 lbs down for the year.
I don't know what made 1/4/14 different, but I think I can come up with a reasonable guess. First, I think I realized that I just couldn't keep going down the same path I had been on. It was endless disappointment with everything - but mostly at myself. Like so many others, I had been looking for that elixir that was going to help me lose 100 lbs in a week, that potion that was gonna make me a size 6, that spell that would make my body fit.
I wanted off the hamster wheel...and that's exactly what it was. Spinning my wheels and not making any progress at all. Oh - I could stick with it for a few days, but at the first sign of weakness, whether it was me wavering from whatever the plan was to not losing weight fast enough - or just plain giving up, that plan would be thrown to the curb because obviously it didn't work. I mean seriously - if the plan worked, I'd be on the plan and would be losing weight like gangbusters, right?
Something was seriously missing. There were a lot of things missing actually. Objectivity for one - there was always a new plan, a new miracle. While I feel that I'm reasonably knowledgeable and actually know quite a bit about biochemistry and nutrition, it seems that I'd jump on any bandwagon that promised miracles. Why the hell a normally reasonable person would fall for that shit is beyond me, but fall for it I did.
Personal accountability was also missing. The diet was responsible for my success or failure - it couldn't possibly be up to me to determine the success of the plan. It wasn't my fault if I strayed from the plan. I worked late, I slept late, I was tired, I was busy, I was in the wrong place, I was with the wrong people, it was too late to cook, it was too early to cook. It was always something other than me being accountable for myself and my actions.
There was a weird sense of perfectionism going on as well. I had to be perfect - I had to be the poster child for whatever diet plan I was on at the moment. With that mindset, I was doomed to fail.
It all came to a head and I knew there had to be a change. And I knew that change had to come from within. I didn't know how I was going to do it and I didn't have a formal plan - I still don't - I just knew that I had to DO IT!
I had to start somewhere. So I made four commitments to myself. The funny thing is that wrote that I was going to "commit to or change over the next few days". Lord help me - I'm still committing and changing!
Those four things were the following:
- Mindful of everything I eat
- No added sugar
- Breathe, stay calm, and don't beat myself up.
- Don't give up before I even get started.
The other three things are very important, but it's that stick-to-it-iveness that stands apart. When I'm not mindful of everything I eat, it would be easy to give in and give up; but I can't, I've gotta get up, dust myself off, and keep going.
When I eat sugar when I shouldn't, I've gotta get over it and look at it as something that happened, not as a nail in a coffin. I can't give up - I gotta keep going. Shake it off and move on.
When I get anxious about lack of progress and start berating myself for not being perfect, I've got to realize that THIS IS THE PROCESS - and that there's no giving up, I gotta keep going.
I've learned an awful lot about myself this year - and I'm a hot mess - lol! I'm not all bad, but I am incredibly human. I don't have super powers, I'm sometimes weak, and I'm often frustrated.
The fear of failure is always present and I'm realizing that it's such a destructive fear and serves no useful purpose. I've got to change it up - what did I read recently? It's not failure, it's just 100 ways not to do something? What a powerful way of turning a negative around.
I'm proud of the fact that even when I wasn't strong and not making progress, I logged my weight every day. I might not have posted it every day, but it eventually made its way to the blog. That was a big help to me. I know it's not for everybody, but I need to be a daily weigher. Interestingly, when I'm being good and following my own tenets, the scale is just a data point with appropriate importance. When I'm screwing up, the number on the scale goes up in importance and causes me a lot of angst. I think it's guilt because I know I'm screwing up and the scale does have its way of keeping me honest. The scale reflects my effort, not my intent.
My weight graph shows a lot of progress. Today's blog - one year later - shows a lot of progress. I've kept at this for a year. YEAH ME!!! When I started this, I knew I couldn't reasonably make a number goal, but internally I did - and that was to have all the weight off - about 110 pounds.
Obviously that didn't happen. But ya know what?? 30 lbs is HUGE!!! If I hadn't started, I could have been 30 lbs heavier - and I was on track to do that. So really - I'm 60 lbs down for the year! lol However, the faith in myself that I can do this and continue on is even HUGE-R!!!!
I'm excited for the coming year and I hope it will be as successful as the past year. Having a year of this process under my belt, I know there will be some successes, some failures, and some frustrations - but I'll be here. I'm not giving up. Remember Rule #4! As I said before, I've got some experience in creating success now. I just need to build on that success now.
Finally, I now believe that writing things down helps immensely. Who gives a shit if you have proper grammar anyway? I wasn't always such a believer in writing. There was a weird fear of writing - where would I start? wherever I damn well please. What would I write about? whatever I want! What if no one reads what I write? Who cares? I'm writing it for me! What if someone does read what I write? Good! Perhaps they can help me! For me, writing is helping me become more honest with myself and helping me to understand that I'm not perfect. Giving an outer voice to my inner voice - my inner self-talk - is huge.