At the beginning of January 2009, I once again was evaluating my past year and setting goals for the New Year. This is what I wrote in my journal about health and fitness in 2008:
January 6, 2009
2008 was a horrible year for diet & exercise. I probably averaged about $50 per visit to Gold’s Gym I went so infrequently. I did join WW the last week in October and purchased 10 pre-paid coupons for meetings. I lost them in the 3rd or 4th week and was – at best – maintaining after losing 5 pounds and frustrated with paying twice to weigh in and attend meetings, so I stopped going in early Dec. I did rejoin today and bought the monthly pass. I weighed 215.4 – 2 pounds or so more than 10/08 but less than my highest ever – 220s in TX. If I didn’t walk so much for my commute, I’d weigh 300 pounds. I may be too skinny for the biggest loser but not by much. But, I haven’t given up. I joined WW (again). I have read that folks who successfully drop a lot of weight do so after failing many times. Perhaps it’s my time to succeed. One of my goals for the year is to stay in WW the whole year and make 45 – 50 meetings. I also vow to go to the gym at least 100 times in 2009.
I promised myself that I would give it my all in 2009 to achieve my health and fitness goals and spent time figuring out what “my all” would entail. At the beginning of 2009, I reflected on what had worked for me in my past attempts at weight loss, what hadn’t, and why I always quit trying. I used that information to set my two basic goals of attending WW meetings and working out and did my best to stick to them. It was never easy, but it did get easier.
During eighteen of the 52 weeks in 2009, I gained weight. Whenever I was in a stretch where I was really struggling to lose weight and keep my promise to myself, I considered if I had to expand my meaning of “giving it my all” instead of thinking about whether I should quit. Sometimes, I increased my exercise. Sometimes I ate more to see if I needed additional “fuel” for my work outs, and other times I ate less. In August, I started blogging at Healthy Writer to find an outlet to work out more of my thoughts and emotions about this journey. No matter what, I was determined not to break my promise to myself.
That promise expired with the end of 2009, and I am so happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish in terms of health and fitness. I used to think that losing 20 pounds and reaching size 14 was an impossible goal. Imagine my joy with the fact that I’ve lost around 30 pounds and wear a size 12. There’s no way I’m stopping now. I have made the same health and fitness promise to myself in 2010. In fact, I took it further. I now think of January 6, 2009, as the last time I joined Weight Watchers because I fully intend to reach my goal weight (somewhere in the healthy BMI zone for my height) and become a “lifetime” member of WW. At that point, I plan to keep up my new lifestyle for the rest of my days on earth. I love how it has improved every aspect of my life.
There was great power in the promise I made myself last year. What will you promise yourself in 2010?
Photos: The top and bottom photos are "after" ones from late Dec. 2009 in Connecticut. The two middle photos are "before" and were taken in Ireland in late Dec. 2008. The other woman pictured is my sister Jennifer.