Weight loss is not just physical, it is emotional and mental and anyone who claims that it is not needs to be walloped with a wallaby.
Three of the hardest parts of weight loss that I still struggle with actually have nothing to do with fitness, nutrition, or even the scale.
The first thing is accepting the fact that not everyone will be accepting of my change. There are people in my life that will always want the old me back, the me that would go devour an entire pizza and a Chinese buffet because we were having a bad day, the me that would go out binge drinking every weekend, the me that didn't care what other people thought and used that as a crutch to my bad habits, the me that would always fall off the wagon and gain all the weight back plus some. Breaking unhealthy routines is hard enough on your own then when you add in unsupportive friends and family, it becomes even harder. I have even had friends take my change as a personal attack on them, thinking that I do not want to hang out with them anymore. That is not the case at all… It is just that I want to still hang out with them, without all the junk food and booze. My heart took a hard blow when I learned why some friends are so unsupportive. For some of them, it is as simple as they liked being the skinny friend. They want me to always be the fatter one. I know that changing was my decision, and I stand by my decision, but I also understand that this is something I will always struggle with. Accepting those who are not accepting of my change, is extremely hard but in the end, it makes me a better person.
The second hurdle that I feel I am always jumping over is the backhanded compliments from those who knew me when I carried all the extra weight. All of the, "you look so great now", "you are so beautiful when you lose weight", and "you were always gorgeous, but now, oh wow!" comments. While compliments are always welcome, and they are 'feel good' boosters... It is hard to only hear these when you lose weight. If I was so gorgeous like you said before I lost all the weight, why did you never say anything before? Why is it that these compliments only come afterwards? If I am so beautiful when I lose weight, what are you saying about when I was heavier? When I was tipping the scale at my highest weight, that's when I needed the compliments. That's when I needed my friends and family to be by my side and pick me up... It doesn't take much to be by someone's side when they are succeeding. It takes a hell of a lot to be by their side when they are at their worst… And that's what people going through this change themselves need.
The third challenge came as a bit of a surprise to me. When you lose a substantial amount of weight, everybody wants to know how you did it. Everybody then wants to tell you that you're full of bologna when you tell them it was good old fashion hard work… Meaning nutrition and fitness. They will then try to bury you with excuse after excuse as to why it does not work for them, and that's all that it is... Excuses. Eating healthy and exercising regularly will work for everybody. There is no secret pill or potion to just make the weight fall off. No one gained all of the weight overnight, you can't expect to lose it overnight. No one wants to hear that though… all they want to do is tell you why they have tried every program known to man and it has not worked. If people would seriously put in a quarter of the effort into honestly losing the weight that they put into complaining about why they can't lose the weight... They would actually lose the weight. No, I am not a certified personal trainer or a nutritionist, but I've walked what I talk and I have the results to prove it. I could sit here and list excuse after excuse as to why I couldn't lose weight in the past and keep it off… But it gets to a point where you just have to throw your excuses out the window and put in the work. Losing weight is not easy, it's not supposed to be easy. If it were easy, America would not have an overweight problem.
.... With all that said….
I realized the other day that sometimes I struggle with my own change. Like many of us, I hit a financial hardship, and really had to prioritize my outgoing money. One of the first things to be knocked off the spending list is unnecessary and frivolous spending. Many financial advisors would have told me to cross off all of the amount I spent on training. I admit that I spent a large chunk of bills every month on all of my training, but I had to look at it differently. This is not just training I would be crossing off the list, it is my health; and without health, life is short… And I don't plan on dying anytime soon. I made the decision to make my health important. For once, I finally put myself first.
I call this financial change a breakthrough. Realizing that my health is key to my happiness has made so many more decisions much easier.
I was saving money to have a party week in Vegas. Instead, I am now saving to travel to Thailand with my jujitsu team.
I was saving a few dollars every week so that I can get my hair done. Instead, I paid for my pre-registration for the NAGA East Coast Grappling Championship Tournament.
Change does not come without challenges and obstacles. The key to success is taking those challenges and obstacles, turning them into hurdles, and jumping over them with leaps and bounds.
I raise my protein shake and toast to all of those along this journey with me, supporting me or not supporting me, and thank you all for helping me become who I am today.
Here's to taking home some shiny bling at NAGA!