Hissy Fit - January 2019

Weight! Don’t Give Up: Not All is Lost…Yet


January 2019 Issue

Years ago, I started on a weight loss journey that was life changing. During that time I lost almost 75 pounds. Over the past four years I have gained 25 back. Not bad, but I want to get them off because I don’t like the way I feel. I remembered a letter I received from a reader that had an impact on me, and that I wrote about when I first lost all the weight. I pulled it out to read it again and I’m glad I did. It inspired me…again, and I hope it will do the same for you.

Hey Elizabeth,
You don’t know me except our pleasantries in the grocery store, but I want to share something with you. My journey with weight has been a LONG one. I made a commitment two weeks ago with a co-worker to join a gym so we can exercise together. She recently had a double mastectomy and is having reconstructive breast surgery for the second time in December. She wants to lose 40 pounds before then and that’s exactly what I need to lose. So I thought, heck, it’s a great opportunity for both of us. Well, two weeks of diet watching and exercising have netted a zero pound loss for me! You don’t know how depressed I have been today; I have cried most of the day. It’s so discouraging, and I am not usually a Debbie downer, but this has really gotten to me. I have enjoyed reading about your journey. Do you have any tidbits for me to keep this going?

Dear Friend,
I have to admit that working diligently for two weeks with no results is discouraging. I understand your frustration and feelings of depression. Losing weight is one of the hardest things anyone can do because not only does one have to break bad, addictive habits, it also has to be done without being able to just walk away from food. We are still faced with the decision of what to eat a minimum of three times a day. It’s hard to say no to the things we love, like bread, cheesecake, French fries, or wine. It’s even harder to continue to say no with little or no results. However, it is highly unusual to truly stick to a diet and exercise program and not eventually experience weight loss. Hang in there and until then, here are a few tips:

1) Changing your food intake is where you will find the most weight loss. I have been told numerous times that dieting is 90 percent what you eat and 10 percent how much you exercise. I believe this wholeheartedly because I’ve proven it. I worked out with a trainer for four years and only lost six pounds. What a terrible trainer, right? Wrong. I never changed my eating habits. I still ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it, and how much I wanted. I kidded myself throughout the four years while remaining in denial. To lose weight you have to reduce your caloric intake, and/or get on a carbohydrate restrictive diet. There are good apps to help track your daily intake, like My Fitness Pal, and excellent books such as South Beach Diet or Sugarbusters to get you started on a low-carb trek. The bottom line is getting processed foods, which are laden with sugar, out of your diet and eating less—way less.

2) Attitude is everything regardless of what you set out to accomplish in life. When I started my weight loss journey, with a whopping 80 plus pounds to lose, I decided I was going to have fun. Instead of focusing on what I was being deprived of, I focused on the good things I was doing for my body. I never took the poor pitiful me approach. I had my moments, but I mean really. Should I feel sorry for myself because I’ve decided not to eat French fries or pizza? When you think about it like that, it’s silly in the grand scheme of things. The cool thing is I realize now that eating healthy allows me to feel great, look great, and be on top of my game. We are all actually making ourselves suffer by eating the things we all look at as treats. Have you ever noticed that most people who ride motorized scooters in retail stores are morbidly obese? When did ice cream become more important than walking? Who is really doing the suffering?

3) Even if you worked out and ate healthier for two months without seeing results, you are still further ahead than doing nothing. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but I can assure you, your body will feel better and be healthier. Here’s the thing, though, when it comes to exercise: You must engage in activity you enjoy. No one wants to suffer through a dreaded workout. If you are not finding joy in your exercise of choice, choose something else. I would cry too if I did a God-awful workout that I hated for two weeks with no results. I began by walking the beach at sunrise with my favorite upbeat music blaring through my headphones. After a few days of experiencing unbelievable sunrises, although not a morning person, I was jumping out of bed in order to get out there and not miss it. I loved it!

4) Lastly, try not to put unrealistic goals on yourself. I did not gain 80 extra pounds in three months, therefore, it only makes sense I won’t lose it in three months, either. Pace yourself. Make a lifestyle change…don’t just go on a diet. People gain weight back when diets are done. Lifestyle changes are long-term. Figure out what you want. Do you want to lose weight temporarily to fit into a dress for a class reunion, or do you truly want to live your best life? When you choose living your best life it is totally different journey. There is no failing, no deadlines, no screw-ups; you are in it for the long haul. There will be days when you eat birthday cake and ice cream, and there will be days when you don’t. The key is just staying the course, knowing you’re worth it, and treating yourself with the utmost respect and dignity. Just keep doing it! You will see results, and one of them is feeling great! Smile and congratulate yourself; you’ve already done the hardest part, and that’s deciding to start.