Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Rewards of Perseverance

Yesterday was kind of rough for me. I wanted to share it with you because I think it's a good example of how "real life" can get in the way of our weight loss... or not. I remember many times over the last decade, things would happen that threw my plans off kilter, and I would throw up my hands in despair and just eat whatever and give up. "Oh well, I'll start again tomorrow," I would think. But starting tomorrow got me all the way to morbid obesity. Procrastination is a serial killer of success.

So yesterday I had somewhere to be at 9AM, and I ran out the door forgetting to eat any breakfast. Then I ended up doing some shopping at the local Super Giganto Wal-Mart... the one with a bakery in it, and a deli that makes fried chicken and stuff. Yeah, in the past, if I forgot breakfast I would snag a box of donuts or cookies from the bakery and EAT THE WHOLE THING. And then of course, stop on the way home to throw away the box so no one would know. Ugh! And in my head I was thinking, "I need coffee, I am dying for an iced coffee" and I was developing a headache. I grabbed a pack of string cheese and a box of All Bran crackers and got out the door. I tore into them in the car to try and run off the cravings and growling stomach. I had one string cheese, a half serving of crackers and one slice of deli pork loin (really, not a terrible breakfast) but I still wanted the coffee. So I headed through the McD's drive thru for a small sugar free iced vanilla coffee. It really hit the spot! Crisis averted (and no I did not order a couple of sausage egg biscuits "can you add cheese to those please?")

After a full day working in the yard, having a healthy lunch, taking son to get a nice new cast for his broken thumb, and taking the dog for surgery (he had some tumors removed) I was home. It was late and I was STARVING. Son had begged for fast food on the way home but I said no. Got home and made the kiddos some baked chicken nuggets (yeah I know... but I was busy) and I was dying for FOOD. I kept with my plan and made a bowl of broccoli with cheese for my dinner. It was pretty darn yummy.

Then the evening was spent dealing with homework, a fussy toddler who wouldn't sleep, trying to get pills down a sick dog, and helping teenagers with geometry homework. Did I mention the toddler wouldn't sleep?? Until 11PM!!!!! Yeah, hubby let her nap from 4 to 5:30 while I was gone. Great idea if you like having your kid bouncing off the walls until midnight. And so, my day ended with me within my calories but quite frustrated because I never got to ride my exercise bike! Even on my busy days, I usually squeeze it in at night when the kids are in bed. But I draw the line at a midnight bike ride... so I missed it.

I wanted to eat junk in the evening because I was stressed out, but I just went on to bed and stayed in my calorie level. I dreamed about going on a binge. In my dream I was in a store buying a gift pack of rich gourmet coffees and brownies and cookies. I was acting like it was a gift for someone or to share with my husband but all along I knew I would go home and eat it all myself.

Thank goodness dreams don't count. I got up this morning to a new low: 229! I am just amazed! I am very close to having lost FIFTY pounds!

I have to tell you, if you think you can't do this I am quite sure you are wrong. I used to read success stories and long for it to happen to me, too. But it never did, no matter how hard I tried. If you think I just "started a diet" last August and had success, you're dead wrong. I actually started this (millionth) attempt to lose weight in December 2006! I was trying to count calories, eat healthier, and tracking my intake and my weight on I was up and down for MONTHS as I always was in my past attempts. On December 26, 2006 I weight 278 pounds. And after all that effort and work, do you know what I weighed on August 1, 2007?

278 pounds.

Here is my weight chart from 12/06 to present:

I wish the image was better quality... (if you click on it, you'll get taken to a clearer graph)...but I posted this to show you that I did not just jump in and start losing weight. LOOK at all the trial and error, the loss and re-gaining of the same lousy 5 or 10 pounds over and over. And this chart doesn't show the last 15 years of trying. And even since August I have had lots of little ups and down and plateaus. I know a lot of you relate to that. But eventually I got it right. KEEP TRYING. Do not give up. It will click for you. And until it does, "fake it 'til you make it." Just do what you gotta, no matter how you feel about it. Once you lose a good chunk of weight, the momentum will carry you forward. You can do it. Start today!


Kathy said...

What an inspiring post! And you know what impressed me the most? The fact that you kept charting the gains as well as the losses. Most people only want to recognize the "good" efforts and ignore when things go south. That continued effort is probably why you have reached the point you have. I'm on my third year of doing this myself and I certainly know what it means to keep on really is worth it.

Heather said...

I definitely tihnk that "real life" gets in the way of weight loss sometimes. when you have so much going on, its hard to put yourself or your food needs first. I think you did great though and Im so glad that you had a loss. you are doing so great!

moni said...

i am one of those people who read the success stories on-line, get inspired by the before/after pics and long for that to click in my head so i can be a success story too and i tell myself tomorrow i'll start and then i do and somehow i veer off track! it's very frustrating. thank you for sharing your weight loss journey.I can't wait to see your 50lb weight loss pics..keep up the great work!

Sarah said...

Real life doesn't get in the way. It is the way. :c)

Congrats on your continued success-- this is what it is all about.

SweetEnnui said...

That graph totally kicks butt! I love it.

Lynne said...

Thanks for sharing and putting it all into perspective. Reading those success stories in Fitness, Shape or WW magazines is inspiring,but there is no way they can capture the years of struggle the months of up and downs in the 2 paragraphs of "How I Did It". It fools you into thinking it's easy and it ain't.

Ceres said...

This is such a great post, and it came right at the moment when I needed it, being stuck at the same weight for 10 days or so, despite the healthy eating, the calorie-counting, and the intense exercise! Thanks for sharing, congrats on the new loss, and keep up the great work (and the great posts ;-))!

Sunny said...

"How did you do it?" - - Hmm...ate better and moved more....Sounds deceptively easy. Gosh is that all there is to it? Thanks for putting it into perspective...even yo-yo dieters can eventually get on the right track if they refuse to give up.

Teale said...

Thanks for posting that graph... It's really good to see that I'm not the only one that has struggled with ups & downs, and having a visual makes me feel less alone in it! Persevere, persevere, persevere!

Honi said...

STANDING UP AND APPLAUDING YOUR WONDERFUL SUCCESS.. I START WW ON MONDAY i AM GOING SATURDAY TO PURCHASE A FEW WW ODDS AND ENDS AT A LOCAL WW STORE FRONT i am going to sign up for WW online on Monday.. I can so relate to what you were saying the past year I have maintained anywhere between 188.2 and 185 .. I am going to reach my goal.. for now I am going to do WW hopefully this will be what I need.. I have learned that I can maintain on my own but I need guidance to lose it.. thanks you always for your honesty and determination.. you succeeding helps others see that they can do it too.. even if it is just making the choice to continue on.. YOU ROCK!!!

Ryry the Adventurous said...

FANTASTIC!!!! I completely agree that usually it takes the right attitude, and the right situation and the right time to finally acheive your weightloss. It took me many tries, and I am still working at it... but when it clicks, it clicks. And then you coast. And the road is a hard road, but you can see yourself at the end of it, and you look gooood.

Cant wait to see those 50lbs gone pictures!!!!

Lauren said...

what a great post.

MB said...

Congrats on (almost) 50 pounds gone! I know you'll get there because you have figured out you can't throw your hands in the air and say I'll start again tomorrow or Monday or whatever.

You are an inspiration to me. I can't wait to see you reach your goals.

A graph of my weight loss would look like a roller coaster with flatlines in between the highs and lows.

I'm still trying.

Dona said...

Just had to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog and watching your progress. You are really an inspiration to so many people. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Man, I wanna chart. Is there soem online site where you got your charty thing from?

thanks for dropping by the blog. I've been dealing with life and not blogging. Fortunately, not gaining and lost a bit.

I congratulate you on your WONDERFUL and inspiring progress. You're getting there.!!

The Princess

Dottie said...

This is an excellent post and great reminder that it is a bumpy road that's not perfect. I shouldn't be hard on myself. Thanks for this great post.

Lyn said...

I chart my weight on It's free and easy. I chart my measurements and daily calories there as well. Hope that helps!