I have bloggy buddy I love to death and I am betting most of you follow her,Dr. F, who recently posted here that she is kinda been off the wagon lately. She goes on to talk about how she has in the past gotten down on herself for not being perfect in her plan for weight loss, leading to more not being perfect and eventually just plain giving up all efforts. I think that is way more common than is usually known or talked about. Cause here is the thing. We get ourselves whipped into frenzy, we are gonna accomplish great things, we are gonna eat cleaner and better and more perfect than could ever be considered possible before we do it. We are gonna lose all of these years of weight in 3 months and it is gonna be epic! Does all this sound familiar? It does to me, I have written that book a few times in my life. Dr. F's story started making me think about this current journey I am on and how it has been so dramatically different than journeys past. I almost feel guilty for it, but I have enjoyed a great deal of success this time around. Probably more than I deserve if the truth be told. I have never lost weight this fast, made so many changes and had them stick for so long, and never been this light since high school. These are all very exciting. So how did that happen? Well, there are a few big differences this time around. I did not lean on only changing my food or only exercising my ass off. This time, I decided any food I want, I can have. I just can't have all I can eat of it. I decided rather than shooting for a 5k run in 1 month, I would walk for my exercise, with escalating distance and effort on my part. When I did change my food, I didn't shoot straight for minimum calories right away, I went for 2000 calories a day, moved to 1800 a day, then slowly woudn up at 1500 eventually. By default, I wound up eating a heck of a lot cleaner based on eating lower calorie foods for their calorie values, but still not having anything be off limits.
I think that more overweight people are overweight because they are perfectionists. I can't do it perfect and to fit my expectations? Then I won't try to do it at all. I just had three cookies? crap, I failed, I suck. Case in point. My wife. She has jumped on the bandwagon. She has lost 20 pounds over the last 3 months just for having started to cook food I can eat for her and Lauren. We have sworn off fast food burgers and crap food. The other day, she committed to start exercising and has made a real effort to start counting her calories for the day. She has been doing great at it too. But, we had a cookie rally for Girl Scout Cookies sales Friday night. She had been spot on all day diet wise. But she had 4 cookies and a slice of cake. In her head, she had failed her diet. I had to explain to her no. First, no food is out of bounds. Second, you had 4 cookies and some cake. 4 months ago, you would have had a dozen free cookies and gone back for seconds on cake. At the end of the rally, there was extra cookies that were left over and they were bringing them to us. She said no thank you to that. However, in all that, all she saw was she failed by eating cookies. That is usually the beginning of the end for us fat folks looking to change our lives. But, rather than making small changes that are sustainable, then building on them, we think we have to be perfect from jump street. Please for you newbies, I am begging you. Don't do the perfect or nothing, wholesale changes approach to your weight loss journey. Start off with one thing, one habit you know you can keep up. Go walk a mile at a comfortable pace today, cut your calories down to 2000 for three days, don't eat that late night snack for this week. Just make small changes that once you do them, make you proud, make you able to build on them. In two weeks, you can cut it down to 1800 calories a day, and this time, pledge to get some vegetables in your diet. Don't shoot for the whole enchilada at once. One bit at a time folks, one bite at a time.