Two Year Anniversary of My Day 1 and More "Lost" Before Pictures
In the last four days, I've completed a 5K and a spinning class, not necessarily the crazy workout schedule I talked about or thought about doing a couple of weeks ago. For some irrational reason, I decided it would be a great idea to hit 230 by the 15th, my two year anniversary along this road. Could it have been done? Yes. Would it have been a natural part of my lifestyle at this point? No. It's funny how, every now and then, I come up with something that completely goes against the grain of my core weight loss philosophy. This idea of hitting 230 by the 15th was one of those times. It was simply a thought, because it would have been cool to "do it all in two years." So, what if I say "it took me a little over two years?" That's still incredible. And as I've written many times in the past, time doesn't matter when we're making good choices that come naturally with our daily lifestyle. We'll get there, one good choice at a time. Hitting 230 by the 15th was a silly little departure from rational thinking. But boy...did I come close!
I've had two people ask me why I would drive all the way to Stillwater to weigh, when I can weigh on any scale I so desire? It's poetic. That's why. That's pretty simple to understand. To weigh 230 on the same scale that started it all, and not just this time---but every other failed attempt in the last 14 years started on this same scale---is poetic. Returning to the scene of my major reality check in a much thinner and triumphant way, is something that's just worth the drive to me. I love it!
I knew I wasn't hitting goal today. If I had lost 9 pounds in the last four weeks, I would have known. I did feel like I had lost, but not that much. Every pound seems to be noticeable to me now. It's interesting, very interesting. I was thinking maybe three--instead I had a 5 pound loss...No, wait a second...the scale was fluctuating between 234.4 and 234.6...Uhg! I always round up or down...and since it was mostly on 234.6, I must call it 235, for a four pound loss. I'll take it, that's fine. I'm happy, I feel great, and I refuse to allow myself, for even a second--to have a negative thought about this four pound loss in the last four weeks. See what I'm talking about when it comes to the unnecessary frustrations we sometimes allow? It's positive results and it's all good. I remind myself about the body fat analysis I had in the late winter. Maybe having little left to lose, makes what I do have want to hang on. Maybe my body is trying to preserve itself---trying to survive. The last thing I'm going to do is get all caught up in scientific explanations and complications. I'm in a wonderful place, and that's the bottom line: 270 pounds lost in exactly two years. I can feel incredible about that always.
My aunt Kelli recently found a bunch, and I mean a bunch of "lost," never before published before pictures. I've included many of them below for this very special anniversary post. Thank you Kelli!! You can check out Kelli's weight loss blog at www.snoconegirl.blogspot.com Love you sis!
I'm often asked how I've lost so much weight. It's very natural and often the first question I get from someone I've just met. On a milestone day like today---it's a perfect time to provide the excerpt of "The Long Answer to---How?"
Readers of this blog know that I've struggled my entire life with obesity. So why am I having so much success now?
Because I've decided. I've written before about making that “Iron-Clad Decision,” and it's that decision to succeed, that rock-solid commitment to consistency that has given me these incredible results. I found out that you have to give this journey an amazingly high priority. You have to make it one of the most important things you do. You have to defend your journey from anything and everything that might try to derail it. You have to protect it from yourself. I was always my own worst enemy, I understand that.
When you make it this important, it really makes it hard to rationalize bad choices, you know what I mean? As dramatic as it might sound, this is life and death stuff my friend. And no matter if you have 30 pounds or 300 pounds to lose, if you give it that “do or die” level of importance in your life, you're less likely to fail. But is it that easy? Just decide? Really?? Make it important? What?? No.
Along with my “Iron-Clad” decision, I decided to throw away every single misconception I had about weight loss. I knew I wanted long term results, I really wanted to change. So I eliminated any plan that wasn't completely natural. I needed something I could do that would keep me thin the rest of my life. I needed to learn what a normal portion looked like. I didn't want a 'meal replacement” type plan, or a pre-packaged food “weight loss center” type of plan. I knew those type of plans were simply a means to lose weight temporarily. I needed to confront my behaviors with food in everyday situations, and it had to be head on with real food like everybody else eats.
I then determined that nothing was off limits. I could eat anything I wanted, and I mean anything! That element of my journey has been one of the keys to success, because if nothing is off limits, then I'll never feel deprived...and I'll never feel defeated because I enjoyed something that conventional weight loss wisdom says you can't have if you want to lose weight. It's not the food, it's the portions. Counting calories was a natural choice for me. It's taught me about proper portions and it's forced me to make better choices along the way. I opened the “Calorie Bank and Trust” in my mind, treating my calories like cash. Every morning I would be issued 1500 new calories that I could use however I wanted, but beware! I quickly learned that good choices meant making wise calorie “investment” decisions. I had to spread those calories out all day long, or run short as a consequence. The “Calorie Bank and Trust” doesn't have an ATM. When the calories are gone, they're gone until the bank “opens” the next morning. It might sound silly, it's not---look what it's done for me.
But those urges to binge, how do I control those nasty things? Those crazy thoughts that sometime come from out of nowhere, stealing away my resolve, making me fantasize about eating large quantities of anything that I love, yes they existed for me just like everyone else. How have I handled that? Motivating thoughts plus accountability plus writing out my thoughts every night in this daily blog. That's how I've handled those journey breaking meltdowns. I tell people: Cling tight to those motivating thoughts, defend your journey like your life depends on it, in most cases it does. Decide that nothing...no emotion, no circumstance, no person, place or thing is allowed to steal this away from you. I deserve this success. You deserve this success. It's too important my friend.
One of the biggest elements is self honesty. This means calling yourself on all those excuses and rationalizations that we tell ourselves in order to feel better about bad choices. Honesty, 100%---at all times. And exercise? Anything...just move. All I could do in the beginning was walk and I could barely do that for very long. But I was moving. And the more you move, the easier it gets. All of a sudden my 505 pound near deadly quarter mile walks became a mile...then two, then three, and so on. In the beginning it doesn't have to be anything special. There's no machine to buy or membership required. Just movement. After a while you can get fancy. But set a solid foundation of success first by mastering the basics.
I've discovered something that many have discovered before me, and that is this: It's really 20% about food and exercise and 80% about the mental aspects. Someone who has really helped my mental development is Ralph Marston. I've read very little of Mr. Marston's writing, but this one life changing work from him is something I've read countless times:
“Set Yourself Free” by Ralph Marston---"There is no outside force holding you back. You are holding you back and you are blaming it on someone or something else. The way you are able to continue holding yourself back is by maintaining the illusion that you're a victim. Once you realize that illusion, you will naturally and easily move forward. In fact, it is easier to fulfill your best possibilities than it is to avoid them. So let go of the blame and watch the limitations drop away. Certainly there will always be challenges that hold you back. For each challenge provides you with a pathway through which you can move toward fulfillment. It is your very nature to accomplish. Lovingly accept your destiny, and allow that accomplishment to be manifest through you. Set yourself free to follow your purpose. Set yourself free to truly live." Visit Mr. Marston at http://www.greatday.com/
I'm still discovering ways to communicate what I've learned along this road. The blog posted a couple back into the archives, featuring "The Wrong Battle," is and was an epiphany type experience for me. If you haven't read it, click here.
Thank you for reading! I hope you'll continue as we reach 230 and into maintenance mode!! Goodnight and...
Rounding to 235...Anyway you slice it--it's all good!!!
This is cool to me. Thank you Joseph!
With my daughters at a restaurant---Hmmmm
Big, Big, Big...wow.
At Special Olympics Broadcast with the an official of Special Olympics Oklahoma
With Skyler and Lauren Donahue at the fair Tuesday night!!!
Broadcasting from the fair!
With mom on my two year anniversary
With grandma on my two year anniversary