No matter the plan... we all Blog to Lose!
Kiri is our latest success story. She's biking her way to a happier healthier life!
In weight loss terms, success in many ways is both never giving up and also realising that just because you have failed so many times in the past doesn't mean anything. To paraphrase Craig Harper, it just means you haven't done it yet. Success is developing your fitness and learning how much your body can do. I recently completed my first 80 kilometre bike ride at an average speed of 26.6 km per hour and I've decided to train for a 210 kilometre ride in October this year. In August 2006 I couldn't even cope with flat, easy 15 minute walk.
I didn't really set conscious goals for myself when I first started. Partly because I'd failed so many times before that I didn't think that this time would be any different. Over time though, as I kept losing and came to believe that I could do this if I kept at it and had faith in myself, I had the goals of 115 kgs (253 pounds) in mind because that was slightly less than I weighed when I first met my ex (and my weight was something he always criticised me for). Next goal was to weigh under 100 kgs (220 pounds) as I hadn't weighed less than that since university in the early 1990s. Once I got to that point, my next goal was to buy a road bike. Initially I thought I would wait until I weighed 80 kgs (176 pounds) before buying a road bike because I didn't want the world to have to cope with the sight of my arse on a skinny little road bike, but I didn't end up waiting. I bought the road bike at 92 kgs (202 pounds) and I'm so glad I did because the enjoyment I get from riding that bike just pushes me further.
I've been losing weight and getting fit since September 2006, but the biggest progress has been made since September 2007.
My weight loss goal now is to have less than 25% body fat. I'm currently 33.5% and 90.5 kgs. More generally, the 210 km ride in October this year is my next big thing.
My notion of what I am capable of and what is possible has changed enormously. I have learned that I am strong both mentally and physically and that generally my only limits are those that I put on myself. I'm gradually coming to accept my body and believe that I am attractive. It's a slow process, overturning life long negative beliefs about yourself but I think learning that you are capable of so much more than you once thought really helps with that, and coming to understand also that the negative ways that you have always seen yourself previously have shaped your life in many ways because you have allowed them to become self-fulfilling and powerful in that sense. For example, if you have a strong underlying belief that you are unattractive because you have a weight problem then you will consciously or otherwise interact with others in a way that reflects the belief you have about yourself. Life is good and I'm a much happier person in every way.
Having to adjust food intake downwards as you get lighter, despite that I was doing more exercise at a greater intensity than ever. Also getting bored with recording food constantly. I took breaks away from losing weight where I would stop recording, continue exercising but maintain my weight within 2-3 kgs over a period of time. I found this was good to give me a break from the obsessive focus that losing weight required of me much of the time, but it also allowed me to learn to maintain and continue to live a balanced lifestyle. After a break I've found my enthusiasm renewed and I fall back into the routine of weight loss fairly readily.
I blog (http://bridgingthegulf.blogspot.com/) and I also participate on a couple of forums. Blogging and posting allows me to get my thoughts out, share experiences and examine issues that have arisen throughout the process. It has also given me a network of wonderful people. The experience of obesity is shared to a surprising degree. Sometimes when I read other's blogs or posts, it's as if they are my own words. And knowing that you are not alone both in what you have been through in life or how you have felt about things but also in the process of losing weight and getting fit is an incredible source of comfort, solidarity and strength.
Never give up. Whether it's 30 pounds or 300 pounds. And don't be haunted by your past failed attempts. They mean nothing. Your actions now and in the future are what matter. Find a physical activity that gives you real joy and a sense of achievement and stick with that, make it part of your social life, part of your hobbies. For me it has been cycling. There is the most incredible sense of freedom and pleasure at getting out on country roads on a Sunday morning under nothing but your own pedal power. Whatever it is for you, follow it, pursue it, nurture it.
Kiri, congrats on your loss and I'm so glad you joined us here on BlogToLose!