- read my weight loss journey part 1 – the background here.
- read my weight loss journey part 2 – the diet here.
- read my weight loss journey part 3 – the exercise here.
- read my weight loss journey part 4 – the results here.
- read my weight loss journey part 5 – the maintenance here.
Let’s be clear: this weight loss journey hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. I’ve mentioned in past posts about injuries and gaining back some weight in the past few years. So in the interest of full disclosure I want to share some of the struggles that can happen.
- It is completely true what they say that losing the weight is the easy part, keeping the weight off (maintenance) is the hard part. Please don’t think that once you hit that goal weight you can go right back to eating the way you had been. You can have more treats, but you can’t do that every day or all the weight will come right back. That is why it is so important to make this a lifestyle change and not just a diet
- I will probably always struggle with my weight. If I want to stay like I was in those years after my initial weight loss then I’m going to have to work for it. I will never be able to eat what I want and look great. I’m always going to have to watch what I eat, limit the treats, and exercise. That’s just the way it has to be. However, I try to look at that positively and think that if I could eat anything I wanted without gaining weight I probably would and would probably be much more unhealthy. Have to eat this way to control how I look on the outside is also benefiting me on the inside (remember my cholesterol stats?) so in actuality it is a blessing.
- Exercising alone does not work for me as far as losing weight goes. I can exercise until my legs fall off, be in great shape, able to run long distances or spin for a long time and still not lose any weight. I may tone up some but I won’t lose overall poundage. I have to also watch my food carefully in addition to exercising in order to see results. I wish I could lose weight simply by exercising more and eat what I want, but alas it is not to be. But like I said, that’s probably for the best because it forces me to be healthy.
- Balance. I’ve been doing this for 5 years now and I have yet to find a balance with having treats. I want to be able to live my healthy lifestyle 90 or 95% of the time with a few unhealthy choices now and then, but that is hard for me. I’m kind of a 100% “on” or 100% “off” kind of girl. And that brings me to my next point…
- Self control. This is a huge struggle for me. In an ideal, balanced (see above) world, I would be able to make a batch of cookies, eat one or two, and then be done. Unfortunately, I’m more likely to make a batch of cookies and eat half of them. I have very little self control when it comes to sweets. Even though I want to be able to just eat a few bites and be done, I usually either have to completely say “no” or else I will eat way way way too much. That’s where I struggle with self control big time. But I keep working on it and maybe someday…
- Obsession. I’ve talked about this a little in earlier posts as well. It is so easy to become obsessed with diet and exercise that you develop an eating disorder or place it in a position of importance above other things that should take priority. I believe that we should make ourselves a priority and take care of our bodies, but the world doesn’t end if we eat one extra dessert or skip one workout class. I have to remind myself of that frequently, and remind myself that the number on the scale does not define me.
- I was so blessed to have a wonderful support system around me during my initial weight loss (well, actually, my whole life but right now I’m focusing on this period in my life). Michael, my family, my friends, my doctor, people at the gym – they were all so encouraging and loving. I never felt like they tried to tempt me with food or resented me. That’s not the case with everyone. I know that many people don’t have that support system and even have people who will try to sabotage them. I hope this isn’t the case but I wanted to put it out there so you know. There were a few times when people would make some snarky comments or comments veiled as a compliment that were actually an insult. But that’s life and you move on. Like I said, overall I was incredibly amazed by the support.
I’m sure there are more struggles but those are some of the big ones that I wanted to share with you. It’s not always going to be easy, but I can guarantee that you will not regret switching to a healthier lifestyle.
(keep reading: part 7)