I felt a little nostalgic today and started rereading the blog I did on My Fitness Pal. I haven’t added to it in about a year and a half. I read the entries backwards, so it was weird to see my thought processes go in the opposite direction, back to square one.
I already knew it, but it really showed me that this is a journey, not a sprint.
I started on MFP and trying to lose weight back in January 2013. At that time my only goal was to lose at least 100 lbs. My size made simple things like walking long distances without getting winded, touching my toes, wearing clothes from regular sized stores a struggle. At that time my focus was only on the scale, on the numbers and each day, the number on the scale dictated if I was happy or sad, if life was going well, or if it just plain sucked. Rarely was I happy, if there was a loss, it was never enough for me, I wanted it all off immediately. Gains were devastating and my record number of plateaus were just as bad, why do all that work and not see that scale number go down? I only saw the number and was never happy. The scale ruled my happiness. I was a fool.
When I first logged onto MFP, and plugged in the numbers, having enough sense to use a one-pound/week loss as a goal, (because the calorie count it would have given me if I set it for two pounds would have made it too difficult to do), it also gave me a date in which I’d reach that goal and I remember being so upset that it was so far off <insert big snort here> Little did I know. That date passed a long time ago. Now I see it as a good thing, the time it’s taken for me to lose a slow, but steady 100+ lbs. and not gain most or all of it back, as most people tend to do, according to so many studies. It’s given me time to educate myself about what works and what doesn’t:
- how gaining a pound overnight is not fat unless I ate an additional 3500 calories.
- how sore muscles mean water retention which will show on the scale and how it’ll drop off in a day or two.
- how adding muscle will not show as a loss on the scale and usually as a gain, but will show up in the mirror and the now loose clothes.
- how eating minimally processed foods most of the time isn’t that hard and tastes darned good.
- how better food choices are now a habit and one I’m not looking to break.
- how reaching my goal weight doesn’t mean I’d go back to my old ways of eating, so what’s the rush??
That last one is the most important one and it took me a long time to realize it. I spent a lot of time being frustrated by gains and plateaus (still do but I’m working on it), but when I think about it, there’s no reason to be. The only thing that will change is a maintenance plan – a few more calories and a new road on this journey.
I started in January 2013 to lose weight, to lose fat. That’s all I wanted. Along the way, I did that, but more importantly I gained better health, both physically and emotionally/mentally. My weight loss journey turned into a health one, a journey that I’m on for the rest of my life. Who knows what’s around the next corner?
I can’t wait to find out.