Last month, I made a decision to lose 94 pounds by my next birthday. No special diets, no gimmicks, just healthy weight loss bringing me to a healthy weight goal. Honestly, I thought it would be a hard decision to make, but it’s like my body has been waiting for me to do this. I’m a month in and I’ve already lost 7 pounds.
That doesn’t mean that it is easy—it is hard work, but most of the time, it’s invigorating, it’s challenging (in a good way), and it’s so so worth it.
How I made the goal:
On January 30, I ran out of soda. As I dumped out the last dregs of flat Dr. Pepper, I thought about when I could go to the store to get more. I’d have to go soon, but I’d need to shower and get dressed…that’s when I realized that I was planning an entire trip to the store just so I could get soda. There wasn’t anything else I needed, no other errands to run—I was living my life around how much soda was in the house.
Later that day, I became entrenched this blog; the woman who writes it was about my size when she started and lost 125 pounds! I sat down and did some math and realized that I could get down to a healthy weight in less than a year by portion control, no soda, and exercising. After laying down a concrete plan and seeing the example of people who have done this before, I haven’t looked back.
I took some before pictures for comparison in the future. I didn’t feel the need to pick the most unflattering picture of myself I could find. In fact, I took these pictures when I felt rather pretty. I’m not losing weight because I hate the way I look now; I’m losing it because I love myself enough to want to be healthy.
How I do it:
By sticking to my plan. I haven’t had soda since that day, I’ve been tracking everything I eat, and I’ve been getting outside and walking every day. I’ve been keeping it as simple as possible. Like everything else in my life, I didn’t want some complicated program that I would never keep up with. What I needed was something that fit my simple lifestyle.
Thankfully, the whole idea of eating healthily and exercising falls right in line with simplicity. Simple, whole foods and water are what is best for the body, and exercising, even as little as a short walk or jogging in place, are very beneficial. I saw the story of a woman recently who lost over 300 pounds; she couldn’t move from her chair, let alone exercise, and she started simply by moving her arms and legs in a small pedaling machine. She just had to start somewhere.
I started by: drinking a lot of water. buying healthy foods and cooking at home as much as possible. writing down everything I ate (counting calories when I could) in a small journal. getting on the wii fit every day. walking nearly every day for as long as I was able.
Eventually, my goals will increase: I’d like to start running at some point. But for now, it is mostly about perseverance and forming good habits.
What I do when it’s hard:
And it is hard. The first step toward not giving up is avoiding pushing myself to the breaking point. I wanted this to be a slow, deliberate change; there are no quick fixes for lifelong problems, so if I’m making goals that are out of my reach, I take a step back and see if there is something more doable that still challenges me.
I also don’t deprive myself. I limit what I eat, but if I’m craving chocolate, I eat some chocolate and I don’t feel guilty about it. The point is not to overeat. Eating junk food now and again won’t have much effect in the long run, but bingeing will.
I don’t give up, even for a little while. The blog I mentioned earlier has a great post about the difference between motivation and determination (found here). Even when I don’t feel particularly motivated, my determination is what keeps me going. I have made a firm decision, and I’m going to do what it takes to get there.
How do you stick to your goals?