I was talking to a friend yesterday, who recently lost 60 lbs (go Sherry!) and is looking amazing. She really inspires me. She had such a good experience on the program she used that she decided to become a weight loss coach for them. What a great thing it is to take your own success and use it to help others who are feeling just as lost as you were!
Like so many of us, she has had years of experience of yo-yo dieting. My pattern has been that I go on a diet, lose twenty pounds, fall off the wagon, then gain it plus five more pounds back. Do that a few times, and it’s easy to balloon way past where you started.
One of the things that she was saying is that it was really only when she finally got that this was about her health that it things started clicking for her. I think I’m still in the clicking process, but have been thinking about this too. There is no doubt that behavior plays a key role in gaining and losing weight. However, one of the things my doctor keeps telling me is that despite a lot of what we believe about being fat (you’re lazy, you have no will power, etc.), there are also medical undercurrents that can make us prone to weight gain. When I had my lab work done, it turned out that I actually had some of these problem areas. While I’m not thrilled at being so out of whack (I thought I was pretty healthy, despite my weight!), it is kind of liberating to know it’s not all about my inferior will power. There are some physiological factors at work and they can be fixed.
One of the things I really like about the program I am doing, is the emphasis on education coupled with getting our internal systems working at optimal levels, so they work in concert to keep us healthy and help us lose weight instead of working against us. And it’s not something where you go on a diet and then you’re done. After all, if you have issues with glucose or your thyroid, they’re not just going to go away. One thing that I am having to accept is that it’s not just about going on a diet until reaching some weight loss goal. It requires life long health management.
Even though the words “life long” are pretty daunting, it also helps me to frame it this way. If I had severe diabetes that required insulin, my response would be “ok, I need to take the medication and do my part to avoid sugar and starchy foods”. Sure, there’d be times when I’d slip up (I”m only human, too human) but my attitude would generally be “I need to do this and I can’t just stop because I have a good blood sugar day”. More and more, I am coming to think that this has to be my attitude around weight as well. I’ve struggled with it (sometimes more than others) since I was a kid and that’s not going to stop. That is my biggest fear that the enthusiasm feel right now will wain and I will go back to my old ways. I just have to find a way to make it rewarding and fun over the long haul! How do other people do it?