Will I ever lose this weight?

I’m going to guess that’s crossed your mind if you’re attempting to lose those stubborn bits of fat that don’t want to go anywhere. I’ve been there. It just ain’t any fun. Worse is when the weight practically falls off in the beginning, and then you hit

. . . THE PLATEAU.

What is the plateau? That’s the place we all hit. And you will. There is just no getting around it. Even if you’ve lost weight before and get back into it. The plateau is what it sounds like. Flat line. The ugh of looking at the scale week in, week out, or the tape measure (however you measure yourself) and seeing nothing mooovveee. You’re wanting to quit at that point, beating yourself up for sucking totally if you’re me. I can’t help it. No troll can be as bad to me as I can be to myself when I fail to meet expectations of myself.

To get past the plateau, it’s important to always vary what you’re doing and not get stale. Don’t keep repeating things day in and day out, day in and day out. Boooorrriinnng, which is what your body is telling you.

Determination and dedication.

Those are the two things to get you through the rough patch. Those are the things which will start the weight loss, carry you through the never-ending feeling that it will never happen, you’ll never reach your goal.

Why do I know all this?

Recently I’ve been thinking about how during the Winter I tend to lose weight while everyone complains about gaining it. I haven’t had the time to work out in over a year. I was just starting to get back into it too, when I got a new puppy. Right now I can barely get anything done outside of trying to play catch up so I expected my weight to start to compile again. But it doesn’t. So that thought led me to wanting to share my “progress” pic to show others how I’ve been there, I know what it’s like and how I needed a newer updated pic to show that I walk the walk. One to show the weight is remaining off because I try to explain that no matter what we want to achieve, it comes first from a lifestyle change. When I talk about how much I love food, and that I’m a pig (I really am, I don’t deny, I love food) or other sayings just for the hell of it, I think people may not believe I’ve been in their shoes if they’re struggling to lose weight, to put on them muscles and the like.

Which is why I like to share this image –

before-and-after-1999-2011_1

At that first pic? I was miserable. Wasn’t happy with myself because I would be winded just to go up and down the stairs. I took no pride in myself, saw myself as ugo, and just was fairly done about things. I’m laughing there because it was Christmas and my brother was in that direction so he was probably making some stupid joke. Also when I’m miserable, I tend to hide it quite well. Even now. You’ll rarely know when I’m really having a hard day because I could be seemingly having the best day. I just do that. It’s in me to protect those around me and make them happy except for that rare one I let in.

My first goal was to lose the fat, then gain ze muscle.

How did you do it?

I’m afraid I did the old-fashioned method. As in, I ate 3 big meals a day, then 2 snacks in the middle of those to get my metabolism going and stay going. I counted what went in. Didn’t matter to me what I ate, just that it was lower in calories than what I would need to “maintain” my weight. I had some meal replacements shakes for when I couldn’t be home and because frankly they are good. I walked, I kickboxed, I started doing Pilates and yoga, I used weights. I moved. I also made everything hard on myself.

When I parked? I parked at the end of the parking lot. I store dog food (even now) downstairs so that I have two flights of stairs to go up and down to fill the bowls. I used to fill them morning and night, but my knees are bad in the Winter and I’m usually worn out now so I just do once a day. Back then when I started, I walked the dog in the morning and at night. Then I gradually increased the distance of my walks. Walking. Truly the miracle weight loss fix you want. Just get up and walk.

On the calorie part. I studied up on what my particular body, age, and such would need to consume to maintain weight, gain weight, and lose. What I found was to eat less than what I would need to maintain so that I could lose. At the time (don’t go blindly by my numbers, please use common sense and study for yourself as the guidelines may have changed and I am not you so your needs will be different) I needed 2000 calories just to maintain my weight. So I only took in 1600-1800 per day. If I wanted to eat cake for lunch, then I darn well ate it, and simply cut back on dinner. Breakfast was the most important so I trained myself not to have a problem eating within an hour of waking. And yes, at first you may have to do that if you don’t crave food in the morning.

(But again I’ll point out: I’m not you so really study up on it before jumping in, maybe even ask your doc, but I’m not interested in asking permission to do my own thing, least of all a doctor on how my body works since they’ve never been right for me. So that last part? I never do, but I’m also not into being stupid on how I treat myself.)

The reality is that there isn’t any real solution outside of eating right and exercising. Eating right doesn’t necessarily mean eating bland food, lettuce all day, just veggies, or whatever else that idea conjures up. I personally believe that WE are our best weapon for anything we want to tackle. For taking care of ourselves? We know how to do that if we listen. Just like you know how to lose weight. Or rather . . . your body does. Cater to it for once. Eat only when hungry, don’t blindly stuff food down the throat just to do it. Remember that calories exist in nearly everything you drink, try to limit sugar content outside of certain amounts, and just everything in moderation.

You can do this.

You can lose that weight, you can bulk up if that’s your goal. It’s mental that is the challenge. I grow tired of hearing people blame outside sources. During puberty, nearly every human being’s body fluctuates and if you’re not taking care of yourself (waves), the body will pack on weight in an instant. I used to be athelitc too so you’d have thought losing weight would be easy for me.

It took me TEN years.

It’s a battle. It’s a struggle. You go forward, you go backward. You beat yourself up. There is no be all end all. Tell yourself you’ll lose it, and then just do it. Don’t let others tell you that you can’t unless you do so and so. Or that you can’t because you had kids. Hell, even that you have to the instant the kid falls out of you. Don’t let others into your head in general. Don’t even let yourself.

It’s in the little details. For a very long time (this may piss people off) I watched Oprah talking about her weight ups and downs. Her struggles. And then I’d watch her on TV shoving food into her mouth while doing food segments. That one little thing used to tell me she really wasn’t dedicated to losing the weight. I’d hear lots of things come from her.

I got fat because of puberty. I stayed fat? Because of me. No excuses here. I wasn’t walking, I was lying around being miserable and depressed. Didn’t matter what was going on in my life or the reasons. I was fat because I was. Because I didn’t do anything about it, other than hate myself for it. The fat wasn’t because I was a bad person, or because I deserved to have it on me and be miserable. It just was. It’s not always the pill’s fault, the pain’s fault, the fault of your body, your ex, your baby, or anything else. You have it on you, you gained it from whatever means. That’s okay. But only saying it’s the fault of an outside source, you’re basically telling your body and brain that it’s not up to you to lose it. Problem? It won’t just fall off you when you wake tomorrow. You do have to do something to get rid of it. Now when you tell yourself that it’s up to you to get rid of it, you can. So do it.

And I’ll repeat this: it’s a battle. And you’re a great warrior who can win.

The day that I hit my lowest point (at that time) I knew: I needed a change. I couldn’t keep going the way I was if I truly wanted the weight off.

And that battle began for me. As I said above.

Determination and Dedication.

Those will get you through it. I still take care of myself for the most part. The weight has remained off, and I’m dedicated and determined not to ever let it come back. And for me I won’t be with a man who isn’t like that so I want it around me too because then it helps me keep the weight off. Being around people who are overweight also won’t make you fat. Obesity runs in my family. I am prone to gaining weight, but I refuse to let it come back. Friends won’t make you gain because it’s up to you. I was often criticized because I didn’t eat when I’d go out. One, you don’t know what all is in the food, but Two and most important? It was because I was eating so dang often that when they wanted to eat, I’d already eaten. Not that most believed me.

I was also criticized for “being sick,” “being too thin,” “being anorexic.” When I heard the last one? My jaw dropped. The woman hadn’t seen me in a while and was beyond thin herself, had always been. And out of nowhere she actually asked me while I was beyond happy and bringing her cookies of all things, if I was anorexic. I have never in my life thrown up after I ate, or been that determined to not gain weight that I physically harmed myself. I lost weight the healthy way. It saddened me to hear that. Also I never was around her again. It wasn’t the first time she’d been critical of me (there’s obviously more to the story) so when I heard that and the way she looked at me? No. Never again. She hurt my feelings when she acted like she didn’t believe me and that I’d fall over any second. Same with those who told me to stop losing weight. When I say I won’t be around people like that? I damn well mean I will not be near anyone who makes me feel less than.

So understand that you may find out who truly accepts you, who you have to let go. Who won’t be able to handle that you are losing the weight and how good it makes you feel as a person. And it will. I used to be so scared of someone seeing any part of me naked. Now? I freaking have to remind myself to shut my curtains when I change. My family is another story granted, but it’s amazing how much your mindset changes when you cross that finish line and keep going. It isn’t all pleasant, but it’s worth it.

Your mind is your greatest weapon, and enemy.

Use it to help yourself win.

I know you can do it. I believe in you.

 

ETA: This is what I said when I posted this on Facebook. Just wanted to add it here too.

Whatever body goal you have in mind, you can achieve. I know. Because I’ve been there.
 
I’ve shared this only a few times over the time I’ve been online (FB) because frankly, there are times I still struggle to see the girl on the right. Many times. I can receive praise all day and I still see the girl on the left at times, wondering why people say I’m so beautiful. It’s not that I don’t know I am. My father instilled it in me. It’s that I struggle to see past HER.
 
That’s one thing they forget to tell you about weight loss, or any body change. To be able to SEE yourself when you reach the other side is difficult. They also don’t prepare you for the criticism you’ll suffer from people for achieving your goals.
 
Recently I’ve been thinking about updating this image because it’s one thing for someone to maintain weight loss (or lose it) when they’ve been fat, or when obesity runs in their family. It’s another when they SAY a lot of that, without people seeing the results as time goes on. We can all lose bits here and there, but losing it and keeping it off? Much different. So I like to find shots to add to this (in this case my recent shot was taking a shot of my natural hair before I cut it and began coloring it back then – ended up being a great shot to add to this) as I can, and plan to, but I thought I’d share it as is for now because the size hasn’t changed since back then in 2010. And honestly it’s for me. It’s to remind myself what I can achieve when I say I will, despite all those who didn’t think I could, or doubt my word. And in my life? I’ve had far more of the non-believers than believers. So I fully admit this is also a nice little “fuck you” to all those who refused to believed I could. When I say I’ll do something? I will. Through blood, sweat, and many many maaany tears I achieve what I set out to. To doubt me is to fuel me and find yourself without me.
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