About a year ago, I was searching for my strength. After months of searching, I found it. It was inside me, I just needed to find it and hang on to it for dear life. It was right there waiting for me to truly believe in myself. It’s what my parents taught me when I was a little girl. I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. And, I finally believe it applies to losing weight.
Sixteen months and nearly 77 pounds later (76.9 to be exact), I’m still at it and I’ve had more than my fair share of ups and downs. It’s called life.
Here’s how I found my strength. I kept plugging away. I tracked my food, I recorded my weight, I learned how to do meal prep. I used the “fake it till you make it” attitude. I also looked at my daughters. I need to be healthy so I can be here for them as long as possible. I can control my weight. I can control what I eat. There are very few things in life that we have complete control over. Right now, food choices often feel like the ONLY thing I have control over.
I’m in one of those phases where I’ve got a bunch of ICK going on. I can’t control those things. I can manage them. I can get through them to whatever waits for me on the other side. Here’s what’s changed: when faced with adversity in the past, I’ve eaten my way to comfort. Not this time. I find comfort in knowing how many points I’ve eaten in a day. I feel pride that I’m continuing to make healthy food choices. I LOVE that my new clothes are starting to be roomy. This gives me strength. That’s what’s getting me through the days.
That, and my weight loss journey necklace! When I lost 30 pounds I came up with a weight loss journey necklace idea. I wanted to establish a reward system that wasn’t centered on food. For me, it needed to be something permanent-ish. So, when I lost 30 pounds I bought a bead — a Pandora bead, to be specific. I’ve long thought that Weight Watchers and Pandora should be in cahoots … but since they’re not, I made my own weight loss journey necklace. I picked out the beads (each with its own meaning) and assigned them to specific weight loss milestones. When I lost 30 pounds, I bought the Strength bead (the black one in the center). I carried it around in my purse for nearly 9 months. I told myself I could have the bead as a reward and incentive — as the necklace to wear it on would come when I lost 50 pounds. Well, life happened and it took longer than expected to get there, but I did get there. With the necklace came my confidence bead (the silver one on the right). I went from 50 to 65 pounds in about 3 weeks — much faster than usual. Then, I got stuck for 5 weeks up and down between 66 and 69 pounds. I knew that my body was adjusting to my new weight as the last 15 pounds had come off so quickly. But still, it was frustrating. However, I was patient and diligent. And then, as if by magic, I dropped 2 pounds and arrived in the 70+ pounds lost category! For that milestone, I added the patience bead (the pearly one on the left) to my necklace. It felt like the right one for the milestone. Originally, I thought I’d get a new bead every 25 pounds after 50. But, I decided that getting to 70 was hard enough and I deserved a reward. So, I changed the structure — to be at appropriate weight loss milestones as determined by my mom and me!
But, I digress. The point is, I wear my journey necklace every day. It gives me strength. It reminds me of what I have accomplished. It helps me continue moving forward. When I add that tactile reminder to my amazing support network made up of my parents, my sister, my friends, and of course my daughters, I know I can do this. I will lose the other 75 pounds!
Where do you find your strength? What do you carry with you every day to remind you of your accomplishments?
April 7, 2017 at 5:49 am
Congratulations! Your story is so inspiring (coming from someone who needs to lose 60lbs herself…)
April 7, 2017 at 8:52 am
Suzie — thanks so much. My whole purpose for starting the blog — besides chronicling this journey — is to share what I’m learning in the hopes that I can help others move closer to their healthy living and weight loss goals.
April 7, 2017 at 8:33 am
So inspirational! And practical advice. Appreciate your sharing. Many of us are on that journey.
April 7, 2017 at 9:04 am
Thanks for your kinds words, Carol! Every ounce of support I get helps me to keep going — and maybe lose an ounce or two!
April 7, 2017 at 10:32 am
That really is such a fantastic idea to reward yourself with something other than food. And then to wear it daily—brilliant.
Maybe you should approach Pandora & Weight Watchers to market this together—if it worked for you, then I bet it would work for others!!
April 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm
I think there’s a huge business opportunity for them to work together! That said, I think there’s also great satisfaction in creating the reward structure that works for you! People are so very creative!
April 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm
What a great idea to reward yourself with the necklace and beads. Congratulations for keeping your goal in mind and staying the course, Robin.
April 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm
April 7, 2017 at 10:11 pm
I love the idea for behind this necklace. You deserved each bead along the way. So many times people set themselves up for failure by using food as a reward for losing weight. This is a much better option.
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April 7, 2017 at 11:15 pm
I spent a long time trying to figure out what was going to be my reward and incentive to keep going and I’m so happy with the result. What I love most is that it’s there every day and every bead has a meaning and tells a story. Thanks for your comments!
April 8, 2017 at 11:53 am
Well done – amazing progress! Love the necklace idea!
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April 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm
Thanks! Me too — on the progress and the necklace!
April 8, 2017 at 2:03 pm
Congrats on all your hard work paying off! I know how difficult it can be to get in shape.
We just started a new fitness program at work on April 1 and I volunteered to be a part of the pilot. I’ve logged over 90,000 steps in the past week, cut out all my sugary snacks, and really have my mind focused on weight loss and getting healthy.
It’s a daunting task, so kudos to you for kicking butt so far! 🙂
April 8, 2017 at 10:01 pm
Thanks so much Austin! It IS a daunting task … but I’d really had it with being uncomfortable. Now that I’m half way, it’s only half as daunting! HA! Kudos to you for 90,000 steps in a week! You are kicking my butt on that front! Keep up the great work!
April 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm
I love this idea!! I too have a very special necklace, one I bought for myself after giving birth to my daughter without meds – I turn to it often when I need a reminder of just how strong I am.
April 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm
That’s fabulous Amber! That’s a great way to explain it … a reminder of how strong you are. It’s so true. We all need that little reminder once in a while!
April 10, 2017 at 8:11 pm
This is wonderful! I love the idea of a journey necklace. What an inspiration!
April 11, 2017 at 10:59 am
I love it too! It helps me daily! And, it’s a subtle reminder of what I’ve accomplished. It isn’t obvious what it is — unless you know me!