Over the last month I’ve been fixated on the 100 pound milestone. It’s HUGE. The anticipation of it was ginormous. How is this real? How did I DO this? Going from losing 90 pounds to 100 pounds was so emotional! I’ve cried (with amazement) at the scale on a weekly basis because I couldn’t believe the pounds were adding up right. I’ve cried at the thought of saying “I’ve lost 100 pounds.”
Now that I’m there (100.8 pounds to be exact) I still can’t believe it. I chuckle out loud before I say it to other people. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what this feels like and what it means. It’s by far the most surreal experience of my life. I’ve narrowed down my thoughts into the 3 most significant insights I’ve gleaned from losing 100 pounds:
- Understand Your Why – Understanding why I wanted to lose weight is half the battle. It can be as simple as not wanting to look or feel the same way anymore. I had reached a weight that was unbearable. I was uncomfortable everywhere. I couldn’t cross my legs and I needed a seatbelt extender on an airplane. I was so humiliated. And, most importantly, I want to be healthy for my daughters. I want to set a great example for them and I want to be a part of their lives for as long as humanly possible. To do that, I needed to to lose weight. That’s the why that keeps me going. Every. Single. Day.
- Success Does Not Equal Suffering – This is the biggest thing I’ve learned. I eat what I want. I indulge. I enjoy food. Yep, I do. And, I continue to lose weight. It works because I do everything in moderation. I’ve been at this for 22 months. I track my food (almost) daily. I count my points. I eat a LOT of fruit. I cook a LOT of vegetables. I choose to only eat homemade baked goods (with a few exceptions on special occasions). However, my eating style, portion size and cravings have changed. My lifestyle is permanently different. I used to think that losing a lot of weight meant that you had to give up your favorite foods, feel hungry all the time, and endure a general sense of suffering, but that’s just not true. One of the most important things I’ve learned from Weight Watchers is that while I’m losing weight I need to eat in a way I’m willing to eat for the rest of my life. That way, I’ll be prepared to maintain my weight loss when I get to goal.
- Identify Your Support Network – I’m not kidding. Find your “people” and include them in your journey. I would not be where I am in this process if it weren’t for my family, my friends and my Weight Watchers leaders and group. This core of people helps me celebrate every tenth of a pound lost. Be strong. Stand up for yourself. If there are people in your life that aren’t being supportive, talk to them and share your why and explain why their support is so very important to you. Losing this weight is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Getting healthy will allow you to be around to do everything else. I am fortunate my health concerns were not yet life threatening. However, I was diabetic (I’m not sure I can become un-diabetic even though my A1C is now at a non-diabetic level), I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and my blood pressure was OK, but not great. ALL of those concerns have either normalized or been nearly eliminated. My doctors are thrilled! I couldn’t have come this far without my support networks. Don’t have anyone you can count on? Send me a note or comment below. I’ll be there for you.
On the day I reached 100 pounds, my parents, daughters, sister and niece all came to my Weight Watchers meeting to celebrate the milestone (which isn’t even my goal, I’ve got more weight to lose). It was overwhelming and emotional. I’m not sure who shed the most tears — me, my mom, my dad, the Weight Watchers team, or my fellow members! This celebration — with the people I love the most surrounding me — helped make it real. I am so thankful for them.
How did I do this? How did I — the person who’s been struggling with her weight her whole life — manage to figure this out?
As I do for each 10 pound milestone, I went to Seebeck Gallery in Kenosha with my parents to pick out the new Pandora bead for my journey necklace. There were many good options to choose from. I’d done my homework and was armed with a list of contenders. But, I always decide in the moment and I chose wisdom. So much of this journey has been in my head. I’ve reviewed and analyzed the things that I do and choose to eat. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve changed my behaviors. I’ve acquired wisdom (definition: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment). Who me? I have good judgement when it comes to food? That’s crazy! But now, it’s also true. I’ve applied what I’ve learned to make this a simpler process. Is it easy to lose 100 pounds? NO. I had to reach deep inside myself to find the strength, commitment, patience, dedication, faith and wisdom to lose each and every pound. Wearing those personal values every day as part of my journey necklace keeps me focused and on track. This is a good thing, because I can never give up. This journey lasts for the rest of my life, and I’m OK with that.
What’s your why?