Shortly after taking on the challenge to write a blog post every day for a year, I took on the challenge to lose weight. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution because I don’t believe in those. I decided to do it because my weight was bothering me more every day. In the five or six years since my last weight loss effort, I gained back almost all the weight I’d lost, I stopped exercising, and I felt awful, mentally and physically.
I felt worse than awful. I felt desperate, defeated, and hopeless. I’ve had a weight problem all my life. I’ve lost upwards of 70 pounds twice. I have (slowly) run close to a hundred races, including the NYC Marathon back in 1997.
I know how to lose weight. I know how to exercise. I know how to eat healthfully. I know how much I hate being overweight. I know all this stuff and yet there’s a switch in my head that turns off and a little voice says, Nope, not gonna do it.
Period. End of story. Good night.
Except it’s not the end of the story because if I’m not actively losing weight, I’m actively gaining it. There’s no middle ground for me. And so on January 11, I dragged myself back to Weight Watchers, the only program that has worked for me. I signed up, got all my program materials, and started counting points.
That was 18 pounds ago, and although there are many pounds lying in wait (in weight?), I feel like I’ve done the hardest part. I got started.
Now that I’ve started, I have to say that Weight Watchers makes it easy to keep going. The new Points Plus program is wonderful. It’s easy, flexible and most importantly it works. I’m not getting any spokesperson $$ for this, so I won’t go on, but I will say, I’m a believer.
I’m also a believer in exercise, although you’d never know it by my actions in the last few years. To get myself kick started, I participated in a 12-week boot camp program. That was amazing. I hated every minute of it, but I loved every minute of it, too, if that makes any sense. What I liked most was the structured workout that helped show me how strong I am and how much I’m capable of.
In the midst of boot camp, I started running again. I’m training with an online program called Couch to 5K (C25K). The website says it has “helped thousands of new runners get off the couch and onto the roads, running 3 miles in just two months.”
Once again, I hate every minute of it, except the last one when I’m finished. Then I L-O-V-E it!
I know there are many miles and many pounds to go. I’m slowly learning that I won’t ever be able to “eat like a normal person.” I don’t think there is such a thing as “eat like a normal person.” We all have our quirks about food. For now that little switch in my head is staying on and the voice is quiet, but I’m learning I’m in control of that. It’s not some mystical, magical mumbo jumbo that leads to success. It’s a daily decision. Sometimes it’s a minute by minute decision. I’m hopeful that I’m learning enough now, while the going seems easy, to keep making the right choices when (if) the slog sets in.
Resources: Weight Watchers, Couch to 5K, mini true on Flickr, The Daily Post
11 thoughts on “Deciding on Weight Loss”
I loved this post – maybe because I wrote a really similar one about a month ago. 🙂 I totally understand what you’ve been going through over and over again, and I’m also determined that this will be the time it sticks. That said, I’ve been sliding the last few weeks. Thank you for your post – it has reenergized my decision to lose weight.
Though I don’t have a weight problem, exercise is an issue…especially since I’m nearing 50 and it’s not a matter of looking good but for pure health reasons. I’m going to have a look at that running program! Thanks and good good luck!
Oh Olivia I am so proud of you! I have been keeping track of your progress and keep thinking “I can do that too!” But I haven’t started yet. I started going to the gym, which I really like, but would like to find the time to go more. Well I’ll check out Weight Watchers again and see what’s different. Thanks for the encouragement!!
p.s. it snowed here again last night – I know you miss it 🙂
Thanks for the post. You are certainly not alone. I’ve gained and lost more then my current body weight more times then I can say. Calories are such a cheap form of entertainment and they give that immediate feeling of satisfaction. It is hard to keep them in their place as fuel for the body. Keep on running! (Nutrisystem woman here – but any plan that gives structure will work if you follow it)
I am inspired. I need to do everything you are doing. WW helped me shed 30 pounds a few years ago (7?) and I need to get back to them. I’ll look into finding a meeting near me — and keep on keeping on! Peace…
I am impress by the sincerity of your words. You express the thoughts of many and their daily challenges. I am definitely going to check the Couch to 5k program. Good luck and keep us post it!
I love your blog! It’s so organized, it inspires me to finally try doing something similar. I just started the C25k program on Monday, and I’m definitely feeling the pain right now, but also feel good when I finish those running intervals…it’s so hard not to give up, but I know the results will be worth it in time.
Oh, and I completely agree about that dratted self-sabotage streak where we convince ourselves that we can’t lose weight – I’m there too! A friend told me to “just get outside and do something – don’t analyze it, just do it” and I’m trying to do just that.
Thank you for all the comments and the love and support they represent. Dealing with weight is very solitary; it’s an internal process more than anything else. Being reminded that many people deal with weight, body, and health issues helps keep me from getting to involved in that “Why me?” self-pitying mentality that often comes up when I’m feeling deprived. That means a lot, so thank you again for the comments. ~Olivia
I’m like you, I can talk a great fitness routine, but it took me till this last summer to get around to losing my pregnancy weight (the baby is now 11). You’re so right – the hardest part is getting started and carrying through for more than a few days in a row. You’ve done it before and you can do it again!
I know all too well that weight loss is an intensely individual and personal quest, but you’re welcome to come over and read about my adventure on the “Through the looking glass” page of my blog.
Thank you Olivia. Once again you inspire and motivate me, not only to lose this horrible excess 80(!) pounds, but to blog about it too. I can’t afford WW but I know there are things I can do for myself.