Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Step One: I had to Face Reality and Be Honest with Myself

The first thing I had to do to be successful at my weight loss was to be honest with myself and face reality. I found reality to be a pain in the butt, it is unfair and irritating and, quite frankly, I would have liked to tell reality to suck it - but that would have done me no good, so here are some realities I had to face (again, I'm not a physician, but these seem to apply to me):
  1. Some people, particularly people who have had weight issues in the past, i.e. ME, seem to gain weight more easily than others. Not fair, but true.
  2. "You can eat as much as you want (or whatever you want) if you exercise" is a myth. There really are not enough hours in the day for me to exercise enough to burn off everything if I do this. Not fun, but true. 
  3. As much as I may hate it, I need to write down EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth. Everything. Every Day. And I need to be Honest about it, see Honesty below. 
  4. I have to exercise, regularly (I try to get at least an hour in every day), no matter how much I want to sit and read and no matter how busy I am at work or at home. 
  5. Vegetables, sans the butter and cream, are actually good for me and actually help me to lose weight. 
  6. No "diet" will never work. I needed to face the fact that I would have to change my lifestyle entirely if I wanted to be successful. That is huge. It is a discouraging and daunting task. When people ask me for weight loss advice, I hate to tell them this, because it sounds awful and impossible and I don't want to discourage them. But, it is not impossible. I took it one day at a time, I set little goals every day. It's cliche, but I took baby steps. 
  7. I will have setbacks and that is okay, as long as I get back on track. 
Now I will talk about honesty. Honesty is a wonderful and lovely trait when it is applied to others. It is fairly easy for me to be honest with others, being honest with myself was incredibly difficult. But, it was the most important step that I took in losing weight.

I found that I needed not only to write down everything I eat, but to be honest with myself about how many calories were in these things. If I am not entirely certain about the calorie content of a particular item, I will ballpark it (there are any number of data bases online that can help with that) and then round UP. As an aside, I have used a number of different apps / websites to track my calories / food/ exercise and the my favorite by far is

I also need to be honest with myself about how much exercise I am getting. I lost my first 45 pounds simply by walking. My husband and I would go on long walks. Worked beautifully. However, as I lost weight, I had to exercise more to keep losing weight. As you lose weight, you burn fewer calories doing the same activity. I needed to keep that in mind.  Again, if I'm unsure of how many calories I have burned, I ballpark it (again, using online databases and a chart I have from my first weight loss program) and use the lower number.

I could tell myself that the huge piece of pizza I ate was only 300 calories, but my body will not be fooled, it will know I just consumed around 600 calories and it will react accordingly. (Again, as an aside a good rule of thumb for estimating pizza calories is 100 calories for each finger you can fit on the crust) Likewise, I could tell myself that my 1/2 hour walk burned 400 calories, but my body will know that it was only like 150 and again, react accordingly.

So, there you have it, my little speech about honesty and reality - two of the most important components to my weight loss. 

1 comment:

  1. lol. I love it. Keeping a food journal is one of the first steps in being honest with ourselves. If we are conscious of our choices and then have to take the time to record them, then it almost subconsciously "makes" us choose healthier foods to consume.