Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Starting Strong, Staying Strong

The biggest issue I have and where I struggle with my self esteem the most is my weight. Over the past couple of years since graduating from college I have been through a lot of pure crap and I have resolved to do better for myself. Back in college (Second semester freshman year right after spring break) I was able to lose around 30 pounds using the Slimfast plan but I was a chronic exerciser. These days I can't handle being a crazy manic person. Did I mention I lost all the weight in two and a half months (going from 195 to 165)? Not the healthiest thing I had ever done. I was tired, weak, and slept most of the time. Needless to say I gained all of the weight back and then some. I graduated from college at 222 pounds (my highest weight was 226). I have managed to get down to 200 and I am looking for a way to lose weight without resorting to unhealthy eating habits.

In the past I have often "planned" to lose weight. I know that a goal without a plan will set you up for failure but my "plans" meant

a) Losing X amount of weight in an absurdly small amount of time, i.e. 60 pounds in 5 months. Maybe...but not likely

b) I had an all or nothing mentality where I would either eat the "right" foods and exercise daily or deem myself a massive FAILURE.

c) Finding THINSPIRATION or celebrities whose bodies I wanted to emulate. I have found that this definitely doesn't work because bodies vary by the individual and no matter what I am not them and will never have their body. I would also want the weight to come off way too fast and feel miserable when it didn't.

d) Restricting the foods I ate to the point that I would not go anywhere because there were foods I could not easily track in my notebook. Can you say CONTROL FREAK?

Failure would inevitably follow and I would give up and eat ravenously for a week or so and feel super guilty afterwords.

What to do, what to do?!

I have learned that I need INSPIRATION not THINSPIRATION. My role models need to be those women who are on the path to health and fitness; on a path to become stronger versions of themselves. I have also learned that besides this process becoming a lifestyle change I have to cut myself a lot of slack. I can eat what I want when I want and know that I am not then doomed to be fat for the rest of my life as long as I am eating consciously and holding myself accountable for what I eat. Instead of obsessing over food I am focusing on the types of foods I am putting into my mouth; whole foods and food with color are better for you than beige processed food, etc.

Getting up to exercise is another set of problems on its own. I know that without exercise losing weight amounts to losing water and muscle tissue which I definitely don't want but I HATE EXERCISING! Sure I drag myself off the couch and do it but I dread it. Like my previous food issues I would plan out a strict schedule and if I didn't adhere to it a mental lashing would follow where I would then stop exercising until the Monday where I was sure to get it together. With those schedules also came an inordinate amount of activity all at once where I would burn out after about two weeks. I can no longer do that to myself because the whole cycle is just too vicious and draining.

I am determined to take this weight loss journey one day at a time and do it the right way: slow and steady. My goal is to lose 5 pounds a month for a total weigh loss of 60 pounds by the end of the year. Before I would have mentally freaked out thinking that 5 pounds wouldn't be enough and a year is WAY TOO LONG! But I know that realistically if I had it in my mind to lose more than 5 pounds a month, after 12 months had passed I would most likely have lost a total of 5 pounds and I would be looking back at the year wondring where the time went and why I was still talking and worrying about my weight. That is no longer an option. In order for me to become a better person I need to take control of me and learn to let go of the bad stuff...