On June 3, 2008, I weighed 261.5 pounds. This morning I weighed in at 212.9 pounds. This means I lost 48.6 pounds in 2008–almost 50 pounds in 30 weeks.
In 2009 I intend to continue losing weight. I have set a goal weight for myself of 138 pounds, a goal I plan to meet by the end of the year. As of today, I have 74.9 pounds to lose. This means I must lose an average of 1.44 pounds every week in 2009. Since I managed an average of 1.62 pounds a week in 2008, I find this goal more than reasonable.
It’s also unbelievable, and exciting.
I’ve talked, read, thought, and dreamed about losing weight since I was a teenager. I’m well-versed in the theory. Set goals, take it day by day. But never until now have I been successful at putting that into practice.
Always, I’ve had a “want it now” mentality. If I can’t achieve it in a day or two, I tend not to do it. I am capable of doing many things in a few days, but losing over a hundred pounds is not one of them.
Even though I knew all this, knew that weight loss was a commitment and wouldn’t happen overnight, I still burned myself out on lose-weight-quick diets and gave up whenever I stumbled. I never had the long-range view necessary for success.
Then I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and told I would need to have a defibrillator implanted in my chest to protect me from heart attacks. It was a horrible way to achieve clarity, but that’s what happened. I saw that if I didn’t change my life, I couldn’t be healthy. In that moment, worries about being unable to achieve my goals in a day vanished. Instead of focusing on where I wasn’t, I focused on making healthy changes every day. And step by step, I gained stamina, lost weight, and ultimately didn’t need the implant.
It wasn’t–and isn’t–easy. Without that change in perspective, everything I’ve achieved this year would have been impossible. And now that I’ve achieved the goal of avoiding the defibrillator, I’m in danger of thinking I’m “done”.
The fact is, I will never be “done”. I will have to make healthy decisions every day for the rest of my life. And I choose to do so. I choose to be healthy, I choose to be my ideal weight, I choose to feel good and look good and be happy.
Part of taking a long-range view is allowing indulgences and moving forward thereafter. I’ve learned to forgive myself this year.
The holidays have been a big stumbling block. I did very well on Thanksgiving, but the days after were full of leftovers and lost resolve. Christmastime came, and with it countless goodies. Each day I chose enjoying food over staying within my Weight Watchers Points limit.
Now that the holidays, and 2008, are over, I am rededicating myself to my health. I’m forgiving myself and moving forward.
A year ago I never would have thought I could lose 50 pounds. This year I can say I’ve done it, and I’ll do it again, and half again.
And when I get to 138 pounds at the end of this year, I’ll look back on 2009 with pride, and look forward to further health and happiness in 2010–whether that means maintaining 138 or losing a little more.
I proved in 2008 that I can do the things I put my mind to. So my resolution is this: to continue.