HOW TO LOSE 75 LBS AND KEEP IT OFF
Everyone wants to know how to lose weight and keep it off. I spent years of my life, basically my entire childhood, trying to figure out what the secret was. "How do these people lose all that weight?! Why am I not getting anywhere?!"
I tried them all: Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, South Beach Diet, SmartOnes, Medifast, Dr. Phil, Oprah, no carb, low carb, no sugar, vinegar pills, diet supplements, THE WORKS! I spent my childhood in an endless cycle of binge eating. Spending hundreds of dollars on diet programs, and then feeling like crap and binge eating my feelings away again. That went on until I was 20!
I always felt like I hated my body. I wanted nothing to do with it. On my really dark days I wished I could just cut out all the fat. I squeezed and pinched at my skin, hoping that I could make the jiggle disappear. I never felt comfortable in my own skin. I wore lose jeans and baggy t-shirts to hide my curves and lumps. I couldn't stand to see myself naked- no way did I let anyone else see me naked. Even my best friends and close family members judged me on my appearance. There was no escaping.
So one day I figured out the secret. It occurred to me for the first time, as if I'd had an epiphany and the thought had never came across my mind. One day I was journaling and I figured it out. I knew what I had to do. And I did just that.
People want to know how to lose weight. We pay whatever it takes to lose our fat. We all have an ideal image of ourselves that we want to reach, and we fight against our own flesh and blood to achieve it. Women sit around and chat about the best diet food, the best low carb recipes, and the latest concoctions of liquids that should never be consumed to use as weight loss tools. But that's not it.
There is no secret. There are no tools. The diets don't work. You've been lied to...surprise! If you want to know the secret to weight loss you won't find it on TV. You can't purchase it in a magazine, or pin it to your Pinterest board. It can't be bought. You won't find it if you're searching for physical advantages. To achieve true weight loss you must look on the inside. Cliche?
YOU! You are the best diet tool there is out there! YOUR HEART, YOUR SOUL, YOUR MIND.
I was sat writing, and it dawned on me that the only way I was ever going to lose weight was if I stopped fighting myself. I knew all the flaws on my body. I could list them out for you, but I didn't see the good. I didn't recognize what true beauty I had. I weighed 275 pounds, and at that point I looked at myself and thought, "it's gonna be hard work to lose all this, but it's just as hard, if not harder, to stay this fat. So which do you want to be? Uncomfortable and fat or uncomfortable and skinny?". And then I slowly started to change.
I knew I wouldn't be able to lose any weight if I kept sugar in my diet. My one weakness is sweets; it's addictive and I'm definitely an addict. So- no sugar. I didn't set up a diet. I didn't count my calories. I slowly but surely gained control of my thought process. First, I began to accept that I was obese. Which wasn't hard to do, I never really did deny it. Then, I took responsibility for my weight. It wasn't my parents fault. I can't blame bullying, verbal abuse, emotional neglect, or physical isolation for my weight. I had a crappy childhood, and I ate my feelings. But at age 20 can you really still pull the victim card because people treated you badly when you were 9?
I began to pay attention to my body. Instead of shaming myself I began to recognize my success. I drank water. I listened to my stomach when it said I was full instead of listening to my eyes and eating until the plate was empty. Then, as I began to lose a few pounds I noticed my body changing. I saw my success as my waistband loosened. I could feel the difference on my knees.
There is no magical process. The weight didn't fall off. I didn't drop pants sizes in a week. And LITERALLY NO ONE noticed. This isn't something you can do for other people. No one cares. No one cares about you as much as you do. You are your own priority. You can't expect people to love you if YOU can't love you.
This is as much of an internal battle as it is an external one. I put a little tally in the corner of my planner every day that I successfully made it without eating any sugar. When I felt like cheating I just told myself, "you can't start back at day one. You're on day five, and that may not be many but it's more than you had yesterday!
I went a little over 100 days without sugar. I ate pizza, burgers, carbs..the works. But I listened to my stomach tell me I was full. I TASTED the food, and if it didn't taste amazing I stopped eating. I mentally recorded all the times that I realized I was eating out of habit, or out of boredom. My brain wanted to tell me I was starving. It wanted to convince me to eat more, but I didn't listen to my brain. My heart told me to stay strong and have patience.
This process took a year. I steadied my weight at 210-205 for months. And then I decided to get to 199. I hadn't really given myself a goal to reach for all that time. I was scared I would lose faith in myself and give up. But I did reach below 200. That felt impossible to me. And it felt completely out of reach until I was in the lower 200s.
It wasn't until I had stopped losing weight that anyone began to notice. About six months in, my close friends and family members recognized the difference. And a year to A YEAR AND A HALF of being at a consistent weight was when people started to comment on my appearance regularly.
They all complimented me and asked me what I was doing. (Of course they all wanted the secret to the success I had had.) By the time people were noticing my body I had already started eating sugar again. My exercise routine was mild. I was living normally, and I had created a new lifestyle to follow that was much healthier.
Losing weight is something you do for yourself. This is a process mentally. It has every bit as much to do with your mind as it does your body. You have to begin to understand that you need to love yourself for who you are if you want to change. You can't diet your way to skinny. You can't hate your body until it's small. You must accept and love yourself for the person you are currently before anything good can be accomplished in weight loss. Be kind to yourself.
I still balance between 192-202, and I've been this size for almost two years now. I still have days when I feel like a 282lb potato, and on those days I have to tell myself that it's a mind set I grew accustom to for many years but that it's not an accurate opinion of who I am. And on some days I'll catch a glimpse of myself in a glass door or as I pass by a public mirror and I'll have to look twice to make sure my eyes didn't deceive me. The person I am-the one other people see- that's not the girl in my head. I'm beautiful, and after 22 years of fighting against myself I've begun to accept my body and continue to grow and change for the better.