Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lessons Learned

So I have been thinking about writing this post for months now. I am thinking of it as a therapeutic tool. These are some of the lessons I have learned on my weight loss journey so far.
  1. EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS!!!! (that is how I gained the weight - literally one pound per month til I was almost 300 pounds - and I believe each decision I make helps me lose it)
  2. I can do more than I think I can (this is mostly exercise related - including doing the leg press with 360 pounds on it - I told my trainer I am not a dude, but he did not care)
  3. I can NEVER, EVER go back to the way I was (it is so much more fun to be less fat - I got called skinny bitch again - this time by a friend from across the country, how fun!)
  4. I have learned enough to make decisions on my own that turn out better than anyone expected (I am referring to my self-imposed fat camp - the ending results will be posted soon since my summer is almost over)
  5. Consistency is the key (I can have a cheat meal once a week but I have to get right back on course the very next meal)
  6. For me, it is more exercise than diet (I say this because I am eating the exact same things I did when I got fat - although smaller portions and spaced differently in the day)
  7. I will have to exercise and count calories for the rest of my life (which I now actually enjoy both of them and by exercise I mean serious workouts about 6 times a week)
  8. I do not have to buy clothes just because they are decent and they fit - there are enough choices now that if I do not really love it, I do not have to buy it
  9. I am committed to this being a lifestyle change - heck it already has changed my life, now it is habit
  10. IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, THEN YOU PLAN TO FAIL - this statement says everything for me. I have to plan a week out and then execute it one day at a time (like an alcoholic).
  11. Setting small, attainable goals will lead to large goals I never expected to accomplish (even on the treadmill - I started in 30 second increments and now I do things in 3 minute increments - if I can keep going I do, but I just tell myself I can do anything for 3 minutes - eventually I end up running, at a good speed, for 21 minutes)
  12. Sometimes your body needs to rest and it is okay to take a day off (getting a full night's sleep has helped my weight loss)
  13. The blog world has made this journey so much better (the camaraderie, support and therapy of the written word) I feel this community has helped to make this change permanent for me, so thank you all!!

I leave you with this thought, what is the most important lesson you have learned so far on your journey? Please leave me a comment about it because I really do want to know.


TJ said...

GREAT POST! This is my life now, and I love it!

Oh, come on over- I always cook too much! lol :)

Crys said...

Interesting what you say about a good night's sleep. My doctor told me the same thing. My sleep habits are horrible and I had plateaued for a couple of weeks while still eating well and exercising and he thought that might be it.

Congratulations! So much wisdom in this post. I'm thrilled for you!

S. said...

Wow, I've learned so many things so far it's hard to even list them all. I absolutely agree that, for me at least, planning is crucial. Not only does it carry me through at moments when I could give a crap less about losing weight, but it ingrains a habit and pattern so that even when I do fail to plan for some reason, I know what I *should* be doing well enough that I can coast a bit until I can get back on plan.

I also work hard to take every part that I don't like a find a way to make it enjoyable and fun...or at least a bit more likable. My motto is "make it easier to stay on plan than go off."

Really, this whole journey has taught me so much. I could go on and on for hours. :-)

Hadley said...

Fabulous post. "You can do more than you think you can" (lesson #2) has been the truest for me thus far.

One I'd add to your list is "There are small victories everywhere." One of the things I love about your blog is how you share the compliments from the guys from Subway, the shut up this dress is a size medium, the I can wear heels now, etc. So many of your posts remind me of all the tiny things that make this journey so worthwhile. Losing weight sucks, but there's also a lot of joy to be had in the small victories along the way. And if you look around you and keep the right attitude, those small victories are everywhere.

*Fitcetera* said...

I think lucky 13 is the tie that binds us all more than anything.

I love these reflective posts that can teach & inspire others as to what will work for them.

great job!

*Fitcetera* said...

My most important lesson?
Do what's right for me & only that & support people to do what's right for them.

jo said...

This is an excellent post!

Most important lesson I've learned? To put myself first.

Hallie said...

great post. I feel like I should bookmark it.

Sara said...

a big amen to all 13 on your list..i'm just getting rolling but i think i would say just this past week i learned that... being honest with MYSELF is a daily struggle and one to watch on an hour-by-hour basis. whether it's how many calories eaten, an excuse about why i'm tired to workout or why i deserve a glass of wine, etc. i have to be vigilant with myself at every decision. and seriously, blogging helps!

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Number 3 - NEVER GO BACK. When I lost my 150 pounds that was my personal mantra. Never go back.

After all, that's what we all work so hard for - to get where we feel comfortable with ourselves, for the rest of our lives!

Great post.

wildfluffysheep said...

Awesome lessons!
I am still learning. A lot.
This post definitely made me think!

F. McButter Pants said...

Great Lessons Learned! Excellant post. I really think that getting a good nights sleep has been a major factor in my success this time too. Going to bed early really limits aany late night eating!

Keep inspiring me!

Mae Flowers said...

I love this post. It's very inspiring and a great reminder of why I am trying to lose weight. The biggest lesson that I have learned so far is that nobody can do this for me but me. Willpower!

Jenn said...

This is such a terrific post! I'm a sucker for lists, lol. But seriously, it really shows all the ways in which we learn as we lose.
For me, the greatest lesson I've learned so far is that one bad meal does not mean I'm a failure. I can just get back on the horse with the next morsel I put in my mouth!

Lori Ann said...

I am still learning most of these lessons! Lately, I have been replacing cherries, grapes and melon balls for my old candy snacking ways.