A friend of mine has been feeling down lately about the daunting task of losing a substantial amount of weight, so I asked my mom to share her thought on what it takes to lose over 100 pounds. What she sent back was so inspiring and motivating that I can't help but to share it. I am so proud of my mom's hard work, perseverance, and achievement.
I think she forgets sometimes how inspiring she is. After a rough week, I was in dire need of a pep talk, too. And Mom is really, really good at pep talks.
So if you've had a bad week, if you're struggling, if you're intimidated with the idea of the long journey ahead, I hope this helps. My mom is an example of what can happen if you just keep going. I know I admire her for it, and she is just one reason I keep pushing.As you both read this, please note that I'm talking to me too. This is a never-ending journey, and I had the same kind of week you did last week. None of us are perfect in this. All we can do is to keep trying, and to never give up on ourselves!First, believe in yourself! It doesn't matter how much you have to lose, because this journey is taken one day at a time. You didn't gain it all at once, and you won't lose it in big chunks. It's going to come off one pound at a time, and that's okay. I considered weight-loss surgery at one time - I was desperate! But then I learned that those who have the surgery have to learn to eat differently - a lot differently. If I had the lap band surgery, for example, I was never going to be able to eat all the chocolate chip cookies I wanted. I still haven't found the diet plan out there that lets me live on chocolate and dessert (darn it!!), so instead of surgery, I went to Weight Watchers, because it teaches you how to eat - what are good choices and portion sizes. It's not all frozen pre-packaged food. WW works in real life situations.It is possible to lose 100+ pounds. I've done it, and you will find Weight Watchers (WW) members sitting in meetings every day who have done it. Yes, it feels overwhelming at times but try not to think of it as "I need to lose 100 pounds". All any of us need to do is to stay on program (OP) today. Just for today. Don't put a mountain in front of you, just do it for one day. Break it into 5 pound goals, not 20 or 30 pound goals. Every 5 pounds gone is a victory, it's 25 pounds of pressure off each knee, and you will start to feel a difference in your clothes once you start ticking off a couple of five-pound accomplishments. One lady in my WW meeting has lost 150 pounds, and has done it five pounds at a time. Amazing! And remember, if she can do it, so can we!! There's nothing wrong with us that we can't lose weight either.Know that you're not alone in this struggle. You're not crazy, lazy, or stupid just because you have some weight to lose. Give yourself a chance to succeed - one day at a time. I know it sounds trite, but the only thing that's stopping any of us is ourselves. That negative self-talk can be a real road block. There are times I have to talk to myself out loud to get past the negative tapes in my head. "I CAN do this! I WANT to do this! I CHOOSE to do this! Those cookies or that chocolate are no longer in charge of me!!" Get the junk out of the house. I've had to give up cookies totally. They are a big trigger food for me, so for now, they are not part of my life. Oh well. I need to lose weight more than I need a cookie, that's for sure!Take out an index care and make a list of all the reasons you want to lose weight. Make it a personal list - include those things you might not want to share. Do you want new sexy panties? Some fun pajamas? To not have your knees hurt? To feel good about yourself? To fit into the seat at the movie theater more comfortably? These are some of the things on my list. I made copies of the list and carried them everywhere. One in my purse, one by my makeup and one next to my bed. You can revise the list as much as you want but make it a good one. When you're hungry or feeling down or feeling discouraged, read that list again!!!As for the mechanics, the single most important thing you can do to stay focused, is to track everything!! It's free, it's simple, it's easy (and we will learn new points plus values!) and it works. Studies have proven that people who keep a food diary are more successful than those who don't. If it helps, you can record your moods, things that happen each day that cause bumps in your road, what the weather was - whatever. I just track food but this journal/diary/tracker can be whatever you want/need it to be to help you keep going. The other 2 things I do every day is to drink 100 oz. of water and to take a walk. I have a 32 oz plastic cup and I drink 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Easy, and I'm not counting a lot of smaller cups of water. It really has become a habit and I really want my water! And walking has become a habit too. I wear a pedometer every day - it gets put on as I get out of bed because I want every step counted, and I go for 10,000 a day. The mall opens at 6 am and when I wasn't lucky enough to have a treadmill, I was there every day. If you're not an exercise fan, you can still walk. It's easy, it's free (once you have a good pair of shoes) and you will learn to like it. It's my time. I can use my IPod or just enjoy the neighborhood or the shops. And, like water, you start to want that walk. It's great stress relief, you don't have to count reps, and it's easy.WW meetings really help me. Someone will say something, ask the question that's in my head, or the leader will offer an idea that clicks. And there's something about sitting in a room with a bunch of people who are working on the same thing(s) that I am that I find hopeful. I'm not alone in this struggle so that makes it so much easier to do! If you find a good meeting or leader, you know you can go more than once a week. I have a WW buddy who is a regular at 2 meetings because she says it helps keep her head in the game. The Message Boards on the WW website are helpful too. You can find someone to help or someone to share with at any time. It's all about staying focused on the journey of weight loss. You pick up tips, recipes, and friendships. You're not alone and do not hesitate to figure out what works for you.You will have good days and you will have bad days. An office pot luck or a family dinner can derail the best of intentions. But, that's life, that's okay, and keep going. Dust off, face forward, get out that tracker and do it. You have to accept that you need to be OP - this is my biggest struggle, but I'm working on it. I have days where I don't want anyone telling me what I can or cannot eat. I want to eat what I want, and I don't want to have to count. I lost 115 pounds and took last summer off with that not-so-good attitude but I'm back at WW again. I gained almost 25 pounds so I've proven, again, that the whole rebellion thing doesn't work. I will always be a WW, but that's okay. When you do the program, the program works.I've made some good friends through WW, and I have a great quote from Pam in Boston, that's stuck on my PC monitor: "Every day is a new day and a fresh start!"My other favorite quote is from Winston Churchill: "Never never never quit!"You're worth the effort. Do this FOR you!!
Love you, Mom!