Goal setting, Love and Life, Mindset

The 3 lessons learned while on a weight loss journey: living an afraid and passive life, to losing 50 lbs and finding laughter again

I used to weight 50 lbs more than I do today. It took me 4 years to go from being obese to having a normal BMI, but I did it. I didn’t do it alone. Asking for guidance was the best thing I could have done for myself, and I will not be ashamed of it.

 

The majority of my weight was lost while on an internationally known wellness company’s plan. I first started with their online option, tracking what I ate, staying within a number each day, each week. When I finally got serious about losing the weight, I joined their weekly workshops, and now even work for them. This will not be about their plan, but instead some lessons I have learned along the way.

1. Know your Why

Being childfree, I found committing to a Why – Why am I doing this, Why will I follow through and be successful, a little difficult. I heard a lot of other people mention their children, their families as a great motivator. And while I do want to be healthy to help Mr. Beard, it isn’t exactly a great motivator to me. I had to look internally instead of externally. My selfishness, per se, is what got me through. I wanted to like my body. I wanted to move without pain. I wanted to feel like myself again. For too long, I felt like I was being confined to my body, and was living like I was in solitary, rather than going out and experiencing life. By committing to being active in my life, I started to enjoy it again. I found myself going out and participating more, long before I even lost the weight. It is amazing, but weight loss really does happen with a mindset. I committed to living an active life, rather than a passive one, and with that mindset, my life changed.

2. Plan It, Live It

This, perhaps, was my biggest lesson. I needed structure in learning how to indulge in delicious, albeit higher calorie foods, while staying on a path to weight loss. My *trackable* goal may have been to lose 50lbs, but the intangible goal was to learn how to grow healthy, flexible eating habits. For me, this has relied heavily on meal planning.

There is a saying out there that is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin,  or Alan Lakein, but Quote Investigator seems to believe it was H. K. Williams. Either way, it goes

A failure to plan is a plan to fail

My journey to losing 50lbs included learning to plan and prep my meals, snacks, and indulgences ahead of time. So, while it is a little controlling, what I like about it is that come Monday at dinnertime, I don’t have to worry about what to make. I can pull a meal from my fridge, put it together in minutes and start to reheat it. And since Mr. Beard and I are childfree, and recipes often make enough for 4-6, we really only need to plan and prep 3 separate dinners a week to have us fed, and fed well. We’ve now gotten it down to a science, and I will share our methods in a future post. What I can guarantee you is that each week, we have certain recipes that are our go-tos, that we enjoy, good old comfort food meals, which keep us on the healthy track. AND we always make room for changes and treats 🙂

3. Be Gentle

I wasn’t a fat kid. In fact, I wasn’t even a fat teenager. I put on all my weight in university. It wasn’t overnight. It was through years of stress eating, eating my emotions, and inactivity. It was years of small changes to habits, that morphed into unhealthy eating, binging on junk food, indulging my sweet tooth at every occasion possible. I didn’t put on weight overnight, but when I started, I expected and wanted to lose it quickly. This mentality is why it took me 4 years to achieve my goal. I would lose some weight, decide it wasn’t quick enough and then drop all my good little habits. You see, my weight loss happened with every small habit I changed. I found that even increasing my water consumption helped with my goals. When I got commited to my goal, these small habits that I created, added up and made big life changes. 50Lbs of life changes.

If you are on your own journey, know that what worked for me may not be part of your own experiences. Our bodies all react differently, and our lives work out different. Consulting a medical professional and asking for help is a great place to start. This list is just the lessons I had to learn to be successful for myself.

On a weight loss journey yourself? Which habits have helped you the most?

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