As you know by now, I’ve been on this weight loss “journey” (I hate that term, but it is what it is) for a while now, and along the way, I’ve learned that, when you are trying to lose weight, there are some other things you need to lose as well – some of which are actually harder to lose then a pound or two or twelve. Among the things I’ve had to lose to lose weight:
Some Of Your Vanity. Confession: one of the reasons I used to hate the gym was that I worried about how I looked there. Were other people thinking, “Oh look at that fat girl lifting weights?” or “That lazy ass shouldn’t be getting off that elliptical quite yet.” While I wish I could tell you that I’ve simply stopped caring what people thought and just do my thing workout wise, we all know that’s bullshit. We all care what people think. But I have managed to let go of some of my vanity.
I don’t really care anymore that my workout leggings make my legs look like sausages, because at least now they look more like breakfast sausages than those big ones you get at the ballpark. And maybe some of the gym rats at L.A. Fitness are judging me, but given that I can leg press more than some of them, who fucking cares? Sure, I still pluck down at the back of yoga class so there’s no one staring at my ass during downward dog, but at least I’m going, right? While losing weight may seem like the ultimate vain move (what’s more vain than wanting to look better?) you may need to lose some of your vanity to get there.
Celebrating (Or Not) With Food. Pass a test? Order a pizza! It’s your birthday? Eat a piece of entire cake! Get into grad school? Knock back an entire bottle of wine! We’ve all been so conditioned to celebrate our successes or special occasions with food and drink that it can be difficult to break the habit. How many of us have said, “calories don’t count when FILL IN THE BLANK”?
So this one takes a mind-reset. Bottom line: calories always count, if you’re going to stick to a certain intake-a-day, celebrating with food isn’t always an option. Sure, go ahead and have that piece of pizza or a cupcake if you have room left in your daily metrics. I’m not a big believer in complete restriction of anything, but instead of going to food to celebrate, do something else for yourself like buying a me-present (if your credit card can take the hit) or taking an unexpected day off to do nothing (or a “mental health day” if you’re out of vacay).
The same applies here for the opposite of celebrations – lord knows, the first thing I want to do when something bad happens, or even if I just have a crappy day, is to stuff myself with carbs and cheese. And while there is comfort in food, someone trying to lose weight needs to try and find that comfort somewhere else. There are people who find comfort in a workout (I’ll never be one of those people), in a walk with the dog, a snuggle with a nephew, or even just a simple nap. So have a good cry, eat a single cookie, and then go do something else. The cause of your sadness – that job, that guy, that slight – isn’t worth the pound you’ll gain from that half-gallon of rocky road.
Some Friends. Leaving the hardest for last. Here’s the unhappy truth: you may have to lose some friends if you want to lose weight. The fact of it is, we all have a friend or two who either sub-consciously or purposely sabotages our weight-loss. Why? There’s a variety of possible reasons which range from innocuous (they just miss their drinking buddy) to nefarious (having a fat friend makes them feel better about themselves), but whatever the reason, if they can’t support your efforts, they have to go. In order for this process to be successful, you need to surround yourself with a supportive circle, and there’s no room for saboteurs.
Self-Doubt. Most of us who have tried to lost weight have said to ourselves, “This is too hard, I can’t do it.” Which is half true, because this is seriously fucking hard. It’s hard to give up all of the things I’ve discussed above. It’s hard to turn down that second funfetti cupcake. It’s hard to get up in the early morning and go to the gym when it’s cold outside, but warm in your bed. It’s hard to keep going when you think you’ve had a good week and then the scale doesn’t move – or moves in the wrong direction. It’s going to be ridiculously hard, and it’s probably going to take longer than you think (see the below results for proof of that.) But here’s the thing (and I apologize for the cheesiness here), you can do it. And for the moments when the self-doubt creeps back in, my advice is to have a go-to pep talk, whether it’s a poem or a TED-Talk. My personal one comes from Shel Silverstein:
Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT’S
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be
And hopefully that anything will be a thinner version of me – and you. .
Starting weight to Lose: 30 pounds
Week 1 Results: – 1.1 pounds
Week 2 Results: – 2.1 pounds
Week 3 Results: +0.4 pounds
Week 4 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 5 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 6 Results: – 0.1 pounds
Week 7 Results: -0.9 pounds
Week 8 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 9 Results: -0.5 pounds
Week 10 Results: -0.6 pounds
Week 11 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 12 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 13 Results: -0.1 pounds
Week 14 Results: No weigh in
Week 15 Results: – 2.3 pounds
Week 16 Results: +0.6 pounds
Remaining weight to lose: 22.7 pounds
If you want to follow along with me, friend me on MyFitnessPal or FitBit!