This week I’ve been thinking a lot about changes. My own changes and how I’m feeling with the program so far. Like many people who’ve tried to lose weight, I’ve done several “programs” with varying degrees and length of success. But something about this time feels real. Serious. Forever. I never really got that sense in the past.
Sure, I’d say things like “I know I’ll never do X again,” or “I really see this as something I can maintain,” but in my heart I don’t know that I ever truly believed it. This time though… so much of my internal beliefs have shifted. I’ve opened my mind truly and fully to this being a way of life going forward.
I credit a lot of this shift in perspective to a former coach I worked with, and philosophies I learned while being coached and since, following along in the companion support group.
There is a small group of us from the bariatric program who do Zoom calls once a week, and it’s been interesting to see who is succeeding and who is struggling over the long term. Those who are struggling keep talking about how they had all this motivation at the start, but now it’s just gone. They don’t know how to get motivated again.
I thought back to many of my former coach’s posts about how motivation will come and go, it’s the habits that stick. And I’ve noticed that in myself. Especially with COVID. Getting a daily sweat sesh in — be it weights, karate, cardio, or just a gentle long walk with the family — has been so key for not only my fat loss, but just my mental health. I am CRAVING movement now. And the less it hurts as I lose more weight and get stronger, the more I want to do. Even the rare day I don’t feel like doing anything I either remind myself I won’t feel worse after doing my workout, but probably better. And if I really can’t find it in myself to do anything, I am gentle with myself and make a plan to get it done the following day. It’s like a big emotional exhale when I workout now. The more of a habit it becomes, the less I feel like bailing on it, as well.
The same is holding true for my eating. When I worked with my coach in the past, I really resisted weighing and portions and sticking to prescribed foods. I felt restricted to the point that I would rebound. I’m not sure if it’s all the work I’ve done surrounding emotional eating in therapy, or just that something has finally clicked, but I get it now. NOTHING is restricted. There’s just some things I will feel better eating more regularly than others, and if I want the “treat” foods I can plan for them. And I can be satisfied with so much less than I would eat if I weren’t being mindful about what I am consuming. If it doesn’t fit, there’s always tomorrow or the next day to enjoy it. I am not missing out on my favourite foods. I’m nourishing my body and soul with what it really needs. And I can make healthier versions that taste just as good. And again, if I mess up, I don’t have to throw the week away or even the day… I can simply correct, and continue on with the plan. And I will achieve my goals. And it’s not the end of the world. There’s no point giving up.
It’s been such an amazing shift in my mindset and behaviours. It’s helped me realize my own value (both personally and professionally) and the immense value for all aspects of my life that comes by taking care of myself. I see and feel my own power to be able to create the changes I want and the life I deserve. I feel unstoppable.
Between my former coach, the bariatric program, and the trainer I am currently working with, it feels like I’ve finally found what healthy looks like to me. In a way I can maintain long term. That doesn’t leave me feeling like a piece of shit. That measures progress in ways other than just the weight on the scale. I know that there will be peaks and valleys, but that I am strong enough to carry my own self out of the lows and keep moving forward.
In case you were wondering, this week I weighed in at 214.8, and started at 265.4.
Until next week…