I had someone email me the other day who asked this question. (I asked permission to use it in this post.)
Why is this so hard? I really admire people like you who make a commitment, focus on their goal and stay on track ’til they reach their target. I don’t know what its going to take for me to reach that level of commitment.
I emailed her back that the weight loss journey is one of decisions. I shared some other bloggers who have maintained a large weight loss such as Jane and Lisa . Any person who has lost weight and maintained it for any length of time had a point where they said, “I’m making a decision to change my life forever. The time is now.”
I can’t speak for Jane or Lisa, but for me, the desire to change had been in my heart and soul for a long, long time. The years I struggled with obesity were filled with desires to lose weight, decisions to join WW or try another program, and deep disappointment when I once again failed. So how did I manage to go from failing over and over again to finally succeeding in meeting my goals and staying there?
Making one decision wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough to just say, “I’ve decided to lose weight,” because I had said those words thousands of times before to no avail. No amount of health risks, appearance flaws, or personal dissatisfaction had been enough to move me from “I’ve decided,” to “I do.”
But on that fateful day after my doctor’s appointment I made the same decision I had made before. “I’m going to lose weight.” And I did.
But what I did differently from before is probably one of the most important decisions I ever made for myself.
I wasn’t going to quit no matter how many bad decisions I made along the way.
I was going to press forward irregardless of how I was feeling that day.
I was not going to allow the fear of failure to stop me this time.
I was going to get healthy and fit because I wanted to, not because other people were telling me to.
The decision to start again was accompanied by the decision to not quit. And because I’m human like everyone else, there were days when I fell apart. Days I didn’t want to eat only one serving of a food. Days I didn’t want to exercise. Days I hated life. And on those days I didn’t always make the “right” decision. But instead of quitting like I would have in the past, I made a new decision right then. I decided to keep going in spite of my setbacks. I decided not to quit.
Our lives are filled with decisions all day long. What to wear, what car to drive, when to get up, who to call, where to eat, what to eat, when to brush our teeth, etc. So as I continued on the weight loss portion of my journey I learned that I just needed to keep making better and better decisions with regards to my food and exercise choices. I decided long ago to brush my teeth daily. Why couldn’t I learn to decide to make as healthy choices as I could? I realized that I could learn to do that, and I did.
And the more good decisions I made the easier it all became. Not “easy as pie” but not impossible either.
One good decision beget another until the good decisions far outweighed the bad ones. The weight loss was steady and I reached my goal.
And then the fun part began. The good decisions I had trained myself to make became good decisions I continued to make into maintenance. Not always perfectly of course – but right enough of the time to maintain for all these years.