Small Steps Gain Big Rewards
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Wow! I had an very powerful conversation with a friend today on Facebook. It really reminded me of where I started and how sad/desperate I was. A lot has happened in 3 years but I think I am finally overcoming some of my old thinking. I really wanted to share parts of the conversation with everyone because I think the advice I gave her is really good advice. For everyone! You don't have to go all gung ho on a program. You can start off slowly and then ramp things up. It is really a change in how you think.
Here is part of the conversation (some has been edited out because it disclosed some personal information that I don't think they would want revealed):
Friend: Hey Michelle, You look absolutely fabulous! What an awesome accomplishment. I am once again struggling with my weight, if you would share your greatest strategies for long term success I would be so grateful.
Me: Be persistent. Making small changes in diet and exercise all add up to big results. I would start with adding walks into your daily routine. Then work on your food. I wouldn't go cold turkey on any one plan because you will be more likely to fall off that plan easier. Cut one thing out at first. For example, if you drink 3 cokes a day, then the first day cut out 1 of those and replace it with water. Start making healthier substitutions with things you have on a regular basis. Never call anything off limits because you will want it more. Just have those things on a more limited basis.
Friend: Thank you so much. That is just such great advice. I think my biggest problem has been a perfectionist all or nothing approach. Then if I eat something I feel like a failure and end up binging. I will try incorporating your common sense approach.
Me: I used to be a perfectionist but I had to get over that. One bad choice doesn't blow your whole day/week/month. Start slowly incorporating things in. Then once you have gotten used to that look into a program that will meet you needs. And realize that you have some good weeks and some not so good. Use those as learning experiences. I know the pain and humiliation that comes with bring obese. It took me 3 years to get where I am. I have gone up and down but I am sticking with it. I will get there but it may take awhile. And I am finally ok with that.
Friend: Thank you so much for sharing and being so generous with knowledge and experience. This sounds like a really good approach. What I've done before I would get a good weight loss then just feel so deprived I would gain it all back plus some. I appreciate your suggestions more than you know and I will let you know my progress.
I don't know about you, but I'm excite to see how she progresses! I know she will do well if she can start slowly and take all of those small steps initially. Cutting out 1 soda a day and replacing it with water will cut your calories and sugar intake. Think if she were to cut all sodas out. Or all coffee w/cream and sugar. Little steps. That is all you have to do. Eventually you will need to up the ante but in the beginning take those small steps to help you see small achievements! Even if the weight loss is slow to start.
Making those habit changes will help with the mentality of all or nothing. You can have things in moderation. BUT here is the catch to that. If there is a time you are craving something, sometimes it is ok to indulge that craving and have a little bit. But there are things called Red Light Foods. Meaning if you have even that small amount may cause you to binge on them. The important thing is to try to think of what is triggering that need to binge. Are you under stress? Emotional? Fatigued? Etc.... is that the cause of the craving? Will one serving of that item really satisfy the need for the item or is it more of an emotional need. It is really important to come to terms with why you eat. And come up with a way to overcome it.
I know it is a lot easier said then done. I have been there and done that. It's not easy. I sometimes find myself in the kitchen and don't really know why. I then try to think of what drew me to the kitchen. Is it that I am in there because I am truly hungry? Or do I have an emotional hunger that can't be met with food (meaning no matter how much I eat that hunger won't be quenched). Most of the time I walk right back out of the kitchen because I've come to realize that my answer isn't there. But I will be honest and say that sometimes my brain tells me the answer is there and I don't make the greatest choice. But I move on with that choice! I don't beat myself up. I recognize the event and I move on. It isn't the end of the world. Yes, my progress may be delayed a little bit but that doesn't mean that my progress has to be stopped completely.
I really hope that this has helped someone out there. It has taken me a long time and a lot of therapy (yes I have been to support groups and seen a therapist) to come where I am at. I am proud of my progress and I want to help others out.
If you ever need a shoulder to cry on or need some assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me on Spark or email firstname.lastname@example.org . I have been there. I know what you are going thru.