Losing weight, for me, isn’t about getting skinny and looking good in a bathing suit. It’s not about attracting a mate. It’s not about fitting into a size 10, although I do want to fit into a size 10 some time in the future. For me, losing weight is a journey to wellness. I expect that there will be bumps in the road I am traveling. There will be times when I feel I am all alone. There will be times when my thoughts will be my worst enemy. We all know problems will arise. We must prepare for them.
Since I have been working on my habits, and managing my environment I have been successfully losing weight. I’ve come to a realization that is rather simple, but true. My realization was more of an epiphany. We who continue to be overweight continue the habits and behaviors that support being overweight. Likewise, those of us who are steadily losing pounds and inches each week are continuing the habits and behaviors that support their weight loss. This paragraph is it in a nutshell. However, I’ll go on and talk about the process of becoming healthy.
When you are losing weight, or you have made a decision to lose weight you want to succeed. It’s up to you. You must manage your environment. Managing your environment isn’t just about what food you buy. You need to manage the people who interact with you also. You may need to confront people who are less than supportive. You want positive reinforcement. You don’t need people telling you that you need to eat. You don’t need people telling you that you look too thin. You don’t need anyone trying to sabotage you into eating.
One of my friends lost 105 pounds. Before her weight loss her husband never paid much attention to her. She was almost as wide as she was tall. She began losing weight, and in a few months her clothes were hanging off her. She went from a 2X clothing down to a large, and then down to a medium. Within a year’s time she had lost down to a size 8.
My friend worked with me. I was so proud of her for losing the weight. Soon, I saw her eating double burgers from the fast food places. I saw her drinking milkshakes. She got candy bars out of the vending machine at work. I asked her why she was abusing herself this way. Her weight was coming back on. She confided in me that her husband threatened to divorce her if she didn’t put the weight back on. Her husband couldn’t handle his wife being drop dead gorgeous. He couldn’t stand that other guys took the second look at her beautiful heart shaped face and curvy body. To keep her marriage she gained that weight back and more. Her weight climbed to 270 pounds. Her husband cheated on her, threw her out of the house.
My friend lost weight for the wrong reason. She lost it for someone else, other than herself. I mentioned my friend, because we so often ‘go on a diet’ for the wrong reason. First, we should not ‘go on a diet’, we should change our lifestyle to support weight loss.
I believe it is important to state your intention, when you have a lot of weight to lose. Inform your family and friends. Tell them you need positive reinforcement from them. You may need to tell them to keep their negative thoughts to themselves and not voice them to you. There may be people in your life that may secretly want you to fail. This isn’t about you, it’s about them. It’s not your problem they cannot accept that you are changing your lifestyle to support a healthier you. They will have to get over it, or seek help for themselves.
I am fortunate to have a very supportive family. Everyone in my family is on board. We are all eating the same way, and we are all motivated to stay active on a regular basis. I am walking 2 miles a day for a minimum of 4 days a week. Even though I have confidence in myself to lose the weight and get healthy, there is a person in my life who never has anything good to say. She seems to always but a ‘but’ in anything she says. She may start out with ‘you are doing good, but… ‘ I have asked her to stop giving me negative feedback. She didn’t stop, so now I have made the topic of my weight loss a topic we can no longer talk about, because she seems to want me to fail. She will deny that, but her comments indicate that she does not want me to succeed.
Managing your environment can be tough. The easy part is managing the food that comes into your house. It’s fairly easy to manage your activity time. It’s not so easy to manage a non-supportive family member. If it’s your spouse, it can actually lead to marriage problems if the spouse is so afraid that he/she will lose you if you become trim, healthy, and more attractive. You may have to create boundaries for awhile to protect yourself from the people in your life that are afraid for you to change.