All right, I had had this “aha” moment, but was I really going to do something about it? In the past I had experienced some of these micro-moments, and my plan of action would last for a couple of weeks (or days!). I wanted change this time; I wanted this to work! So I informally devised a plan of action in my head: I needed to change the way I was eating, I needed to exercise, and I needed support.
First, my eating. Ugh, not the food. I seriously thought that I fed my family well and that we ate healthy (for the most part). I had tried things in the past like cutting out sweets, not eating fast food, etc. None of it had worked. I’m sure I overcompensated in other areas or just didn’t stick with it long enough.
Remember it was January, so weight-loss commercials seemed to be on 24/7 non-stop. The one that really stood out to me was Jennifer Hudson promoting Weight Watchers (facebook helped me, now American Idol?!). I was thinking to myself, “If she can do it, so can I!”
So the next day I got on Weight Watcher’s site. I clicked around a little bit and . . . I hesitated, I procrastinated, I questioned. Then I realized that I had to make a commitment; I had to do it on my own with my own plan of action. My mouse was hovering over the “Join” button, and I finally clicked. I was committed (and if I spend money on something believe me I’m committed!). I started the on-line program that afternoon, plugging my points in and adjusting my meals that week. I knew it was a first step of many, but I was confident that I could do it for the obligatory 3-month time period.
I learned over the next few weeks that I had been eating too much. My portions were too big. I went back for seconds too often. I viewed food as a celebration (and too much qualified as celebrating). I also realized that before I had not been willing to give things up in order to lose weight.
My husband Dan tells a story of a good friend not wanting to give up Coke because he loved it so much. Dan suggested that he drink Diet Coke.
“I hate Diet Coke, “ he answered.
Dan then told him, “You have to hate being fat more than you hate Diet Coke.”
This is where I finally was. I wanted to be healthy more than I wanted 3 cookies. I wanted muscle tone back more than I wanted a second helping of pasta. I wanted to be strong again more than I wanted the gyros at Christo’s (so hard!), and I wanted myself back more than I wanted food to rule my life. It hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been a slow process that’s worth it. Jennifer Hudson’s Weight Watchers commercials are still on consistently, and it is a reminder to me that if Jennifer Hudson can do it, so can I.
Who inspires you? What are you willing to hate more than being overweight or out of shape? What can help you with your eating? Isn’t it time to celebrate you instead of food?