A few weeks ago, I asked my awesome Reluctant Losers if any of them were interested in guest blogging on the Reluctant WW Foodie blog. Why not? They’re working hard, they have their own stories and it’d also provide some new perspective for all my awesome readers! A handful of them were definitely interested. Now, sit back and enjoy the very first guest post from Dacia about her journey towards health!
Hi! My name is Dacia and I blog over at thirtythreeandcounting.com The focus of the blog is my journey towards happiness and creating a better life for myself. The post topics vary from friendship and family to my career to fitness but mainly focus around my weight loss journey which started almost seven months ago. When Angela asked if anyone would be interested in contributing a post to be featured on her blog I of course jumped at the chance; it is the least I can do for someone who has helped keep me motivated and inspired throughout my journey. Of course I had no idea what I would write about as I am not used to being a guest blogger. After many days wracking my brain I decided I should write about my weight loss and what has helped me be successful so far. Although I still have a significant amount of weight to lose before I reach my goal I still view where I am at today as a success. I have changed my life a complete 180 degrees and am happier and healthier than I have ever been. To me, that is success.
Last February I reached my breaking point. This was also the time when I realized that I was the only one responsible for the state of my life (136 pounds overweight, hating my job, feeling isolated) and that I was the only one who would be able to change things. I had tried this many times before; I would throw myself into a workout routine and a diet and give it my all for awhile but then I would give up after not seeing any results or when the deprivation finally got to me. I was queen of the extremes; it was either 100% or 0% with nothing in between and that is just not healthy nor is it sustainable. Not this time though, this time I would do things differently. This is what I would like to share with you today, the changes I made that have helped me find my way to a place of love, support, health, and happiness.
Be accountable. I needed to learn how to be accountable for the state of my life and so I started a blog. I told the world (or the few people reading) everything; what I wanted to change, how I felt about myself, problems I was having, and quickly I was finding ways to work through them. My support team grew from my husband and a few friends to a small colony that helped keep me motivated and provided inspiration daily and within no time at all I started to see positive changes in my life.
Plan, Plan, Plan. I had no real time management skills seven months ago. Really, why would I? My life was pretty basic; work, eat, TV. The only thing I ever really had to plan was what TV shows, and in what order, I would be watching. Now that I am much more active and am making better food choices I found I need to plan everything in order to stay on track. I plan my meals, even meals that will be eaten out, I plan my workouts, I plan out times to clean and also times to relax. I used to document this on my blog weekly, meals and workouts, but now that I have become more familiar with my routine I have stopped. That doesn’t mean I have stopped planning. I have a calendar on my desk that I use to plan out my workouts for the week and my husband and I still plan out our meals and activities weekly. Like Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
Have fun, do what you love. I learned right away that you will be more likely to maintain a routine if you are filling it with things you love to do. At first I was pushing myself to go on the treadmill to walk/jog but I hated the treadmill and therefore hated working out which made me look for reasons to skip it. Dreading your workouts is not a good place to be in. You are very likely to quit if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing. It took time, I tried out lots of different activities, but I have found ones I love doing. Now I work out because I want to not because I should or have to.
Eat what you want. This is a similar ideal as finding workouts you love. Eat things you love to and enjoy eating. This is my favorite aspect of Weight Watchers. On WW I can eat whatever I want as long as I portion, track, and practice moderation. If you have a diet that is too restrictive or requires eating foods you dislike you are also setting yourself up for failure. Another thing I would like to mention that I learned about how I was eating is that my focus was only on taste. I loved to eat and loved tasty foods and would eat them without ever thinking about how they made me feel. I have become a more conscious eater now. When I eat something I think about how it makes me feel after and I factor that into deciding what I should eat. For example; I love cheeseburgers. If I could, I would eat them every day. However, eating a cheeseburger makes me feel crappy afterwards. I feel lethargic and gross and that is not a good feeling. If I eat a cheeseburger I will more than likely spend my evening on the couch instead of the gym and I don’t want to do that. I also love eating fresh veggies and when I eat a big salad loaded up with every vegetable imaginable I feel great afterwards. I am not lethargic or uncomfortable; I am comfortable and filled with energy. So every meal I choose what I will eat based of what it provides me both in satisfaction from taste and in how I feel overall afterwards. Listen to your body- it knows what it wants.
Be kind to yourself and others. This was the most important lesson for me to learn. I was, and still am sometimes, really tough on myself. Early on I was really obsessed with the scale and would freak out if that number crept up even a little. It took months before I started to relax and cut myself some slack. I think realizing that the non-scale victories are equally as important helped control the scale obsession. Yes, I still weigh myself regularly (it is the easiest indication of how my body is reacting to diet/exercise) but now if I see a gain I use it to help evaluate how I have been behaving and incorporate any necessary changes into my routine. Presently I am just as happy to hear someone say that my fitness routine inspired them to try something new as I am to see the number on the scale drop. Ultimately, even though this journey is about me it revolves around everyone I come in contact with. As I mentioned earlier, I have a great support team but what kind of person would I be if I took their kind words, hugs, pats on the back, and gave nothing in return? It is just as important to be kind to others, unconditionally, as it is to be to yourself. “What this world needs is a new kind of army – the army of the kind.” -Cleveland Amory
Thanks for reading!