Big Efforts, Small Rewards Part 1

April 12th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

(You thought it should be the other way around, didn’t you?)

There is no way around it: losing weight takes a LOT of effort.  It is a heck of a lot easier to gain weight by not paying attention to every calorie (most of us already count carbs; now you want us to count calories too?!) than it is to lose weight by following the calories in, calories out fail-proof method.

Especially when that jug of peanut butter or ice cream is calling to us.

We all have a special notion of how big we are, and we all have a special notion of how big we should be.  (That’s “should” for ourselves, from our own mind.)  When we find out those two notions are very far away from each other, it can be a life-changing moment.

For me, I was 23 years old, standing in the second floor women’s department at the Robinson’s-May in Santa Barbara.  I was staring at the displays of QUEEN-sized underwear, about make a purchase.

Yeah; that’s a life-changer right there. 

(And yes, in case you didn’t know, the size on the label is literally in all caps: QUEEN.)

But then once you are fortunate enough to have that moment and know there is no going back for you, there is a heck of a lot of work for the next several months and years ahead.

So you’ve got to recognize that you have a lot of work ahead of you AND you have to work on ways to mark your sure progress along the way.

If you think you should be a size 6 yet all of your pants you can put on say size 22 on their labels, you’d better make temporary friends with size 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, and so forth.  (I say “temporary” friends because you want to make this journey a ONE WAY ticket, never to return to the bigger sizes.  Never ever is your goal!  Seriously; are you enjoying the work of losing weight?  If not, do it right and only do it once.)

I can also tell you the day I was standing in a Macy’s and realized I could shop just as easily in the women’s department, plus sizes, and petite department.  Wacky!  It was kind of like standing in that spot where you can stand in four states at once…. (I think I spent a lot of time shopping for clothes before I realized some self confidence was in order.) 

Recognizing and marking your progress as you move towards a weight loss goal is essential.  Without recognizing the progress you are making, you will undoubtedly lose momentum, lose your way, begin to feel badly about yourself, and head back to the jug of food.

Some weight loss plans suggest you stand on a scale every week.  Some say every day, and some say never stand on a scale but judge your progress by the way your clothes fit and feel.  I think there are ways that work for each of us, but I do think that avoiding a scale altogether can be as dangerous as avoiding the idea of losing weight.

I think you need to see for yourself the way the numbers on the scale change: how they climb, how they fall, and how they seem to stand still for days on end.  It’s exactly like a blood glucose check: just data. 

Just data to help you figure out the next steps you will take.

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