well after I won the Biggest loser challenge, my husband gave me a gift of a silver necklace with a pendant that reads..."the journey is the reward". and so true this is for I discovered many things along this journey. I recieve the gracious praises for my accomplishment, but there are so many facets to this and there are so many people and images of their faces, words, and expressions that resonate in my mind and heart every day which have carried me along this journey. To these my eternal gratitude will never be enough. You know who you are.
On June 5th, I would finally "awaken the giant within"... I would finally face my "demon" and seek an answer to my underlying "naiveness".
(These are in quotations because those closest to me will know the moment they have said these words to me and why)
There are so many comments, stories, moments, tears, and pain that are part of my journey. These are what gives me hope, what moves me on a daily basis, what keeps me fighting at every moment. What give me strength and power. I will attempt to intrepret all these simply below.
What have I learned?....PEACE... why peace? because until you learn to make PEACE with yourself, with your purpose, you will not achieve it. There is an extremely psychological side to being overweight or obese. I am not talking about those nagging 5-10 lbs we pick up over the years. I am talking about the 20-30,50 and even those 80 lbs overweight we allow ourselves to justify with new clothes, with new hairdos, with makeup and immersement in our roles as wifes and mothers, and employers. Each of those pounds are a justification for a part of our lives we have lost control of, the balance, the importance, the priority which is OURSELF.
P. E. A. C. E.
1)Priority. Make yourself a priority. We occupy so many roles in our lives that can blind or obscure the rememberance of who we are. We forget what we love and what we are passionate about. We tend to lose ourself along this path. Where did we lose the crucial element in our life of valuing ourselves?
Did anyone see last nights episode of Biggest Loser. Did you see the part after the whole episode of Jillian Michaels attempting to help Migdalia get to the root of her emotions... and what happened afterwards with her ONLY hearing one side of what Jillian was trying to say... A little bit after, Did you see the part when she is at the table talking to her mom and realizes... what had set her off was one simple question that Jillian asked. "Are you happy?", then she asked her why are you so mad?" Migdalia in tears confessed to her mom and herself, " I don't know why?".
Are you truly happy? Are you in control of that part of your life? You have to take the time and make yourself a priority above all. This doesn't mean you sacrifice your family or your loved ones or your other responsibilities, rather you place yourself on the same level and importance that you give your job, your kids, your spouse, your home, etc. I often refer to may husbands "BS" line. I always got pissed when my husband would caringly and (safely) respond to my reciprocal question... he would say "do what makes you happy!" until I finally realized the deep meaning of those words. I would have to find what that was. I would have to find out what made me happy. Noone else could do it for me.
2)EXCUSES/ You must stop making excuses for why you don't have the time, don't have the energy, why you don't have noone to go with, why the kids, the housework, the job, the school, the schedule and the kitchen sink is to blame for your weight issues. That and all the other petty excuses, we attempt to justify when trying to clear our conscience of what WE KNOW we must do. I remember having to get over the akwardness of the new machines and gym clothes, dear God, oh mighty, and all the skinny bitches, who of course i just excused myself with..."hmm, i bet they don't have kids, "hmm... I bet there metabolism is faster, " I bet they starve themselves, I bet they dont eat". STOP !!!! Stop making excuses for yourself. Face the truth, and call it out for what it is. My sister once told me. "No fat person wants to be fat". I was fat. I was one of those fat people and was in total denial. I was overweight and unhealthy and on my way to Diabetes and all its consequences. I had search deep down for the reasons of the excuses and justifications and call them out one by one. Find a solution, and resolve the issues of why I allowed this. Only then, I could overcome the excuses.
3)ACCOUNTABILITY. I recall the first time I caught a commercial of anything "Biggest Loser" while switching the channels and heard Bob Harper say. One of the best ways to start on the right path in weight loss is journaling everything you eat. Even today after 73 lbs weight loss I continue to journal my eating habits, as well as my thoughts, emotions of the day. I also remember a funny thing that happened after I told my sister ... "I'm doing this weight loss challenge with some coworkers"... all of a sudden every time we were around food or drink, she instinctively spoke for me... "oh, she can't eat that because she is on this weight loss challenge", "oh she can't have that because she is trying to lose weight". I would of loved to seen the expression on my face at those moments. But I learned a very important lesson that day: ACCOUTABILITY. Above all you are accountable to yourself, but by telling others you will start to feel obligated and encouraged to stay on track. Also, the more people you tell, the more people you enlist as your support in this battle.
4) CONSISTENCY. remember the Skinny bitches another thing I learned from them was that Every single time I would go to the gym, day or night, they were there, the same skinny bitches, they were there, the were there maintaining what they had already developed and so were those people and that person and that one, I then realized it was consistency, the continuous effort to change, develop and maitain. When you make this your way of life, when you add it to your daily routine, you will find it as a necessity, as a part of your life. It becomes a commitment to yourself. An obligation to yourself. A constant pattern of goodness for yourself. A goal you strive to accomplish on a daily basis. When you follow the same routine of taking care of yourself by eating right, sleeping and resting enough, and by exercising daily, your reward is inevitable.
Your consistency will pay off. People often say, "the weight falls off". Does it? Yes, it falls off. Tosca Reno says she dropped off 70 lbs, it became dust on the threadmill. I too can tell you, that I never believed I would ever be in a size 8 dress or jeans, again. But by following this method, every day. It happens. If you are consistent. Leave the bad habits and replace them with good ones, every day. It happens. I often say I have won the war, but the battle continues. I take every day, every moment, every meal as my chance to improve and make the best choice.
5) EAT QUALITY FOOD IN CORRECT QUANTITY. People ask me on a daily basis now. How did you do it? What is the secret? And my answer remains the same. "I eat with regards to quality and quantity, not convenience". I don;t do junk food, I don't do fast food and I dont do coke cola. I remember one interview, years ago, Al Roker did after he got his gastric bypass, and people were asking him, why are you so consumed about food preparation if that is what you are trying to stay away from", and he said something to the effect of..." Because I can only eat a small quantity of food now, I have to make it the BEST quality". I too will read food labels on every single thing I consume. If I see that on tiny muffin has 5 GRAM OF FAT and 140 per serving, its not worth it for me. All the sugar grams and hydrogenated oils in that junk are just not worth it.
Every good book on losing weight is exactly the same as the next. When talking about nutrition, whether its Tosca Reno Eat clean diet, Ian Smith, 4 day diet, Liz Vaccariello, Flat Belly Diet, or David zinczenko-Abs diet, (all reputable names in the health and nutrition fields) each of these books mirror each other in saying you have to EAT QUALITY FOODS. Give up the junk, and fuel your body with nutritious foods. Remember the good old saying? You are what you eat!. Plain and simple you are what you eat. I gave Coke Cola up completely. I dont do diet, zero, or anything phizzy at all. I pretty much drink green, or herbal teas, my morning java', water and skim milk, thats it. I dont do fruit juices or powdered drinks at all. I buy and prepare my food 90% of the time. The other 10% involves carefully balancing sugar grams, fat grams and substitutions. I bring my cooler to work and my coworkers can testify that I consume about 4 meals a day during work. I enjoy eating, I taste my foods, and value my body and mind now. I know I am worth the time and energy to dedicate to myself.
I have come to learn that the mind and body are an incredible machine that can take us to places where we never thought possible. Respect it, treasure it, and love it. By doing this you will give it the best quality fuels, you will reward it with attention, and care.
As fastidious it may be for others to hear me repeat my story over and over. I hope this may fuel you to make a change. To search deep for your inspiration, for your motivation to get healthy to get fit and LIve your best life.