Thursday, October 14, 2010

What I've Learned

Two years ago today I posted my weight of 277 pounds on this blog. I don't know if anyone would see it, but that wasn't really the point. What mattered was that I had made the first step toward taking responsibility for the mess I had made of my health by stuffing down my emotions with huge amounts of sugary treats, comfort and fast food, toward breaking out of the fat prison I had created for myself.

I made many changes that first year, breaking habits that had become a crutch and step by step created a whole new way of life and a revealed a me that I had been hoping to be for so many years. This is what I wrote at the end of that first year...
What a difference a year makes. I feel amazing and have a whole new outlook on life. I lost 87 pounds by not being on a diet. By not having to give up my favorite treats and my beloved Chardonnay. By not having to workout 3 hours a day. After a lifetime of struggling with emotional overeating and yo-yo dieting, this is the longest I've ever sustained a healthy, balanced lifestyle. But why is this time different? Because I've changed my thinking, eradicated the diet mentality. No more "good food behavior" vs. "bad food behavior." I learned what my body needed and I provided it: Nutritious and delicious foods in sensible portions, treats and wine in moderation, enough rest and a balanced fitness plan.
Well, another years has passed and though I've gone on to lose a few more pounds, I have managed to maintain my original 87 pound weight loss for a full year. This is astonishing after battling myself over food since I was 13 years old. This year, I'm not marking the anniversary with a before and after photo or even a weigh-in. Instead I'd like to share some things that I've learned in the past year of cooking, eating, exercising and living my (healthy) life to the fullest...
  • That my stomach is not a clown car. Seriously, how much food do we really need to eat in one sitting, anyway? The human stomach, though stretchy, is only meant to hold 1 liter of food/beverage volume at a time. Eating appropriate portion sizes is not punishment. It will energize your body, rather than slow it down and your digestion will thank you for it.
  • That it takes much less effort to smile and just get it done then bitching and moaning and putting it off.
  • That I am worthy of treating my body with love and respect, and as much as I enjoy my indulgences, no foodstuff or material possession is worth more than the rewards I have reaped in creating this happy, healthy life for myself. Believe that you are worthy and you will create the life you want to live and the body you want to live it in!
  • That the number on the scale is a gauge of progress but not of success.
  • Eating slowly and savoring every bite, though a hard habit adapt, is worth practicing at every meal.
  • That what I put in my mouth has a direct effect on my health. Just like putting bleach in your car's oil tank will destroy the engine, filling your body with processed crap will take its toll. Sooner or later it will catch up with you.
  • That shopping is so much more fun when you feel comfortable in your own skin. Donna and I were shopping yesterday and in the midst of a rollicking good time pillaging Ross, Donna said, "I remember when you'd call me and say 'I need new pants, come to Lane Bryant with me' and it would be like going to a doctor's appointment, no joy at all." True that, but not anymore. Not ever again!
  • That you can succeed the moment you decide you want a goal instead of an excuse. Refuse to make yourself a victim. Victims don't have to take action. Take action! Make a goal and go for it. You will find that most times you will not only succeed but exceed.
  • That exercise, like portion control, is not punishment. It is the single best gift we can give our bodies each day. A good workout will lower your resting heart rate, lower your weight and lower your cholesterol all the while, it will lift your confidence, lift your mood and lift your butt. What is better than that?
  • That happiness is a choice.
  • That I don't need a can of cream of mushroom soup, gobs of butter and cream and bags of white flour and sugar to make food that is absolutely delicious and deeply satisfying.
  • That my body has a true voice and it's not the inner rebel child who wants to be pacified with treats all the time. Tune in to your true voice and it will tell you when it needs nourishment, when it has had enough to eat, when it needs rest, when it needs fun, when it needs quiet, when it needs to go outside to run and play, when it needs a hug and when it needs chocolate.
I want to thank my husband, Rob, for another year of love and support. His health has benefited from the changes and that is icing on the cupcake. I also want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend time with me here. I look forward to spending another year sharing Monday motivation, Try Something New, workout goals, product reviews, travel photos, food porn, recipes and more things that I've learned about making life nutritious and delicious.

5 comments:

  1. What an awesome post! It's so very interesting to read what you have learned. I have to admit I'm still in the process of learning some of those things, but I am so glad that I, too finally took those "first steps" and am firmly on the journey!

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  2. Awesome post and congratulations on all the hard work and perseverance!

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  3. What a wonderful post! You've articulated some very important lessons.

    I really liked: "That the number on the scale is a gauge of progress but not of success."

    Your posts are always insightful.

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  4. I'm starting to learn some of those same lessons. Thanks for showing me how it's done and congrats on all your progress. You inspire me. Rock on!

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  5. I'm glad to have found your blog. Excellent words of wisdom in a sea of diet insanity!

    I'll be reading you regularly now.

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