I’ve been successful at losing seventy pounds, and am entering my eleventh year of maintenance. I posted my before/after photo a few times and each time someone inquires about the “secret to weight loss”. The secret is that there is no secret. If there were, I would have bottled it up and already be a millionaire.
I will share a few steps that I took, which really can be translated into preparation, hard work, and learning from failure!
- DECIDED I was going to change. I’d tried to lose weight many times before, but never did I fully commit. I WANTED to lose weight, but that’s as far as I got.
- Realized I couldn’t do it by myself (or I already would have) and needed a support group so joined Weight Watchers. Diets don’t work for me because they require cutting out certain foods from my program. I needed a Lifestyle change.
- Because I am a repeat offender on the Weight Watcher program and didn’t want to fail again, I reflected on previous attempts and where I went wrong. This time I followed the program the way it was designed and stopped making excuses. (A huge part of what went wrong was working only the easy parts of the program, and taking shortcuts on the others I didn’t like).
- ACCEPTED that I simply needed to move more (walking is the easiest for of exercise and what I do the most) and attend meetings for the REST OF MY LIFE! There is no final destination to reach for me, I will always need support groups and exercise. Guess what, carbs still blow my mind as much as they did over thirteen years ago when I joined. Because I am a food addict, I will always be one french fry away from a relapse and require meetings. I’ve never met a french fry I didn’t like!
- I schedule my exercise like a job. I’m the nerd that makes my doctor and hair appointments around my workout time. If I wait until I feel like doing it, it will never happen. If I don’t get it out-of-the-way in the morning, it won’t happen (unless it’s simple walking). As we say in Al-Anon, acceptance is the answer to my problems today. Once I accepted what I MUST do for success, it became easier. I don’t make excuses ( I did before which is how I knew they don’t work!), those are the steps that failures are built upon (for me).
- NO MATTER WHAT, I DIDN’T QUIT! This is the most important lesson because I used to strive for perfection and gave up when I didn’t receive the results I thought I should have. The only people who fail are those that stop trying so when life derailed my plans, I just started over the next day. I was mentally exhausted with completely starting over so refused to ever do it again. It was best for my mental state to just fight through it this time, no matter how long it took. Lesson learned from Weight Watcher’s is that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback! Weight loss is mental and successful people do what other people simply are not willing to do. That’s the secret in a nutshell.