I've been thinking lately about the people who cut all the junk out of their diets completely, stick with it, exercise regularly, and drop all their weight in record time. I've seen these people around the blogosphere and on message boards, in magazines and on TV. They're the "success stories" we read about and envy so much. And I want to BE them. So I ponder.
How is it that some people seem to be able to do this while others flounder and struggle constantly just to lose a few pounds? I mean, I dropped weight pretty quickly and consistently there for awhile. But I didn't keep losing. I have been doing the lose/gain/lose dance for 6 months. WHY?
I see those other people who say they just cut out ALL sugar and ALL junk because they were determined to get the weight off. They seem really strict to me. But I admire them so much. I have nothing bad to say about them, because for the most part they are succeeding in meeting their goals. And I know it's because of their level of discipline, which is so much tighter than mine is at the moment. Sometimes I feel like I should be able to do that: just get up one day and make promises to myself that I will NOT eat x, y and z and I will exercise every day and I will just be disciplined and do everything in my power to lose weight NOW. Because we all know, if you stick with your program the pounds do come off... at least that's what I have found.
But like so many other people, I seem to fall into the trap of, "oh that looks so good... I haven't had that food in so long... I will just have one serving and then TOMORROW I will have a perfect day." And I do this every day, so that the net result is no weight loss. Sure, I'm not gaining, but that's not my goal here. This is "Escape from Obesity," not "Stagnate in Obesity." I know I'm not alone. This behavior isn't all that different from how I behaved when I was 278 pounds and "wanted" to lose weight... but wouldn't make myself stick to anything long enough to see results. This isn't so different from all the other fat people out there who "want" to lose weight but don't. It's about choices. Caramel popcorn, or a pound gone on the scale tomorrow? Give in enough times, and you stay fat.
Apparently "wanting" to lose weight just isn't enough. It takes action. I've let a lot of things sidetrack me: sickness, stress, worry, other people offering me food. Why can't I be like those other people who just stay on plan 100% and drop 100 pounds in a few months? I dunno. I wish I knew.
Sometimes I get down on myself for the state of my weight loss lately. But it's funny, when I was dropping weight consistently I got a lot of comments from fat folks saying, "I wish I could be like you. I wish I could stick to it and lose weight. It's just not that easy for some of us."
Guess what? It's not easy for me, either. It never was. It takes a lot of focus and determination and hard work to see results like that. And I didn't lose all that weight because I am some kind of superperson or weight loss goddess or dieting guru. I am just like everyone else, and we all have the ability to lose weight (on our own schedules at our own rates) or stay fat. In fact, I've chosen to stagnate for awhile... somewhat subconsciously, for my own reasons. I'd rather lose it slowly enough to get my head around it and KEEP IT OFF than drop it so fast that I don't recognise myself in the mirror and go nuts eating bon bons to get my familiar self back. Don't get my wrong; I'd lose weight NOW, I'd be thin NOW if I could. I don't LIKE not losing. But I accept it while not endorsing it. Does that make sense? I mean, I am okay with myself as far as my struggles go, but I am not accepting this weight. I am not going to stop, give up, make excuses, stay fat. I'm not.
I think it's a matter of finding our groove. A groove is kind of like a rut. We've all been stuck in a rut at times... you get in the same habits and struggle to "pull yourself out of the rut" to do something different and improve your situation. But a *groove* is different... it's something positive. A positive rut. If you can get in a groove/rut where you habitually eat healthy, exercise and lose weight, the result is a lighter body. That's my goal. Instead of skipping around like a scratched record, I gotta get into a groove and STAY THERE. And that takes discipline.
Every time you refuse to let your needle skip out of the groove (by saying no to a cupcake, or forcing yourself to exercise), you make the groove a little deeper... a little more stable. After awhile, you just don't skip out of your groove anymore.
You know, we can all do this. We might not be perfect but I believe we are capable. I honestly believe that for most of us... the ones who don't have our groove yet... it's all a matter of not giving up. As long as we keep working towards our goals we will get there. I'm running at about 80% lately. My goal for the coming week is to run at 99%. I won't ever be perfect but I can give this my best effort, regardless of what life throws at me. So can you. We will get there. Just don't give up.
Thursday Update: July 23, 2014
2 hours ago