Throughout my adult life, I have resolved every New Year’s Eve that this was the year that I was going to get thin. At best I would lose between 10 to 17 pounds, but I’d always get discouraged, stop trying and regain most if not all of that weight back. My dream of reaching a healthy BMI range through diet and exercise seemed impossible.
At the end of 2008, I was once again evaluating my past year and setting goals for the upcoming year. Once again, I weighed the same or even a little bit more than I had on the past New Year’s Eve. If I really wanted to get thin, I had to figure out what I could do to change my ways.
Before: Michelle, third from left, and her family spending New Year's Eve last year at a pub in Ireland.
I spent a lot of time thinking about how my past attempts at weight loss had gone, what had I done well, where had I failed, and how could I plan my next attempt in a way that would succeed. I decided that my biggest mistake was that I never gave it enough time. I’d do Weight Watchers (WW) for a few months or work out regularly for several months, but I’d never done both for a sustained amount of time to see what I could accomplish if I really gave it my all.
For 2009, I set a goal that I would try all year to lose weight. No matter what I would not quit. I broke it down into smaller goals and resolved that I would join and stay in WW all year and attend 45-50 meetings. I would also go to the gym at least 100 times.
Resolving that I would try all year is the best thing I’ve ever done for my weight loss. Whenever I’ve gotten frustrated at how slow the weight comes off, I can’t contemplate quitting because I promised myself I would give it a whole year. Even if I had only lost 2 pounds, I would still be attending WW meetings in December 2009. All that energy that used to go into the discouragement I let myself feel and the angst over whether I should keep trying, should I just quit, could I really do this went instead into my continued efforts to lose weight. This determination even carried me through a recent, eight-week plateau.
After: Michelle, far left, with friends in July at the RWA National Conference, showing what dedication to a healthier diet and exercise can accomplish.
This is my most successful attempt at losing weight. As you can see from my before and after photos, I’ve gone down 2-3 sizes and lost 22 pounds. I’ve reached my 10% at WW and lost more than 20 pounds for the first time in my life. I also honestly feel like I can reach a healthy BMI if I just give it enough time and sustained effort. I decided to join Trish on this blog to give me yet another reason to stick with it to the end. Look for my posts on Michelle Mondays.
What has helped you succeed in achieving your health or writing goals? What has made the difference between failed attempts and later successes?
Today's (Sunday's) progress (for Trish, not Michelle):
Calorie intake: 1,321
Exercise: 40 minutes aerobics while watching the pilot of Gilmore Girls. Two friends have been after me to watch this series forever, and one finally just up and bought me the first season on DVD for my birthday. :)