Getting off the Fat Track

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Buckle your seatbelts. I’m about to knock your socks off. The tubby wife is 46 pounds lighter.

It’s been a little over two months since I announced my ambitious goal of losing 90 pounds by my 30th birthday, and that puts me slightly over halfway there. I have reached milestones I never thought I would be fortunate enough to see again in my lifetime. If someone would have told me in September, that by Thanksgiving I’d be down several dress sizes and officially no longer look like a blob, I would have been skeptical at best.

I think skepticism is what a lot of people felt. Several weeks back there was a round of laughter from a group of people when I stated my goal. According to them, it wasn’t my determination that was in question. It was the mere fact that very few people ever lose more than 10 or 20 pounds. I mean, it’s kind of what we do as we age. We slowly put on weight and even though we hate it, we eventually accept our fate. We may lose a little here and there… staggering between disgust and complacency… shifting priorities from image to genuine satiety, but… it’s not often that anyone gets so serious that they peel off nearly 100 pounds from themselves.

I’ve seen a few women this year that have done it though, and their “before and afters” showed me that it could indeed be accomplished. I have one friend who has lost 150 pounds, another who lost 70, and another who just lost 50, all during 2017. These women blazed a trail inside my thick skull and proved that losing huge amounts of weight is possible. And it doesn’t have to take several years to do it. I told my brothers and sisters recently “People have done this, and I’m going to be one of them.”

A few days later I had a conversation with someone about what makes the difference. What are the components that converge together to form that special motivation that ‘gets you there’? For a few minutes, we played with the idea that a certain level of ambition, the right circumstances, and a certain timeliness all come together for a person to make it possible. And many of those things are out of a person’s control. Basically, my friend concluded that it must be a random moment of fate that allows a person to muster up enough strength, courage and perseverance to kick some serious butt.

But then I went home and jumped on the treadmill and realized it wasn’t that at all.

For four and a half years, regardless of how much I wanted to be skinny again, something always stood in my way. My initial attempts proved that it was harder to lose this time than I ever remember it being, so I battled discouragement more. And Mark did not approve of my former methods of losing, so I didn’t know what to do. And we were dirt poor and it’s expensive to eat healthy. And I tried different diets and hated them. And I didn’t like salads or vegetables… And it was hard when you had to cook for another person and they didn’t want to eat light too. And we were in the process of moving. And it was the holidays. And I didn’t have a place to put my treadmill. And nobody wanted to go to the gym with me. And I decided to really do this, but Mark wanted to go out for ice cream. And then it was our anniversary and we had to have cheesecake. And then, I was depressed and then I was pregnant, and then I was recovering from serious health problems…

There was never a magic moment when the stars aligned and the budget was friendly and the motivation blasted me onto a treadmill with fervent passion. In fact, when I started losing weight two months ago, everything was stacked against me.

Mark took a new job that required 8 weeks of travelling to different places around the country and we were about to be living out of hotels the whole time. That meant eating out every day. It meant fighting off temptations for restaurants that we don’t normally have the opportunity to go to. It meant wrangling a cooped-up toddler with interruptions to his routines, that would inevitably create interruptions to mine. It meant leaving my treadmill behind. It meant I was going to have to think on my feet to stay on track.

I could have so easily said “I’ll start this when Mark’s training is over.”

And then it would have been Thanksgiving….

And Christmas….

And I would have waited until the holidays were over… and I probably would have put on weight while I complacently feasted through the festivities.

And then… After Christmas, I would have looked at the final few days of December and thought… I’ll take advantage of the last few days of the year because January 1st, 2018 is a perfect starting point for this endeavor. It’s even on a Monday!


And…

I would not be where I am today.

I would not have lost 46 pounds.

My soul cringes at this truth.

All those times I was waiting for a better time…. better circumstances…

All those times I missed the point and lost out on the joys that I am experiencing now!

I’d still be looking in the mirror, trying not to think too much about the blob looking back because it hurt to know it was me.

I’d still be battling depression that stemmed from this horrific failure in my life….

I’d still be huffing and puffing and struggling to find something in my closet to conceal the treacherous things I had done to my body.

I’d still be wishing I had tried to lose the weight earlier on, and wondering how far I’d be right now if I had been serious.

You know… there is no magic booster that lands in your hands at the right moment to get you there.

Motivation for big results… it boils down to one thing.

One super simple thing, that anyone can learn, at any point in their life. That anyone can grab hold of and apply TODAY.

There’s only one way to get off the fat track.

Just stop making excuses.

That’s the heart of the problem.

My knees hurt. I have PCOS. I’m too tired. My health creates too many obstacles. I really want that candy bar. I’ll get a headache when I quit drinking pop. I’m too busy. I can’t afford a gym membership. I hate water.

They are the little bits of nonsense you tell yourself over and over that keep you from trying. They are the things that have convinced you that you won’t be successful, before you even start. They are the things that make you quit when you hit the first rough patch.

And they are all…

In. Your. Head.

90% of weight loss is in the mind. It’s the choice to exercise your rear end off when you don’t feel like it. And it’s the choice to go to bed hungry because you unwisely ate all your calories too soon in the day. It’s the choice to find a way to eat right when the menu doesn’t offer much help.

If you want to lose weight… you can.

We all have legitimate obstacles,but they aren’t impassable walls.

They are hurdles… meant to be jumped over.

They are not dead ends.

They are challenges.


I came to a place 2 months ago, where I was done with excuses. I walked 15 miles a day on a sore ankle. I turned down milkshake dates with Mark. I let a gallon of chocolate milk go bad because he didn’t realize I was serious about not drinking it if he bought it. If eating out was unavoidable, I ate a child’s entrée, instead of an adult meal with soda. When I was stuck in a hotel, I spent my time in the gym. If I got discouraged with a stubborn pound, I refused to eat through my sorrow. If I hit a plateau, I upped the intensity and changed my routines.

I just, plain and simple, quit making excuses.

Have I been 100% perfect?

Absolutely not.

I’ve lost my will power a few times. I caved more than I want to admit when passing those warm cookies in the hotel lobby. My plan of attack gets knocked off kilter from time to time, but I get back up, I re-strategize, I learn from the setbacks, and I press on. I refuse to let those challenges become excuses.

I looked in the mirror today. I was shocked at what I saw. Shocked at all the clothes filling up my “fat bin”. Shocked at the smaller skirts I just bought already falling off. Shocked that already, my face looks so much better. I’ve still got a long way to go.

 

But I realized… if I was still making excuses….

I’d still be…

Sad…

Angry….

Frustrated with that reflection….

I’d be carrying all 90 of those deplorable pounds…

Maybe even more….

But I’m not.

I’m carrying less than half of them.