I’ve always wanted to lose weight. When I was a little girl, I fantasized about blinking my eyes like “I Dream of Jeannie” and magically making myself thin like the other girls in school. Later, I thought it required starvation or surviving only on carrots and lettuce and running two hours a day. I couldn’t do that so obviously I couldn’t be thin.
It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I began to learn about nutrition and calories and exercise. I’ve spent the last ten years learning. I have the knowledge. So why haven’t I ever made it to my goal weight in that time? Why have I lost weight only to gain back more.
It’s overwhelming, facing 170 lbs to lose. That’s what I started at–at my highest weight I had 170 lbs to lose to reach my goal. That’s daunting. That’s scary. That seems impossible.
It takes dedication. Dedication to my goals and to my health. It takes a belief that I deserve to be healthy, happy, and attractive. It takes determination and strategy. It takes a lot of change. I can’t go back to the way I’ve lived my life in the past. I have to make permanent changes to my eating habits and make exercise a permanent part of my daily routine.
I cannot take it one day at a time. That’s not for me–it let’s me make excuses that I’ll begin again tomorrow when I mess up. That I can start over and make tomorrow my day one. I can’t do that. I have to be more dedicated than that. I have to look ahead while living in the moment. But I can’t look too far down that road–it’s still too overwhelming. I no longer have 170 pounds to lose. It’s down to 128 pounds to lose–but that is still so very much to face.
Instead I focus on ten to twenty pounds at a time. Those are milestones. I look ahead a week at a time. A month at a time. I set goals of 10% of my weight and I work towards those benchmarks.
It makes it more manageable. It’s easier to renew my dedication when I can focus on those milestones instead of that bigger number–and as I work towards those smaller milestones, that big number gets just a bit smaller. And so do I.