Saturday, November 16, 2013

Getting Started Tips: Making the Decision

I have had several people ask me lately about what I am doing and how I lost 50 pounds, which inspired me to write a series of Tip posts and I want to kick off today with the first one: Getting Started.

When I think of getting started I think of that very first decision we make.  Many people talk about having an "ah ha" moment where they realized that they need to lose weight and that moment motivated them to change their lives.  If any of you are lucky enough to have had an "ah ha" moment then you probably have already lost weight.  More often though I find that the majority of people are like me- they know they need to lose weight, most have tried to lose through various diets but then gained all the weight back maybe because they just couldn't maintain the eating regime, or they felt starved on a diet.  So now you are back at square one and maybe even square zero, because if you are like me you end up gaining even more weight on the rebound after a diet.

There was no "ah ha" moment for me.  I knew I needed to lose weight.  I knew I was unhappy with my image, energy, fitness, and basically everything physical about me.  I needed to make a decision to change my life because diets don't work.  If you say "I am going to go on a diet to lose weight" I promise you that you will fail or end up gaining all the weight back because diets don't work.  Typically diets restrict one food group or another (carbs, fats, eat only protein, etc) and then your body begins to go into starvation mode because it is not getting the nutrients that it needs.  When you make your decision to lose weight, you have to make it with the right mind set.  You have to be ready and willing to change FOR LIFE!  You need to understand that you are going to make a lifestyle change and therefore you should not change anything that you cannot maintain for life.

This is where most people get themselves into trouble, including myself.  I used to think "okay, I am going to do this diet for a little while, and once I lose the weight I won't need to do it anymore".  That is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves when we first venture into weight loss.  We need to be thinking "My desire to lose weight, become healthier and happier, and improve my self esteem and self image is strong enough to willingly change my lifestyle."  Now I want to point out that desire is not the same thing as motivation.  Motivation comes and goes, and as many of you know, while your motivation will start out strong at the beginning, once things get hard, a lot of times your motivation disappears and you feel like giving up or quitting.  What is going to hold you through these tough times until your motivation returns?  I believe that your desire, which never dies, is the lifeline that you need to cling to during these moments.  We all want to lose weight, we all want to be successful, even when things get hard and we don't want to try, we still want the end result and if we can keep that end result in mind that can be enough to carry us through.

So what was different for me this time around?  After all I have been on Weight Watchers two other times and tried countless other diets.  Honestly, it was my mindset and my desire.  This time I was willing to make a long term commitment.  I was willing to change how and what I eat (more on that later).  My self image and self esteem had hit an all time low and I didn't believe that I could get better unless I lost weight.  I believed that if I lost weight, I would be happier with myself, I would have more energy, I would be able to do more things with my children, I would be able to keep up better with the demands placed on my by being a stay at home mom.  Lets face it, being a mom is HARD WORK!  So my desire to lose weight and more importantly to BE SUCCESSFUL was very strong, so much so that it was almost all I could think about for a long time, and I am still very focused on this.  We eat 365 days a year!  So you might as well invest the time and energy into figuring out how to do it right!

Lastly, I want to close with a word on determination.  On one of my all time favorite blogs: Katie talks about motivation vs determination.  Being completely honest, you will not stay motivated the entire time you are losing weight.  I have not stayed motivated the entire time, and there was a time in July when I almost gave up.  I sure wanted to in that moment but I am glad that I didn't.  Why didn't I give up?  Because I had determination and desire.  Determination is being committed to a decision, doing the daily tasks it takes to get there no matter how mundane they may seem, and never losing sight of the end goal.  Being determined means that you are going to achieve your goal whether or not you have the motivation to do it.
 This time around I am determined and dedicated to this goal.  I am going to reach my goal weight of 125 and enter a healthier and happier time of my life, that is why I have made the changes I have, and I am sticking to it.
You can read Katie's post on Determination VS Motivation HERE

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