I have become fat and I don’t need anyone to offer reassuring platitudes! And I don’t care if anyone dismisses my 2.5 stone (35 lbs) extra weight as inconsiderable, compared to theirs… I can only take care of my own business!
Of course, the weight didn’t pile on overnight; it is something that occured over a period of three years. Bite by bite, drink by drink. I made a half-hearted effort every now and then to lose a few pounds, swiftly resuming my bad habits – and watched as new globs of fat rapidly replaced the old… plus some.
Now, I really am serious about allowing the slim me to finally re-emerge from the protective layers of flab, for three specific reasons:
I don’t enjoy the way I look, naked and clothed, and I am disappointed in myself for allowing things to get this far.
I am seriously endangering my health, for absolutely no good reason.
I have developed arthritis in my right hip… and losing weight just has to take some of the pressure off.
However, if I am to succeed, I have to do all of the following:
Be honest and realistic in my expectations. I didn’t put this weight on in one fell swoop, and I won’t lose it in one fell swoop, either. It is going to take time.
Accept my current reality. I used to be able to lose weight at the drop of a hat and I found it easy to keep the weight off with just a small amount of consistent effort. Those days have gone. I am older, I am postmenopausal, and even though I attend kickboxing classes every week I am not as active as I used to be. My hip problem has restricted me and I can no longer walk for miles the way I used to. Losing weight is going to be more difficult, but it is not impossible.
Take appropriate, relevant steps, one after the other, in line with my desired outcome.
View this as a permanent change of lifestyle for my own greater good rather than just a temporary state of affairs (as in, ‘being on a diet until… ‘).
Recognise the reasons for the weight gain and the patterns I developed, without being overly critical of myself. Real change always begins as an inside job and it is important to understand what led me to abandon the old habits in favour of excessive eating and reduced self-care.
Have a strong vision of how I really want to feel… which is energised, fit, sleek, and strong! And also a sense of how it would feel to never even try to get there – a thought that makes me want to dig a hole and climb into it right now!
Engage fully in the process, treating it as absolutely important. Noting daily in my diary the number of calories I have consumed and the number of steps I have taken. That way I can take it one day at a time, whilst watching the days turn into weeks, and the weeks into months – oh, the power of cumulative effect!
Give myself a little leeway… after all, I am human! There will be occasions on which I am less disciplined, either intentionally or spontaneously, and a fatalistic attitude will be completely counterproductive.
Step by step…
It doesn’t matter what it is we are setting out to achieve – there will be components involved and it has to be a step by step process… with preparation empowering and aligning us. I have thrown myself in at the deep end too many times, impatient and unprepared, and I have definitely witnessed others doing exactly the same thing. It never gets us anywhere worth going, never leads to a satisfying, successful conclusion. The all-or-nothing approach is usually a waste of time and energy, revealing an underlying lack of conviction and commitment. It took me years to recognise that if a thing is worth doing I have to be in it for the long haul, and that cutting corners is just another way of letting myself down and increasing my chances of failure!
Don’t start the new year with a burst of enthusiasm that lasts for about a week or a month: choose what is really important to you, define exactly why it is, and get to know it from the inside out. If necessary, do relevant research and then come up with a realistic plan. Where my weight-loss is concerned I am keeping it real for me; I know what I like to eat, and I have made it this far in life, so I feel no need to suddenly follow some highfalutin diet that will complicate things and end up feeling just too much like hard work. I will continue with kickboxing (they do make adjustments to allow for my currently dodgy hip), and even though I can no longer tramp hill and dale, I have started walking around the house, backward and forward, to and fro; it helps towards my 10,000 steps per day, and I can rest when I need to. I have also tried a number of different supplements recommended by others, settling on those that seem to be genuinely helping me. I feel miserable when I am limping my way through life, and I feel sad when I see my bulky self on photos; losing weight just has to lead to a win-win situation and I no longer have the desire for a quick fix that will only end up being a waste of time and energy! Oh, and I am adopting the same approach to the production of my new book. I have been resisting working on it because I believed that I should have finished it already, feeling horribly overwhelmed by all of the work that is still required. But, no longer. I recently finished reading a novel that must have taken a huge amount of effort and discipline to produce, and I felt ashamed of my own wimpy, half-hearted attitude. I couldn’t have been so engrossed in a book that I eagerly read it from cover to cover within 24 hours if the author hadn’t obviously applied herself so thoroughly. I have no idea how long it took her from first draft to finished product, but you can bet it wasn’t whipped up in the blink of an eye! If I have something of worth to offer the world it deserves as much of my imagination, time, energy, and effort as it requires and demands. All in all, there can be no corner-cutting this year for anyone who genuinely intends to succeed at their most important goals!