10 Jul 2014

There once was a time where I felt like I would never get off the weight loss roller coaster. Despite my best efforts and attempts to become a healthier me I had short term success with losing weight and getting fit. I’d start a weight loss plan and exercise program with the best of intentions, only to end it within a week or two tops. I’d promise myself to start back up again come Monday or the first of the month. All too often the following week would find me in the same predicament, great intentions and poor follow through. It took years for me to finally understand what was keeping me from executing my plan and achieving my goals. It turns out it had nothing to do with being bored by the workout routines, or sick of eating things on the healthier side, actually I was just never mentally prepared to lose the weight and keep it off . There are lots of folks out there who focus on the physical and food side of fitness. However I feel the mental aspect of it is all too often overlooked. Without the determination, desire, and drive to get in shape, it doesn’t matter how much health food you buy at the store or how many workouts you pin on an internet board, without mentally preparing yourself to embark on this journey you will never reach your destination.

Before I finally became successful at sticking to my plans and seeing results, I had hit rock bottom. Two hundred and fifty five pounds to be exact, the result of poor eating habits, two pregnancies, and an incredibly lazy lifestyle. I believed whole heartedly that being pregnant entitled me to be sluggish all the time, and to stuff my face with whatever tickled my taste buds. This thought process came back to bite me in the butt once I had given birth to both my babies , two years apart . I found myself staring in the mirror at a much larger and very unhealthy looking woman and I didn’t like what I saw. Right then and there I made the decision that this wasn’t how I was going to look for the rest of my life. I refused to be an unhealthy mommy unable to play with my children because the activity would wear me out to quickly. The first step to success for me was making that promise to myself that no matter what obstacles or setbacks I may encounter I was not going to let myself fail.

The next part was to stop believing that Monday or the first the month was a magic restart day for getting back on track. It always happened in the beginning I’d make it to Wednesday skip my workout, have one just flat out bad for me fattening meal topped off with a decadent dessert and I’d throw in the towel and admit defeat. I’d allow myself to eat to my heart’s content anything and everything I so craved, and wouldn’t even attempt to do one physical activity. My plan was always to start with a clean slate on Monday or if the first of the month was right around the corner that became my magic start day. What I had to do was stop beating myself up over one not so great for me meal, and to constantly reiterate that I could make better choices at the next meal or the next day and that Monday was nothing special.

After that I was all about writing things down, I am a very visual person I need a constant reminder of what I am working towards on a daily basis or else I run the risk of forgetting what I am trying to accomplish. I wrote down many things but the first were reasons, reasons why I wanted to lose the weight and get in shape, next I wrote down short term, non-scale realistic goals I wanted to accomplish along the way. Be it run a 5k in a month or two or fit in a dress by a certain time just to give some examples. Always having something to work towards kept me motivated. I used these short term goals like stepping stones to help me reach my big goal. I put these lists in places I would see them on a daily basis to hold myself accountable. Lastly another visual tool I used was to track my food it didn’t have to be fancy or pretty. I also wasn’t doing it to see how many calories I consumed or anything like that. It was a way for me to monitor how much unnecessary and unhealthy food I was actually consuming. Having to put pen to paper (or use my fitnesspal in some cases) and admit what I had eaten in a day to myself really opened my eyes and mind to where I needed to make changes. Tracking my food was also an excellent tool to help me keep my emotional eating at bay. I can recall many scenarios when I would turn to food to find comfort and even happiness. However the thought that I would have to write that ridiculous amount of ice cream or cookies down for me to see over and over again definitely gave me a reason to find another way get through whatever emotion I may have been feeling at that given moment.

Once I discovered I was holding myself back mentally from losing the weight, I made it a priority to make the necessary adjustments so that I could finally get off that weight loss rollercoaster I had been riding on for so very long. I now work out 5-6x a week and have been doing so for over two years, I utilize portion control and incorporate fruits, veggies, and lean meats into my daily diet. I also regularly run 5ks, co-lead a free workout group in my neighborhood, and was most recently voted into the No Excuse Moms internationally sold swimsuit calendar for 2015. I am 115lbs lighter and a thousand times happier then I was way back when. I may not have ever gotten to this point though if I hadn’t taken the time to get in the right state of mind to lose weight.

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