Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reality ... For Reals

As 2011 began to draw to a close, I came across a couple blogs on weight loss that inspired me.

Maybe that's normal because the end of one year usually brings with it many resolutions to lose those unwanted pounds in the new year; resolutions that are hastily broken because they are made with a mob mentality--just jumping on the same weight loss bandwagon with everyone else.

But, I could sense that although I've been part of that resolution mob in years past, something new was stirring. It wasn't just this desire to get my figure back, because I'd experienced before just how far desire will take me. A blog I posted almost 6 months ago shows my desire to be something different, but it didn't result in any behavioral changes.

No, this stirring was more of a knowing that weight loss wasn't going to be my single focus, it was going to become a piece in the pie of learning discipline.

Crystal's yearlong journey to successful weight loss through healthy eating and exercise was the story God used to switch the way I viewed goals, and Angie's quick loss method lead to a piercing realization about the way we can 'choose' to see ourselves. Then this picture showed up on Facebook that was my reality exposed moment.

"Oh, crap! That's what I really look like?"

When someone manages to snap a photo of you with your guard completely down and no awareness to manipulate the pose to look better, it can be real eye-opening. At first, this picture made me angry. Why would anyone purposefully post a photo that is so incredibly unflattering? Wasn't there any other option? But then, as the horror of seeing my 'fattest photo ever' began to subside, I heard the voice that spoke truth-filled love into my soul. "It's time to stop hiding."

I've come to understand that there's a lot more to that statement than I first realized. And that word--Hiding--is the catalyst to another blog I'll soon write.

With a message on gluttony in December, a church-wide 40-day health fast to start the new year, a call to discipline and couple of favorite bloggers' stories tucked into my arsenal, I walked into 2012 with a mindset that was ready to finally tackle the how's and why's of my 30 pound weight gain over the past four years:

  • I memorized my 2012 verse, Hebrews 12:11.
  • I reactivated my SparkPeople account to keep a log of everything I ate and drank so I was fully aware of every calorie choice I made each day.
  • I used Pinterest to find healthy recipes that would deliver flavor in healthy ways.
  • I set my mind on the year's goals ahead of me: lose 36 pounds in 12 months by eating healthy foods, eating more often in smaller portions, consuming water like crazy and exercising at least 5 days per week.
  • I weighed myself on January 1st: 175. (The last time I weighed that much I was 9-months pregnant and checking into the hospital to give birth. That child is now 15 years old.)
  • I got up each day and made purposeful, healthy choices about food.
  • I ate throughout the day in smaller portions.
  • ♫"I. I. I worked out." 
  • Some days exercise was by sheer choice of my will, and other days I found myself looking forward to sweating.

Yesterday morning, a mere 13 days into my eating and exercising plan, I stood on the scale and was elated by the result. I had already lost 6 pounds! The scale read 169. It was the first time in almost 18 months that I had stepped on a scale and had the second number in my weight not start with a '7'.

While a certain number on the scale is not my ultimate goal but rather something to work toward, it still is incredibly motivating to see the result this early on of choosing differently. I am celebrating this small victory in the same way a recovering alcoholic would celebrate his first week of sobriety. Beginning is often the most difficult choice because every journey has to start somewhere, and every battle victory is worthy of recognition.

After all, the battle victories win the war in the end.