WOW!! It’s official! I can hardly believe it! Started out to drop a few pounds and changed my LIFE entirely!
From 205 to 140 lb. YAHOOOOOO!!!!
I want to say a HUGE thank you to a dear friend who is no longer even on this site…but I don’t think I would be here right now…without having met her, or without her help! This day could only be nicer – if I could really thank her myself. (Don’t know where you are in this world – or how you are – but I think of you often…all my love and thanks!)
So, what’s it like? Oddly – it’s just like yesterday, or last week…just down another pound! This journey takes such a long time…and so much effort…that to get to ONE day when the scale finally validates your goals – well, it is exciting…but it is only one day. But I have been excited for weeks now!!!
And what have I learned along the way? Well, let’s see…
Don’t ignore your emotions. Much of what got me to where I was in the beginning, had to do with overeating! And why did I overeat? Because I wasn’t willing to face the hurts, frustrations, or losses going on in my life. I overate to soothe myself – to relinquish the stress to some type of pleasure. I enjoyed overeating. But I didn’t enjoy the outcome of overeating. And after a long while, I was giving up on myself, on living and enjoying my life, and my health was paying the price. Pay close attention to WHY you do what you do…and when you discover an issue, face it head on! Change, is a good thing!
Never say never! I used to say that. I will never be a normal weight again! I said it on the day I started this journey. Heck, I even said “if I could just lose 15 lbs I will be happy!”. And you know what…over the first YEAR of this journey…that’s all I lost! (and I was none to happy about it!) Negative thinking and a negative attitude…produce negative results. But the truth is that when you change your thinking, and change your mindsets…you can begin to produce positive thinking, and a positive attitude, and honestly…positive results will follow. And while I’m there…NEVER give up! (ok, that’s the only never allowed.)
Move from “dieting” to “lifestyle”. There came a point when I knew this was no longer about vanity! This wasn’t something I was committed to - just to fit into a particular size of clothing, or to look good for a special occasion…but I wanted this to last in my life. And when that mindset took root, I realized my ultimate goal was to live a healthy lifestyle! Not for a day, or a month or even a year…but this was a ‘forever’ change – and a worthy goal to pursue!
Educate yourself! The time invested to seek out new information on an almost daily basis, has returned to me a new lease on life! Whether it be about annual eye exams, or menopause – never stop desiring to learn something new about yourself, your body, your needs, and the best advice out there for taking care of them. Some of the information is confusing at best, but pursuit of knowledge will only help you!
Love ME first! Wow, this one is tough. By nature, I am the kind of person that ‘enjoys’ doing things for others. I am a ‘giver’. And as the mother of 3 (25, 23, and 16) a wife, and a full time caretaker of a disabled mother …who the heck has time to ‘love me first’!!! All of them encouraged me to take time for me, …but I always felt like someone else’s needs should come first – so, I started with what I thought were the little things. I would love me enough to honor my commitments! To this lifestyle change, to the group supporting me, to my selected schedule at the gym…what ever it was, I would LOVE me, enough…to make sure those commitments were met. As time went on, I learned to love me by letting go of the past, forgiving, trying new things, getting out of my comfort zone, allowing myself to grieve, taking time to enjoy my passions (including my family) but not exclusive of my family – I learned to LOVE me by accepting ME! I learned to laugh at myself, enjoy myself, develop new interests, stare in the mirror long enough to see something wonderful instead of my flaws!
Actively Live! Exercise doesn’t have to mean just going to the gym! Although I do go to the gym, and I rather enjoy it – that has not always been the case . But I have learned to remain ‘active’ as opposed to ‘sedentary’. Small changes helped in the biggest ways. Getting outside to tackle a gardening project – led to a desire to want to be outside more! So, I took up bike riding for awhile. Long walks on the beach with my husband led to long exercise sessions in the bedroom ! Working on my overall endurance, breathing, muscle structure, etc., gave me the week to week energy boost to want to do more! More swimming, more putt putt golf, more hiking, vacations, sightseeing, cleaning projects, …just more active all around! And I started doing things in odd places, and at odd times, but knew that every little bit would add to my new desire to live a healthy lifestyle. So, I did pushups against the kitchen counter, and leg lifts and squats while on the back porch waiting for the dogs to go out and do their thing… I used resistance bands, and DVD’s, dancing in my living room, and learning yoga moves from my daughter… it all added up to knowing I am becoming physically fit. I am willing to challenge myself – even though the first few attempts often feel like I might just not make it…I have discovered I am a determined individual. And I don’t give up easily. Never had the goal of being a ‘bodybuilder’ – but I like how I look and feel as I have sought to become an active person, and maintain an active lifestyle!
NOTHING ‘tastes’ as good – as being thin and healthy “feels”!!! Nothing. Now I know that this one thing will not be agreed upon across the board. And yes, I have read all of the expert’s opinions about ‘not denying yourself’ and how that will lead to eventually giving up, etc, so you can have that ‘thing’ you’ve been denying yourself. Well, if to me…NOTHING tastes as good…than it’s just simply a decision. Do I want to eat “this” …fill in the blank… and knowing what I know about that food item, risk reinstating cravings, weight gain, and physical insulin reactions that will harm me ??? or do I want to “forego” that item…and maintain my healthy lifestyle? From soup to nuts, there just isn’t a food out there that means enough to me – has a large enough temptation factor – for me to EVER go back!!! Will I occasionally indulge in the random thing that might not be part of my ongoing day to day eating plan…sure! But never at the expense of changing my commitments to this lifestyle. My body is thriving where it is now – and way back when I used to not limit WHAT or HOW much I ate – it was not thriving.
I Am Not Alone. At no point during my time here have I ever felt like I was in this alone. From people posting on my journals – to friendships made and developed in groups – I have had the blessing of having others to turn to…to lean on…to learn from. Thank you for giving of your time, and yourselves, and your lives…thank you for generously speaking into other peoples lives and making an impact! Thank you for caring and being the special community of people that you are! Encouraging words go a long way to making you feel like you can move mountains! And when you have a lot of weight to lose, you feel like the mountain is sitting on top of you !!! Good thing a few friends come along and whisper…’you can do this’…’keep it up’…’you’re doing great’…’don’t stop now’… Thank you !!! Thank you !!! Thank you !!!
-Love Ya, Paula
Live, Love, Laugh ...make each day memorable and enjoy the journey.
The bar noted below, does not tell the entire story!