Staying motivated is always a problem when "dieting". It doesn't get easier, just because I call it a "lifestyle change". In the beginning I was a fanatic about food, especially the fat calories. It has been almost a year now, since I started relearning how to eat better and exercise regularly. I honestly never thought I would still be working my program this long! Now I am gradually moving into maintenance mode. I still have 20 pounds to go before I reach my first goal of losing 100 pounds. I hope I can reach the 170's someday.
The closer I move towards that first 100 pound loss, the more I am trying to "live like the thin person I want to be." I had my first taste of this life, this past weekend. We went to a renaissance and fantasy festival out of town, where my husband, son, and I performed as minstrels. I took a bag of apples along and some sandwiches that I had made. We supplemented this with foods from the performers' kitchen and fast foods. We also had wine one night, after the show closed down. It was a two day show where we did a lot of walking around the fairgrounds where this was held. We also performed on stage twice a day. We had a great time!
It was scary to not be using my old crutches, faithfully. I did not count calories but did keep mindful of what I was putting in my mouth and how much of it I was having. I had funnel cake! Yes I did! But where I would have eaten the whole thing in the past, I had little bits of it as my young son scarfed it down. I think I might have eaten a sixth of the whole thing. In the past, that would amount to ONE whole bite! I nibbled little bits and was more than satisfied because not only had I enjoyed the sweet treat, I had enjoyed it sensibly. NO GUILT!
After our last performance on the second day, we collapsed into the car for the long ride home. We had slept in a motel for two nights and been outdoors for the festival for two days and we were spent! We got supper on the way out of town, at a fast food place. Mind you, I have not had a fast food hamburger for at least a year now. I was ready to indulge and enjoy one! I actually had given myself mental
permission to do this on this trip.
We stood in the short ordering line at the restaurant and I kept looking at the menu over the counter. That hamburger didn't look all that great. I recalled that I read somewhere that the chili was better for you than the fries. I ended up and got the grilled chicken sandwich with veggies and no sauces or cheese, the chili, and a diet soda. Not only did it taste better than the burger would have, I again, had NO GUILT! I think not having guilt makes the food taste better.
Here is a before and after photo of me in the costume I wear for performances. They were taken about four years apart. It is the same dress in both photos, but in the one on the right, I had taken the dress in, over eight inches!!!
I am going to have to totally remake my costumes if we do many more of these shows next year. You can only alter them just so much before they start fitting really weird.
I remember in the beginning of my lifestyle changes I stayed motivated because I had a lot of support and no excuse to not keep on trying. I had access to a gym and exercise classes and swimming pools that I could afford to utilize. I also had over 45 years of 'training' in how to lose weight! I had the full support of my family to keep me on track too.
The middle part of my saga was filled with challenges of my child being home from school for summer vacation, and the hot summer weather, making exercise time a challenge. If I slipped on my eating or exercise, I would not let it become an excuse to quit though. When I wavered I would look at how far I had come and how long I had been working on this. Why would I want to throw all that away? Why would I want to have my knee hurt again, so badly that I needed a cane to walk? Why would I want to find ugly fat clothes to wear again? Why would I want to risk dying too early due to obesity? How could I give up the new-to-me clothes that I had been buying as I shrunk? How could I want to crawl back into my hole and hide from the world? Slowly but surely my mindset is changing. The rewards of keeping on with my changes mean more to me than eating a candy bar, or a cheeseburger, or a bag of donut holes. (You know donut holes don't have any calories, right?)
If I feel myself wavering I make it a point to address that feeling. I might listen to something motivational. I might go to the support group meeting and address my feelings, if need be. Often I find that helping others to be motivated, helps me to keep motivated. It is important to not let any slip become an excuse to quit. It took me 56 years to become the way I was last year. I am only one year into the new me. I need to remember this. And if I do slip, I don't wait until tomorrow to get back on the right path, I get back on the minute after the slip happens. This is my new way of living
Don't wait until tomorrow to begin changing your life. Do something, anything, to change right now, today. Even if it is eating one less bite or walking out the door and around your house and back inside, that is one more thing you are doing right now, that you were not doing before.
Baby steps lead to toddler-hood. Toddler-hood leads to child. Child leads to teenager. Teenager leads to young adult. Young adult leads to adult. Adult leads to mature adult. I am not sure, but I think I am somewhere between child and young adult. I am still impulsive, but I am starting to 'grow up' a bit.
I hope you are growing up (not out)
and learning how to live the best life you can. We really have only one chance at life that we know of, for sure. Why would we want to squander that?