On Not Reaching Goals

A few months ago I wrote this post: 100 or bust.

The plan was from Feb. 1 to now to lose 1 pound a week for a total of 20 pounds.

The plan also was to move out of my current apartment.

Neither happened.

And though at first I wasn’t happy with this, all I can do is trust that where I am now is where I’m meant to be.

The truth is, I love my current apartment, I love the area that I live in, and I get along fantastically with my roommate. Still, I wanted a change. After a month or two of looking, however, I realized a change just wasn’t in the cards for me financially. My roommate and I happen to have a beautiful, sunny, spacious apartment that we pay a ridiculously low rent for in N.J. standards (ridiculously high for everywhere else in the country) and staying wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I had planned.

As for the weight, well, that’s more complicated.

As of right now, my weight is hovering around 155 pounds. That’s a total of 88 pounds lost. I’ve stopped calorie counting, I’m only stepping on the scale once a week, at most.

I’d be lying if I said this has been easy to accept. The sudden and scary return of binge eating has made it near impossible to have any control over my weight, but it’s also forced me to stop caring about my weight and start caring about my health, both mentally and physically.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it mystifies me that I’ve been able to lose this much weight. Truly and totally astounds me.

Wanting to lose more and struggling so much to do it (and still not losing) is hard, sure, but how could I possibly be disappointed in myself?

Tomorrow I’ll be boarding a plane for a two-week adventure around Europe. As I was packing, I found these passport photos that were taken in 2009 in order for me to get a cell phone in India. For comparison’s sake (and because it really is that hard for me to see change) I quickly snapped a selfie and put the two side-by-side.

passportcompare

There are no words to accurately describe what it feels like to look at those photos.

It’s overwhelming to the point of being uncomfortable. I don’t know what to think when I see my younger, fatter self. I’m just, astonished.

The last few weeks have really been a process of understanding that while my body is different, the thoughts in my head aren’t. Some days when I look in the mirror I think I get scared because I’m not sure how living this way actually works. I have to remind myself to breathe, and to take it one day at a time.

Losing weight has forced open other parts of my life that are really tough to deal with, parts of my life that I didn’t have to deal with because the fat gave me a pseudo-barrier against all of  it. It was my excuse to keep most things and people at a (chubby) arm’s length.

Losing weight has forced me to be honest about my past, about why I gained the weight, and has led to some uncomfortable conversations both with others and with myself through journaling.

Most days I’m grateful for this. But some days, it’s just fucking scary.

Despite all the scariness, I am truly excited about the general state of my life right now.

I’m excited about my vacation that starts tomorrow.

I’m excited to return to an apartment that is both familiar to me and that I love.

And I’m excited to have started an honest process of breaking free from binge eating, obsessive calorie counting, and daily weighing.

I didn’t reach the goals I set for myself in February. To be totally cliche, life took some different turns, some sharp curves, and some unexpected detours.

My favorite travel moments have always been the days where I’m exploring without a goal of something to do or some place to see. Where I get to wander in new surroundings. Where I’m allowed to gaze as long as I want at the beauty of something unfamiliar.

That is how I’m trying to live my life right now. After being so restrictive and purposeful for over two years, this isn’t coming naturally, but I’m getting better at handling the discomfort every day.

I could be upset that I didn’t reach my weight loss goals, but I choose instead to focus on the present. To flow easily with life, moment by moment, not tying my current contentment to a past that I cannot change or a future that has yet to be created.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

 

 

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Seeing the spread

Hi and happy hump day!

I’ve been a serious sap lately, trying to appreciate all the good in my life as much as I can. I have an inner critic that tends to get cautious when things are going too well, so I’m trying to shut that voice up and keep on living the good life.

This got me thinking last night about how my efforts to get healthy have translated into my life in so many different ways that I could have never imagined but it all started with a simple: “I’m worth it.” It’s been nothing short of amazing to see how discipline in terms of achieving better health for myself have made so many other parts of my life immeasurably brighter. I don’t take my health for granted, I’m truly appreciate of my body on a consistent basis. I spend time savoring my food because I know all of the effort that went into cooking it. There’s meaning to things I do that wasn’t there a few years ago.

My discipline goes beyond food choices too. Since I started caring about what I put in my body I’ve also been better about things like flossing or wearing sun screen.

My college roommates probably don’t believe me, but I’m also no longer a slob. I  was really, really messy prior to a few years ago and now I love cleaning.

Realizing how small changes have made big differences to my health showed me that taking five minutes at the beginning and end of my day to put things back in their place, make my bed, wash the dishes or vacuum makes cleaning more manageable and not a dreaded task.

Not a day goes by that I’m not aware in someway of how my life has changed.

This is not about some kind of willpower or great motivation that I’ve been able to tap into, but it’s about seeing how small positive habits have the power to transform your life.

When you’re losing weight there’s a big desire to to have it be fast! and easy! but there’s no reward in fast or easy. I’ve found immense beauty in the power of dedication and discipline and in appreciating and honoring all of the things I do every day that push me forward.

My “spark” so to speak, was that at some point I made the switch in my head to abandon fast and easy to take on everything in my life one small moment at a time.

The last few months have been hard. I’ve been stuck in a lot of ways, my weight being one of them. I feel lately though that by doubling down on discipline with what I’m eating, the rest of my life feels more in control. To be honest, although I was frustrated, I was not surprised that my weight hadn’t moved for months. The last half year of my life was a bit of a backslide into binge eating and I’m just now clawing my way back out.

I’m back on my game now. I’m being strict in every aspect of my life. With my food and with my inner voice, where my energy goes and what I let influence me. I’m aware and I’m in control.

Thoughts become things, choose good ones.

“Through discipline comes freedom” – Aristotle

Now…the numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week:157.5

This week: 155.5

Total lost: 87.5

Click here for every weigh in, ever.

Honesty

I wanted to have a bunch of fun pictures of food to share with you today.

But instead, I need to write a different kind of post.

An honest post.

I don’t usually write any commentary about my weigh-ins each week because they are just numbers. They reflect something, but not everything. They tell a portion of a bigger story.

If my numbers were to speak this week they would say “I’m stressed out.”

I have a lot of big changes coming up in my life and a couple of other curve balls have been thrown my way recently and I’m handling it by snacking more than usual.

And you know what? That’s ok.

When I feel like this, bummed about a few pounds gained, I remind myself that I’m in this for the long haul. All in. For good.

A few pounds gained one week doesn’t mean my week was bad. It doesn’t mean my life is bad. It doesn’t mean I’ve failed somehow.

I still struggle with binge eating, and those urges came on strong this week.

While my binges aren’t nearly as destructive as they used to be (i.e. entire bags of mini Reese’s peanut butter cups) the feeling of being out of control around food, whether it’s trail mix or pizza, still makes me feel just as unsettled.

At some point, I want to stop counting calories but I think within me lies a fear that I’ll lose control completely.

I still struggle with trusting myself around food and finding a balance.

I know how it is to be fat. I know how it is to be working toward being less fat. But I’m not sure I know how it is to just be.

I don’t have a nice way to wrap this post up. It’s a glimpse, the tip of the iceberg, to the mountain of issues that come out when you tackle disordered eating.

My head’s a little cloudy, but I’m doing my best to fight through the fog with positive thinking.

I am enough

I am enough

I am enough

Now…The Numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 162.5

This week: 164.5

Change: 2

Total loss: 78.5

 

 

10 awesome things not about my weight, and a weigh-in!

1. I’ve been making a ton of excuses about why I haven’t gone to the gym. I haven’t seen my trainer in over two weeks! I always think getting up early is so much worse than it really is but once you’re awake for five minutes, the feeling of wanting to die subsides haha. So on Monday I bit the bullet and forced myself to stay awake when my alarm sounded. I laid in bed for a few minutes listening to the birds chirping when it dawned on me that it was probably warm enough to walk to the gym! That thought alone kicked my butt into gear. The gym is about a half mile from my apartment, an unbelievably perfect distance. I used to walk to the gym in the morning all the time and totally forgot how lovely morning walks are. I see morning runs in my future…

2. All that being said about the gym, I’m really happy with myself exercise-wise this week. I got outside everyday and either walked, ran or hiked and had a blast! I’m so blessed to be living in an area with tons of cool parks, walking paths and hiking trails right outside my door and took advantage of all that nature this weekend.

3. Fun fact: I get sausage fingers really easily when walking from all the blood rushing to my hands. For prevention purposes, I pretty much do all of my walks with what I can only describe as floppy jazz hands. Attractive, right? Stare on, people, stare on.

Source: joannemattera.blogspot.com via Kathy on Pinterest

4. And in case I wasn’t already drawing enough attention to myself at the park with my floppy jazz hands…the Zensah compression sleeves I ordered came in the mail this weekend! I’m pretty sure that the pain that has halted my running progress recently is just from shin splints. I remembered Allie at Live Laugh Eat had awesome results with the Zensah sleeves and decided to go for it. I’ve worn them a few times for recovery after the long hikes and walks this weekend and have had no shin pain, so it’s possible they are working but the real test will be running in them.  I am itching to get past the 3-mile running mark and go further and faster so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they help with the pain.

5. I’ve officially hit the one month mark on paleo. I’m going to stop doing weekly updates. One, because I don’t really feel that I’m following a true paleo diet, more that I’m incorporating paleo principles. Two, weekly updates are super boring. Will I continue eating the way I’ve been eating? ABSOLUTELY. I have so much energy! The change in the way my hunger feels is also reason enough to keep up with a higher protein/lower carb plan. When I started, I honestly didn’t believe I would see that many changes, but I’m totally a believer now! Also, behold this delicious bun-less burger I got at Smash Burger on Sunday. Yum.

6. I made chocolate coconut flour cupcakes (with applesauce!) this weekend from this recipe and am pretending they are muffins so I can eat them for breakfast. Don’t hate. Also, I recommend making them, because they are delicious, but if you’re the kind of baker who follows a recipe exactly, don’t click that link. I found a lot of the measurements to be off and ended up making a bunch of substitutions to get the sweetness/consistency that I wanted. I’m absolutely addicted to the taste of coconut flour. So…coconutty!

7. I can’t stop eating baby carrots! Maybe it’s because I started buying organic carrots, or because I cut down on my sugar, but these babies (pun intended!) have never tasted sweeter. I snack on them throughout the day. Try them with sunflower seed butter and thank me later.

8. I successfully partied smart this week. With all my new-found energy, I’ve been making more time to see my friends, which generally includes a lot of going to bars. I like drinking as much as the next recent college grad, but honestly, it doesn’t make me feel good. I hate being hungover, and truly, alcohol really messes with my mood. I’m way more likely to be sad the day after drinking too much. So this week I stuck to a one to two drink limit, and sometimes no drinks at all, and had a great time! Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing ordering water, or explaining to all your friends why you aren’t drinking, but I’d much rather be in a temporarily awkward situation than regret my actions the next day. Plus, I’m way better at darts when I’m sober.

9. It’s officially Spring!!

10. Monday was my  nephew’s 5th birthday! I’m not saying this just because my amazing sister reads every single word I write (Hi Stacy!), but my nephews have been an unbelievable source of inspiration. I think about them a lot when I’m running and the thought of their ridiculously cute faces keeps me going. I’m glad they will get to know me as someone who puts 100 percent into life. Happy Birthday E!

On that note….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 174.5

This week: 172.5

Change: -.5

Total loss: 70.5

Wednesday Weigh-in and Week 3 Paleo Update

Hello!

I really feel like I hit my paleo stride this week. The first week was a huge adjustment, I was definitely going through some carb/sugar detox and my head felt cloudy all the time. Last week involved a lot of thinking, planning and learning and this week following the paleo diet has been almost, well, natural!

Brussels sprouts, asparagus and onions seasoned, ready for roasting!

I want to reiterate that I am far from following a paleo diet strictly. When I began, I said my goal was to be consistent, and I’m very happy to report that I absolutely have been consistent. Striving for perfection, I feel, is just undue cause for stress and burnout and eventually failure. I’m loosely going by the 80/20 concept, where I’m following paleo 80 percent of the time and not 20 percent of the time. This week that 20 percent consisted of Tasti D-Lite, Indian food at Brick Lane Curry House and a slice of homemade apple pie from a local farm. It was amazing.

I’m still shocked by how long I stay full with paleo-inspired breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Last week I did a breakdown of breakfast, paleo vs. pre-paleo, this week, lunch!

Pre-paleo my lunch was typically a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, a half cup of chickpeas or a veggie burger and a homemade dressing of oil and vinegar. With the salad I would have 4-6 oz of fat free plain Greek yogurt and 1-2 pieces of fruit, something like an apple and orange or strawberries. For about 500 calories, this meal had 58 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat and 24 grams of protein. Since beginning paleo, I’ve had the same basic meal for lunch every day. A salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, 4 oz of chicken, avocado and/or almonds and dressing of oil and vinegar with no snacks on the side. This meal, a little lower in calories, around 450, has 23 grams of carbs, 28 grams of fat and 34 grams of protein.

Yes, it’s lower calorie, and less “things” to eat – but I’m so much fuller! Because avocado and almonds are high in fat and calories, I keep my portions on the small side, usually about 50 grams of avocado (maybe 1/4-1/2 an avocado, depending on its size) and about .5 oz of almonds.

Pre-paleo if I was hungry, I would also be very unfocused and find it hard to follow conversations or work or do anything that required effort. I needed to eat ASAP. It felt terrible and I felt like I was always complaining about being hungry. Pre-paleo, I could barely make it to lunch without wanting to chew off a finger or two and absolutely needed to snack between lunch and dinner. Most days I could barely even wait until 5 p.m. to eat dinner. It’s a totally different story now. From my 8 a.m. breakfast, I stay full right up until about noon for lunch, and if I’m hungry after work/before dinner, I will snack on some veggies and don’t feel like I’m in a rush against my hunger to make dinner.

Breakfast: Pumpkin coconut flour muffin, Fage Greek 2% plain yogurt and a dollop of sunflower seed butter

And like I’ve said many times now, I’m totally enjoying cooking more and trying out different recipes and flavor combinations. I’m really glad I’ve been tracking my food on MyFitnessPal this whole time, because I find it absolutely fascinating to see the break down of why and how my meals are different.

Sauteed zucchini and baby portobello mushrooms with chicken sausage

I’m not really missing any pre-paleo food, and if I want it, I eat it. Same rules as before. Restriction absolutely DOES NOT WORK for me.

This was another so-so week as far as exercise goes. I didn’t see my trainer at all – blaming the work schedule on that one – but I have gotten outside everyday to enjoy this unusually warm weather! My goal for joining the gym in the first place was not only to have somewhere to work out during the winter, but to develop a strength training routine. Ideally, I would like to go a few mornings a week to work on strength and walk outside during the afternoons. That would be a perfect workout plan for me – now I just have to make it happen!

The view at the start of one of my favorite running/walking paths

Anyway, enough babble, here are the numbers:

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 176

This week: 174.5

Change: -1.5

Total loss: 68.5

One change at a time

When I look back at the beginning of my weight loss journey, I can truly see how *this* time was different.

You know how I know that? Because I didn’t start out saying “this time is going to be different.”

A big reason people fail when they try to lose weight is because they focus too much on a dream of a different life and believe that simply being skinny will give them that different life.

Then they lose a bunch of weight through unsustainable methods and when they realize their life is no different, they go back to food as comfort.

Or at least that was how it had worked for me.

Hundreds and hundreds of times I would wake up full of enthusiasm always to end up, an hour later, a day later, a week later or a month later, hiding in my room eating everything in the kitchen. And when that food was gone, I would buy more.

It sounds crazy to think that a whole lifetime of habits can change in one single instant, but how many of us hold on to that hope?

Think of any skill, such as playing the piano. No one would expect to sit down at a piano and know how to play, but that’s the mindset of so many people when they say they want to lose weight.

When you take on too much too quickly, you’re bound to end up overwhelmed and eventually discouraged.

When I first began losing weight, other people thought I was crazy because I didn’t exercise and I didn’t plan on exercising. Seriously, I began my weight loss journey with a conscious decision  not to exercise.

Instead I focused on one change: food.

I lived and breathed and obsessed over nutrition every second of every day. I wrote down what I ate when I was awake and – true story – often dreamed about what I had eaten when I slept.

At first I tackled small challenges like weaning myself off of Lean Cuisines and learning how to go food shopping and then moved on to bigger things like exploring the reasons why I was an emotional, secret and binge eater.

Once in a while someone would tell me, “You know, you would lose weight faster if you exercised a couple of times a week.”

Good advice, maybe, but time was and is still not of the essence to me.

I continued on that path until one day I realized that healthy eating habits were suddenly mindless and just something I did. Grocery shopping no longer requires two hours in the store reading food labels, I can recognize real hunger from wanting to eat in response to my emotions, and the idea of ever consuming another Lean Cuisine again makes me gag.

I had a similar journey to exercise. Each day I would wake up with one thought on my mind: When can I walk today?

I walked before work, after work, in the dark, in the cold and rain and when temperatures rose above 100 degrees. I walked to get coffee, to meet my friends at the bar, to run errands and for frozen yogurt. If it was within a few miles, I would walk there. I canceled plans to fit in a walk and often made my friends walk with me.

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to do everything at once, or everything perfectly from the beginning to lose weight. A lifestyle change doesn’t happen with a snap of a finger. There is no time limit for you to get it right. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by losing weight, especially when that number is over 100. But if you focus on actions and doing instead of results, and break down what needs to be done into manageable steps, everything really will fall into place.

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Wednesday Weigh-in

As you may have read, I began following a paleo diet earlier this week.

There were many reasons that went into the this decision, first and foremost was that I needed a change to get out of a major food rut.

I’ve only been following paleo guidelines since Saturday, but here are some of my first impressions:

I’ve been eating according to the rules from Paleo author Robb Wolf, which means creating my meals with combinations of lean proteins, fruits and veggies and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil.

I’m also following his advice for weight loss, and keeping my fruit servings to 1-2 a day. Dairy, so I’ve read, is a questionable paleo item and I’ve been keeping my serving to one 1/2 cup of plain fat-free Greek yogurt a day.

Overall, it hasn’t been too difficult. I still have some non-paleo approved food to consume like hummus and white potatoes that I’m working into my diet in small doses to make sure I don’t waste food.

The hardest part has undeniably been cutting back on my fruit intake. I probably was eating anywhere from 3-6 servings of fruit a day. I actually really miss my bananas, which brings me to my next point.

The biggest challenge for me has been coming up with breakfast ideas. For the last year I’ve either made a green smoothie (banana, almond milk, strawberries, protein powder, spinach) or oatmeal with a banana for breakfast. It wasn’t only habit, but something I loved and craved.

Eggs, the staple of a paleo diet, just don’t do it for me. I definitely discovered this week that I crave a sweet meal for breakfast. Also, my favorite way to eat eggs is sunny side up with very runny yolk, and it’s just not as much fun or satisfying without bread to dip in the yolk. For the past couple days I’ve made omelettes with veggies and deli meat chopped up inside, but I’m really not enjoying it. I miss the feeling of fueling up with fruit in the morning. There’s nothing that quite compares to the energy one gets after downing a green smoothie.

I’m not sure what a solution to this dilemma is going to look like. For some reason I really just feel weighed down by eggs every morning. Eggs for me are more of a once in a while food or something I would eat for dinner, which is when I crave them. I’m also not really enjoying meat with breakfast. I find a savory meal doesn’t pair as well with coffee either.

Next week I’m going to look into making pancakes with almond or other wheat-free flour or protein-powder/nut butter smoothies.

I’m definitely not going to force myself to keep eating eggs. I love eggs at other meals, but at breakfast they just turn me off.

I also made the mistake of not getting a big enough variety of meats. I did really well with vegetable variety, but I’ve pretty much been stuck eating chicken for every meal. It’s the cheapest, but next week I’m going to go meat shopping first and dedicate a larger portion of my budget to getting quality items.

I found a few good recipes for paleo pancakes, muffins, breads and smoothies that I’m excited to try that I hope will keep me from going crazy. I miss the feeling of waking up craving breakfast and want that back!

I realized going into the diet change I wouldn’t be able to eat some of the foods I love, but enjoying breakfast is non-negotiable.

I really want to follow paleo rules as closely as possible, at least for a week or two to see the benefits. I’m sure overtime I’ll increase my fruit and dairy intake.

I’m being patient with my body and giving it time to adjust to all the protein and fat I’ve been eating. It’s been a little bit uncomfortable, and I also think i’m getting some withdrawal symptoms from decreasing carbs and sugar. According to MyFitnessPal stats, I’ve pretty much doubled my protein and fat intake over the last few days and I have to be patient during this adjustment period.

It hasn’t been all negative, however. I feel re-invigorated with cooking! I’ve tried new foods and cooking methods this week and plan to continue searching and playing with recipes. I have a feeling if I land on a crave-able breakfast I’ll be much happier following a paleo plan

Diets, after all, are not an exact science. Different food choices work for different people. I’m lucky that I don’t have any food allergies and can, for the most part, eat whatever I want. Learning what works best for my body so I feel good and get the weight-loss results I’m after is trial and error and a process I really enjoy.

I may eventually go back to my old moderately carb-loving eating habits (does swooning over oatmeal classify me as a carb lover??) but for now I’m giving paleo 100 percent.

Here’s how it all worked out:

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 177

This week: 174.5

Change: -2.5

Total loss: 68.5

Wednesday Weigh-in

Another Wednesday, another weigh-in!

I know I shouldn’t be amazed, but I can’t help it sometimes when something so simple – counting calories and exercise – works out.

I continued to be consistent in my calorie intake and made it to the gym at least 5 days I think. My workouts were nothing special. There is something bothering me in my left foot/ankle area so I’m taking it easy on the high-impact workouts and stretching a lot! It’s been a problem for weeks, but I think now it’s finally healing. Until it’s completely better, I decided to wear my Converse sneakers to work instead of flats, since that’s what I’m in the majority of the time and the change seems to be helping. Thank god my job has a relaxed dress code. Now I just need to fine some supportive cute shoes….oh boy.

This week I have a fitness goal instead of a nutrition goal: Abs! It’s likely my weakest area, and something I would really like to be stronger. Any recommendations for some good moves?

Onto the weigh-in!

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 178.5

This week: 176.5

Change: -2

Total loss: 66.5

Love your body now

More than coffee, I look forward to a daily email from The Universe to start my day with a positive flow.

There is a message at the end of every email that says, “Thoughts become things, choose good ones!”

It serves as my reminder to not only think positively, but also that my thoughts have real impact on my life.

And this is why you should love your body. Because if you are working hard at the gym, learning to cook so you can feed your body healthy food, you should also love what you are putting so much effort into changing.

Right now. Not after you’ve lost weight.

Most people lose weight because they are fed up with their body or hate their body. But these are just thoughts, and you can choose to love the body you have now instead of being at war with it.

Here’s why and how you should:

1. I have fat friends, skinny friends and in-between friends. All of them have things they don’t like about their body. Weight loss does not mean you will like your body any more than you do now. The only guarantee that you will be happy with your body is to actually be happy with it. Whatever weight or size, make a promise to love your body unconditionally.

2. Be body-positive as often as possible. This means not talking badly about your body to yourself or anyone else. It also means doing body-positive affirmations. Start by looking in a mirror and smiling. Seriously, just smile. You’d be amazed how much that simple act can change your outlook. Then say nice things about your body. Thank it for adapting so well to all the changes you’ve put it through. Praise it for helping you walk, run, lift, dance, or whatever movement you’re into. I, like everyone else, sometimes get caught up in front of the mirror looking at imperfections. It happens. But make sure the opposite also happens. Stand in front of the mirror and admire things you like. It’s not vain. It’s an important part of self care.

3. Don’t be ashamed of your body. Own it. Wear a bathing suit proudly. I used to be that girl who wore t-shirts over my bathing suit. Then I became certified as a lifeguard and for five years of my life did not go more than a day or two without wearing a bathing suit in front of other people. Lifeguarding was not only a great job, but it helped me overcome a lot of my body consciousness. Not once in five years did anyone ever say anything negative about how I looked at the dozens of pools that I guarded. I figure, people know I’m fat. Seeing me in a bathing suit is not some big reveal. Trying to cover up is always more awkward than just being yourself, no matter what.

4. No more “if only…” This is something I really struggle with! I remember looking at girls who were size a size 12 thinking “if only I looked like that.” Now that I’m almost a size 12, I see girls who are smaller and think “if only.” It’s a cycle that can keep going and going if you don’t keep it in check. There will always be people skinnier than you and fatter than you.   Learn to love the place you are in.

5. You and your body are one and will be for the rest of your life, so you might as well learn to like it. Think of loving your body like you think of making any other change. It will take work, you will have to shift your thinking and face fears. It will be worth it. The joy of feeling at peace and content with one’s self – body, mind and soul – is not dependent on a number on a scale. Love and accept who you are now and the rest will follow.

I wish I had your motivation

This is such a cheesy way to begin a post, but I’m going to do it anyway.

If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me “I wish I had your motivation” I’d be rich.

Filthy, stinkin’ rich!

But that’s not how life works. And that’s definitely not how motivation works.

When someone says that to me, especially someone I know well, I just want to scream, “Don’t you know me?!”

I would not describe myself as someone who is highly motivated at all. But I would say I am someone who is dedicated and willing to work hard to achieve the things I want.

Here are the two greatest things I ever did for myself:

  1.  I gave up on the idea that my weight loss would one day be miraculously be “sparked” by something
  2.  I gave up on the notion of will power/motivation.

Let me clarify.

Motivation is real. I might read something, see something, do something that motivates me or others. But the idea that some people have motivation and others don’t? Complete crap.

And falling back on excuses like “I’m not motivated” really means, “I don’t believe I can do it.”

Motivation becomes an excuse for people to cite as the reason why they fail at achieving their goals. They’ll say things like, “Oh I just don’t have the motivation.”

A few days ago I posted a quote on the blog from Pinterest.

“It’s actually pretty simple. You either do it or you don’t.”

That philosophy is what real change is built on. Not motivation or will power. Just simply doing it and not stopping.

Motivation has its place, but like weight loss, it’s the result of action and not the other way around.

For example: I am motivated because I go to the gym every day, but I don’t go to the gym every day because I am motivated.

You see the difference?

It’s about doing. Not wishing, or hoping, or dreaming. And doing doesn’t have to mean go out and run a mile! Doing can be anything from writing about your goals in a journal to grocery shopping for healthy foods.

I didn’t wake up one day after a visit from the motivation fairy and suddenly say “I am going to lose 100 pounds.”

I built my current lifestyle from the ground up. I worked hard to make changes that have resulted in weight loss and I’ve stayed dedicated to my goals by writing and speaking about them often.

Don’t sell yourself short by blaming lack of action on lack of motivation. The power to change is within all of us.

Happy Friday 🙂