Before I start, a quick update: I’m sitting at about 53kgs lost. I’m feeling fantastic, I’m running some great distances, I’m in training for some fun runs and generally loving life. I’m encountering some hurdles with work travel, nights out and planning ahead but taking opportunities where I can to stick to my meal plan.
In essence, the weight I have lost makes me feel like a winner with the prize being my health, my happiness, my mental health, longevity and quality of life.
It’s in the way I feel about my body now, the thrill I get from pushing it to the limit with exercise, the delight I get in seeing the numbers on my clothes tags and the thrill I get from seeing my family and knowing I’ll be seeing them for a lot longer now.
In other words, I did this for me. I did this for my health and for my future.
I think this is the difference between this success and previous weight-loss attempts. My last major attempt I lost a fair bit of weight but I think there were a couple of key areas where I went wrong:
Picking an inappropriate goal: Not long after I started losing weight I was selected to participate in an exchange to Europe. While this was great motivation, when I returned I failed to set more goals or perhaps even see the importance of setting goals.
Not learning about nutrition: While I ate healthier, I didn’t know that I should have been doing meal plans or how to make a meal with the best combination of carbs, protein etc. I didn’t educate myself on basic nutrition.
Ignoring the wins along the way: My trainer used to get so frustrated with me because I couldn’t be happy about losing 18kgs as I was too busy focussing on what still needed to be done.
Getting my head right: I was pretty focussed on my training and the weight I needed to lose. What I didn’t focus on was getting my head right. I didn’t know how to receive comments about my success or about my food choices (I had someone comment on the yoghurt I was eating once and it threw me when it really shouldn’t have).
Seeing my weight-loss as a lifestyle, not a diet: I was thinking about all the things I was stopping myself from eating, or how much I could eat but still lose weight. I wasn’t thinking about food as fuel or finding a balance or that unhealthy food had no part in my future. I think I was thinking of results and then life could go back to “normal”.
I’m not saying that this time I’ve got it right. It’s not perfect, I’ve had trip ups, I’ve had bloody hard patches and I’ve had gains. But I’ve remained focussed, I’ve stuck with my food and exercise plans and I’ve asked for help when I needed it.