I finally won my battle with the scale in 2013. I lost over sixty pounds. I’ve maintained my weight loss several years now and recently reflected on why I believe it’s actually easier to keep it off than it was to lose it.
Sure, it might be easy for me to say now that I’ve lost the weight, adopted new lifestyle habits and let go of the fear of gaining it all back. My hope in writing this article four years later, is so you can reach your goal faster, and with less suffering.
If I’d known these three things when I embarked on my journey before I hit forty I think I could have resisted unhealthy choices more easily knowing smooth sailing was right over the next wave of temptation. I could have arrived at my destination sooner, with less guilt-tripping too!
1. Exercise will become second nature like brushing your teeth
During weight loss mode so much of my energy was spent thinking about exercise. The problem was I often skipped workouts and negotiated with myself when I’d workout. The problem was, of course, tomorrow never came. I invested so much of my brain power on exercise. Lots of thinking and reading about exercise, not enough doing.
When I decided to exercise a little bit every day of the week, it changed my life. It was hard at first, but the more I did it (even if I didn’t feel like it) the easier it became. The turning point came after about a year of exercising consistently. I flipped the switch in my internal circuitry. I thought of exercise like brushing my teeth. Not negotiable.
I no longer take up valuable space in my head to contemplate if I’d exercise or when I’d exercise. I just wake and work out now. I love the feeling of a good workout and get in five to six workouts a week. As the Nike tagline says “Just Do it.” Exercise will become something you don’t have to think about. It’s like air and water, you need it to get through your day.
2. You won’t have to deprive yourself forever.
Holidays and parties were part of my biggest challenge in my path. I was that girl at the birthday party who came prepared with a protein bar or shake rather than have a slice of cake. I made and exception for my 20th anniversary trip to Italy of course! Who can turn down fresh pasta and the world’s best pizza and gelato? Not me! But for the most part I did sacrifice treats at most celebrations because I was determined to lose the weight and get off my blood pressure medication.
What I love about being at my goal weight is that I can allow myself to indulge at these special events now. I know that within a day or two I can get right back to my happy number on the scale.
The magic to weight loss lies in giving up some foods you love in the short term to reach your goal faster. You can go back to enjoying those foods you love in moderation in the long term. It’s a great new lifestyle that is it’s own reward. You’ll see!
3. You’ll blow your own mind with your newfound confidence.
Zipping up my first pair of size four jeans was definitely a shock! I began with the goal to get rid of my size eighteen jeans in the closet and back into the size ten. I completely underestimated the impact it would have on my self-esteem and confidence.
When I’m not feeling comfortable in my own skin I lose the enthusiasm to fully engage in life. Because I come from a more confident place of embracing my body more fully (imperfections and all), it’s allowed me to step up in other areas of my life and take bigger risks.
It’s easier to stretch my comfort zone now that my energy isn’t taken up by all things weight loss. I’ve tried exciting new things like running marathons, teaching group fitness classes, stand up paddle boarding and even did a Spartan obstacle race. I won’t be doing another obstacle course any time soon, but I dream about running the Boston Marathon for my 50th birthday in 2019. Hands down the best part of losing all the pounds of pain, is the new passion I have for life. Confidence is my new fuel for life. What can you see yourself doing after you lose the weight?
I’d bet money you’ll be kicking fear to the curb too! Imagine living the life you design. Whether you agree with the title of this blog or not, please know this, losing and keeping weight off takes consistent effort and it has the power to transform your body and your life! You are limitless! And don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s made a world of difference in my own journey. On and off the scale.
I’m living proof you’re never too old to lose the weight. I can’t remember how many times I failed in the past. A lot. Each day does get easier if you keep taking the next step. Whatever you do, don’t give up. If you fall down, just get up as quickly as you can. Move on. Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you reach your finish line. You can do it!