The Password Is: Consistency!
If I had to pick one word to explain my success so far it would be: Consistency. I was always inconsistent before with every other attempt at weight loss. I would do great two days, then bad for one. Then good for three days and bad for four. Then I would wonder why I wasn't getting results. There was no way I would be honest enough to just admit my inconsistencies. I might even pretend to be dumbfounded to a friend “I have no idea what's happening, I'm doing everything I'm suppose to be doing.” Then I would come up with a few possible reasons “You know I must be retaining fluid,” or “I've been really constipated, I probably just need to go to the bathroom,” or “I'm just cursed with a horrible metabolism.” When I would lie to myself, lying to others was real easy. What made me so inconsistent in the past? Everything. It didn't take much for me to designate something to be a wonderful excuse. I would even postpone starting because if I looked at the calendar long enough, I could find reasons to wait. “Oh, look at that, Kelli's birthday is coming up, then the Fourth of July, then mom's birthday right after that, there's no way I can start trying to lose weight now.” And I wouldn't dare start a weight loss journey anywhere near Thanksgiving or Christmas. “I don't want to ruin the holidays.” I still don't understand how I would convince myself that me eating responsibly could possibly “ruin” the holidays. “Oh, wow...There he goes again. Every holiday it's the same thing...Do you have to ruin every holiday with your responsible eating habits? You're making the rest of us feel gluttonous!” “Somebody hold him down while I pour gravy down his pie hole, we'll teach him to ruin the holidays with his highfalutin eating habits.” How silly I was to come up with so many reasons to NOT do this. I never spent too much time thinking about reasons TO do this. In fact, if I scoured every month of the year, I would find the optimal time for me to lose weight would actually be between February 2nd and February 8th. Not really enough time to get it done. Being consistent on this journey means making this attempt different than any other I've ever tried. Consistency means steamrolling every excuse or rationalization that comes along. When you really decide that nothing will stop you, then nothing can. It sounds simple and it can be if you make it that way. It can also be very difficult if you make it that way. So basically, it will be what you decide it will be. I decided it would be simple. It's as simple as answering this question: Is this thought, emotion, circumstance, holiday, birthday, day off from work, or anything else, is it threatening the structural integrity of my journey? If it's a thought, emotion, or circumstance I just have to remind myself that over eating when I'm dealing with these triggers only compounds my sorrows. And staying on track and focused on doing the right things exercise and food wise will only contribute in a positive way. Actually helping me get to a better place mentally. If it's a holiday, birthday, day off, or any other type of celebration...I enjoy it responsibly. I'll eat cake, I have several times along this journey, I just don't devour four or five pieces like I might have before. I can't count the number of cookouts and family get togethers we've had over the last 274 days, again, a responsible approach---focusing on the people around me and enjoying the atmosphere and not focusing, or in my case obsessing over the food, has worked every time. I still eat, I still enjoy, I'm still happy...even more so because I know I'm being consistent. “But Sean, things happen, we can't expect to be strong all the time.” Really? I've endured deaths in the family, financial woes, the holidays, birthdays, my 20th wedding anniversary, Halloween, Valentines Day, reconnecting with a father and brother I've never known, and many other things that life can throw my way. None of it stopped me for even a day. Why? How? I'm not special, I don't have super human weight loss powers, but I made a decision to stay on track regardless of the circumstances. I knew that was the only way I would ever get this done for real. I voided all excuses or reasons to not do it this time. Have I deprived myself along the way? No, not in the least. I eat three meals and at least three snacks a day. If it's a special occasion, I plan my calorie budget around the events, and eat what everyone else is eating...maybe not as much as some, but I'll enjoy whatever we're having in a responsible way. Consistency is the key. Consistent effort equals consistent results. When somebody tells me that I've lost the weight too fast so far, I wonder if they think I'm starving myself? I'm certainly not! I eat, I exercise, I steamroll excuses and rationalizations to be inconsistent, and I lose weight. Wow, I've really gotten off on a tangent here!
I do need to figure out how to add certain things to my page. I need to add a FAQ to the sidebar. A couple of readers lately have asked what “plan” I'm on. This is normal...we all do it. When we notice someone has lost a considerable amount of weight, the first question is always...How did you do it? If you've read the archives of this journey, you know how I feel and what I've done. I take pride in proving everyday that the weight loss industry is a giant waste of money...most of it is completely useless. (Anything Richard Simmons is a part of is something good and Weight Watchers is good, oh and so is TOPS---Every thing else in my opinion---Rubbish!) I haven't spent a dime to lose this weight. I've actually saved money. It's like getting paid to lose weight! So what plan am I on? I'm on the no nonsense, no excuses, eat less, exercise more, consistent effort equals consistent results, responsible portions, No plan—Plan. My only plan has been to change the way I think and feel about food and exercise while understanding and examining my past eating behaviors and food addictions.
We had a wonderful 5K tonight. All four of us were out there truckin'! What made this one special? It was soooo humid! I mean horribly humid. It made it much more challenging. We were dripping wet by the time we finished. Irene prepared a wonderful meal of lean sirloin, baked potato, and okra. It was so good! My plate registered at 480 calories tonight. And that includes Heinz 57 sauce and sour cream for the potato!
I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read what I've written. This blog has given me a real education about myself along the way. I don't think I would realize even half of what I do now, if not for these nightly writing sessions. It's also been a big part of my success. Goodnight and...