I saw a post on Instagram yesterday that said “You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want.” That’s such a simple reminder, but it really hit home with me. I really DO need to focus on what I want. I have been struggling the past few weeks with focusing on my goals!
I have come a long way. I recognize and celebrate that, but I am not finished. I got into my weight range in January of 2011. It is almost 4 years later, and I still haven’t reached my ultimate goal!! In January 2012, I was up 10 pounds. In January 2013, I was up another 9! I lost 18 by January 2014, and I’ve lost 7 more since January. I expected my weight loss to slow down, but I really don’t think my body is the issue. My body is capable of losing the weight. All of my struggles have been mental.
It is hard to stay self-motivated when the excitement about your progress dies down with those around you. No one gets excited when I lose 1 pound like they did when I was 245 pounds. No one notices my progress now but me and my Weight Watcher buddies. No one tells me how good I look, like they did frequently when I was losing the majority of my weight. No one celebrates for me when I have another week of maintaining. No one asks how my weight loss is going anymore.
I shouldn’t say no one notices or gets excited. I do have an immediate circle of people who are still very supportive, but it is not the same as it was when I was losing. In fact, some people question why I want to lose more. When people tell me over and over that I look great and don’t need to keep losing, it gets in my head. When people tell me I should relax because I’ve worked so hard, it gets in my head. When people say “it’s just one day” it gets in my head.
People have accepted me at my new weight and forget how hard I worked to get here. I also don’t think people understand how hard I have to work to STAY here. They see me as a success, so they don’t understand why I am not satisfied. I see myself as someone who has had success but is still struggling. I am still a work in progress. I am not satisfied because I am not where I want to be. I stopped short of my goals back in 2011 and things changed for me. My running died off. My excitement waned. I told myself to accept it and be happy where I was, all the while not believing that in my heart. I have never learned to maintain because I have never reached the goal weight that I want to maintain. I have been constantly trying to lose, but I have taken many detours along the way.
If I am going to focus on what I want, I better have a clear picture of what that is. So, what do I want at this point in my journey? How long do you have? 😉
- I want to place in the top 3 for our weight loss contest at work. (We have 4 weigh ins to go!)
- I want to lose my rolls. Yes, I still have rolls. They are smaller now, but they still make me crazy. They taunt me and serve as a reminder that I am not yet where I want to be. How do you lose 93 pounds and have rolls? UGH. (I also have stretch marks but I am at peace with those, at least for now.)
- I want to be able to buy any shirt I want, without having to worry if it’s too “clingy” for my rolls (see #2).
- I want my chest to stick out further than my belly. (see #2 and #3).
- I want to hit my weight goal of 145, which will be a total loss of 100.8 pounds! Maybe I will stop at 145 and maybe I won’t. We’ll see how I feel once I get there. My weight range is 130-160, so that puts me right in the middle. It’s the weight that was on my driver’s license for years, but I really have no idea where that number came from because I never weighed myself before WW!
- I want to work on toning and building muscle. I don’t want to be skinny. I want to be fit and strong. I don’t want my arms to jiggle.
- I want to run another 1/2 marathon. I know I can do it. I don’t know what has been stopping me.
- I want to learn moderation. I want to be able to have a “bad” meal and not let that turn into a bad day or a bad week.
- I want to help others reach their goals and learn to believe in themselves. I hope this blog will do that someday.
- I want exercise to become a long term habit. I tend to do really good for a few weeks or a few months and then it fizzles out and I don’t work out for weeks at a time. I need to be happy with “good enough” in my exercise. If I don’t feel like doing a Jillian video or running 3 miles, that doesn’t mean I should do nothing. Low intensity is okay too. (Note to self: any intensity is better than sitting on the couch!)
Wow! I didn’t realize there were still so many things I wanted. It just kept pouring out of me. Now that I know what I want, I need to FOCUS ON IT! What does that mean for me?
- I need to go to bed on time. I need to get AT LEAST 7 hours of sleep per night. I feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally when I am well rested. This might mean going to bed when my husband isn’t tired. This might mean not watching TV some nights, and that’s okay. I don’t HAVE to watch TV to relax and unwind.
- I need to workout in the morning. There are too many distractions and other things to do in the evening. Something can always come up in the evening that can get in the way. I’ve known this for awhile but I tend to keep fighting it. This is directly related to getting enough sleep. If I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t get my lazy butt out of bed in time to do a workout. Who wants to get up early to further exert yourself if you are exhausted? Not me.
- I need to stop making excuses.
- Yes, it’s hard to stick to my eating plan sometimes. So what! It is worth it. If it wasn’t worth it, I wouldn’t still be working at it 5 years later.
- Yes, it’s frustrating to struggle when others seem to have it easy. So what! Maybe they struggle with something else that I don’t struggle with. Maybe they just hide their struggle.
- Yes, I get jealous when I see other people eating whatever they want without a second thought to how many calories they are consuming. So what! I could be doing that too. I could eat crap or stop tracking, but I don’t want to. I like leading a healthier lifestyle.
- Yes, it might feel like starting over if I start training for another 1/2 marathon. So what! I used to be able to run for 2 1/2 hours and now I can’t. So what! That’s ok. A lot of people can’t run for 5 minutes. That should not hold me back. I am not a failure because I am backtracking a little bit.
- Yes, working out with weights is hard and makes me sore. So what! If my muscles are sore, that is a sign I am working and developing them! The progress is slow, but there is always progress. I need to quit stopping and starting with resistance training or I’ll never see the results I am looking for.
- Yes, I feel like I should have hit my goal 3 1/2 years ago. So what! Really, what good does it do to dwell on that? Things happened. I changed my focus. I didn’t gain all the weight back. I am still in a really good place.
- I need to stop the mindless nighttime snacking. I really, really, really, need to get over this one. Mindlessly chowing down on Doritos is what got me to 245 pounds. Food doesn’t fix anything. I’ll still be tired or sad or frustrated when I’m done eating. If I can’t watch TV without falling asleep, I should be in bed, not eating to stay awake. I don’t know how many times I have to tell myself this one.
- I need to learn to save my weekly allowance points for true indulgences, instead of wasting some every day. If I do this, I might not use all of them. So what! I get more each week. If I leave some on the table this week, it’s not the end of the world. Do I really need to indulge THAT often? Yes, the points are there to be used however I want, but blowing through them for mindless snacking is NOT a good behavior.
- I need to get back to basics. When I was losing weight consistently, I did not miss my Weight Watcher meeting for anything. I would not even DREAM of eating something if I didn’t know the points. I tracked everything, even cough drops. I understand that maybe I wasn’t giving myself enough flexibility back then, but I NEED to be at my meetings and I NEED to stay within my daily points.
Now that I have really thought this through, nothing should be stopping me. I know what I want, and I know what I need to do to get there. Now I just need to take it one day at a time.
I was very proud of myself Saturday night for not turning to food when I was upset about something. Instead I reached out to my Aunt and my hubby and just talked it through. Duh, of course that is a better option than eating. Sometimes my brain plays tricks on me. Sometimes I have this internal argument that I know food won’t fix anything, etc, but then I tell myself to shut up and eat it anyway. I get so frustrated when I give in to emotional eating and eat my feelings! That is an old habit that dies hard I guess.
I was successful on Saturday. That choice not to eat my feelings led me to keep making good choices on Sunday. If had given in and eaten junk food Saturday night (for the wrong reasons), I bet my Sunday would have turned out differently.
I saw a post on Facebook last week from the Beck Diet Solution talking about why every decision matters: “Every single time matters. Whenever I give in to temptation, I make it so much more likely that I’ll give in the next time and the time after that and the time after that.” I also read on her site that “it’s important to continually reinforce the habit of eating consistently. It’s not about the calories, it’s about the habit.”
That is TOTALLY how I feel. I don’t get upset because I ate something. I get upset about the behavior and the habit! People ask me all the time why I can’t just have one day or one meal of not worrying about it. It’s not about that one time! It’s about every time after that! I want to get to the point where I can do that. Some days I feel that I could, but most days I worry that one bad choice will lead to another and suddenly one bad choice has become a bad week or a bad month. Weight Watchers teaches flexible restraint. I can have anything I want. I just have to work it in my plan.
My plan now is to really focus (again) on what I want. I got this.