This past week was a social one, and I am reminded of certain comments I received.
At the Chocolatefest on February 20: “Kristie, you are the most disciplined person I know,” said a cute friend from church.
The next night out to dinner with friends: “You are just doing so well!”
Yesterday when I took a dress to my tailor, “I am so proud of you. You keep the weight off!”
Believe me, I appreciate these kind comments. I really do. Regarding being disciplined, yes, I am most certainly more disciplined than I used to be. Maybe I am the most disciplined person she knows, and that is GREAT. Am I the most disciplined person I know? I wish I was, but probably not.
There are 2 phases to success weight loss. Phase 1, losing the weight. Phase 2, keeping it off.
I’m terrific at Phase 1. I’ve done it 4 times now. When I was 18 and a freshman at BYU, again in my late 20s, then my 30s, and now.
Phase 2–keeping it off–is the challenge. I know it is a challenge for many other people too. The idea of “dieting” for the rest of your life seems SO unappealing, which is why one of the things I had to do this time was convince myself that this was a lifestyle change, not a diet. “Diet,” by definition, is a temporary thing. I refuse to make this temporary.
THE DAILY TIGHTROPE
I’m a visual person and, to me, keeping the weight off and being successful at Maintenance is like a daily tightrope walk. This is what all of these nice people who offer their verbal pats on the back do not see.
It is about making choices…DAILY…about what I want to eat and what I know I should eat. (Most of us know what we should eat, right?)
It is about finding my motivation…DAILY…and telling myself WHY I’m doing this.
If you are doing this for anyone else but yourself, you will probably fail.
Losing weight and keeping it off is one of those rare endeavors where it is OK for you to be #1. Doing it for your husband, your mother, your kids, to compete with friends, to be someone else’s “weight loss buddy,” those are not good enough reasons. Why? Because you’re trying to find your motivation externally instead of internally.
It has to come from YOU.
It has to be at the right time for YOU.
The person who wants it the most has to be YOU.
THE PANCAKE SKIT STARRING LITTLE CHUB AND LITTLE THIN
This morning I woke up at my normal time, wrestled with the Snooze button for the normal amount of time, and then wrestled with my conscience.
I was craving pancakes. I’m still (at 1:40pm)…craving pancakes.
Hubby is at work. The day is mine to freely schedule in any way. Picture, instead of a little angel and devil on each shoulder, a little chubby person and a little thin person.
Little Chub: It’s early, you can get your pancakes and then go for a 5 mile walk. What’s the harm?
Little Thin: You indulged a lot last weekend. But yesterday you did so great! I’ll bet if you step on the scale this morning you will like what you see…
Little Chub: Just get your pancakes. If you don’t do it today, you’ll keep thinking about them and wake up wanting them tomorrow. Give in and get it over with.
Little Thin: You know you’re going to feel guilty if you give in. That’s over 1000 calories for, maybe, 20 minutes of pleasure. Is it worth it?
Little Chub: Yeah…
Little Thin: Um, no. Get your sorry patootie out of bed and over to the gym. Now.
Little Chub: *sigh* (Knows he’s beat.)
I went to the gym, did stair climbing, weights, elliptical, and treadmill. I felt good knowing I made the right decision and my thoughts were clear as I read a college textbook that I’m currently rereading for “fun.”
We all have them. Mine are usually for pancakes or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream.
I’m not sure what it is, but I usually feel less guilt about the ice cream. And yes, I can eat the whole pint in one sitting, usually under half an hour. It’s a gift.
Part of the Maintenance tightrope for me is discovering what my body will allow. Just like there isn’t a great variety to my healthy eating, there isn’t really a great variety to my cravings. That has actually turned out to be a very good thing, because I know what my recovery time is on those days when “Little Chub” does win.
So what do I do to make sure that “Little Thin” wins more often than “Little Chub?” I think about my motivation. What I like. What I don’t like.
I like being a size 6!
I like being successful at this weight loss thing.
I like feeling good about making the right choices for ME.
I like the clothing choices that have opened up to me now that I’m thin.
I like myself.
I don’t like failing.
I don’t want to think about buying double-digit sizes again.
I don’t like letting people down who have been rooting for me. (Not the greatest reason, but it’s one of them and I’ll own it.)
Most of all, I don’t want to let myself down.
If people only knew HOW OFTEN I self-talk. Pep talks, tough love talks, motivational speeches..A LOT goes on in this brain of mine.
I am my own counselor. I am my own advocate. I am my biggest supporter.
And yes, sometimes we can let ourselves become our own worst enemy, which is why self HONESTY has to play a great role too.
And so does self LOVE. Love and validation from others is wonderful, but it has to come from yourself first.
It took me into my 40s to really “get” this.
Sometimes the most important conversations you can have are the ones you have with yourself.
SO…WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TELL YOURSELF TODAY?