The doubters said,
“Man can not fly.”
The doers said,
“Maybe, but we’ll try,”
And finally soared
Into the morning’s glow,
Watched from below.
— Bruce Lee, extract from the poem “Which Are You?”
This year was my 8th year of maintaining a 170-pound weight loss. It was the most interesting year yet. You can read my past year anniversary posts here:
What Life Is Like 3 Years After Hitting My Weight Goal
10 Things I’ve Learned Maintaining My Weight Loss for 4 Years
5-Year Anniversary of Maintaining My 170-Pound Weight Loss (and My 4 Tips for Keeping the Journey Exciting!)
Six Years of Maintaining My Weight (Or How Not To Be Another Weight Loss Statistic)
4 Lessons I Have Learned from Losing 170 lbs and Maintaining It for 7 Years!
I found myself this year at my highest weight since hitting my goal back in 2012. My maintenance range is to stay between 150–160 pounds. Every year I have managed to honor that goal, but this year was different.
This year I spent almost the whole year between 160 and 165 pounds.
I didn’t feel motivated to change. I was not sharing how I was feeling, my plan of action, or what I was struggling with.
I was feeling apathetic.
I worked a good part of the year on the Healthy Parents = Healthy Families podcast. While preparing and researching things to help families, I ended up taking in messages that made me feel like what I was doing for myself was wrong or pointless.
I take full responsibility for listening to these messages. I am not a victim; I could have chosen to turn them off.
The messages I was hearing lead to many negative feelings and thoughts:
- that tracking was disordered behaviour
- that losing weight and trying to maintain a weight loss is pointless
- that wanting to lower my weight was not a worthwhile goal
The funny thing is that I have years of proof that show that these thoughts are not true.
I have chosen to not be a statistic. I have worked hard to keep the weight off over the last 8 years. Despite proof from my own life, I still fell prey to these damaging ideas. This goes to show how influencing it can be to hear the same messages over and over again. It can lead you to believe things even when you have proof they are not correct for you.
“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.”
― Steve Maraboli
What this experience highlighted for me was that I was allowing other’s thoughts and beliefs to distract me from the gifts I have gotten from the process of weight loss and maintenance.
I am the one that lives in my body—no one else can know how I feel day to day.
They can not know the freedom I feel now versus when I was in a body that hurt and was over 300 pounds.
I have gotten so many gifts from this journey. The self discipline I have found to lose and maintain my weight has helped me with money, running Half Size Me, and homeschooling my kiddos.
I have freedom every day because I never have to question:
- if I can physically do something
- if I will physically fit in the seat, booth, or ride
- if I feel uncomfortable in social settings due to my size
The journey has allowed me to do all kinds of physical adventures with my kids.
Playing football with my family
Boxing with my boys
These are the things I should have been focusing on in my journey this past year:
- My mindset: I realized I need to be very cautious as to what messages I choose to take in. If they leave me feeling bad, disempowered, or hopeless, then I should stop listening. I finally changed course and began taking in more philosophical and motivational ideas, which have brought me much happiness
- Sharing: I realized for me that isolation is a prison I put myself in for being human. I keep my goals to myself; I struggle with my thoughts on my own and with isolating myself from others. These behaviors are a recipe for self sabotage. I can’t grow and evolve if I don’t share.
- Leaning into support is key to success for me: I have only been successful with my weight loss this time because of consistency with my habits and being in the Half Size Me community. I had tried losing weight so many times in my past but always tried to do things on my own. I have been successful this time in losing and keeping the weight off because I have kept myself grounded with others who are walking this journey with me.
I chose to turn things around this year.
In October I shared with the community that I was going to make changes. I started sharing my food log and pictures of my meals, and started doing weekly weight-loss tracker updates. I choose to remove podcasts and stop following people that had messages that left me feeling apathetic about myself.
I started listening and taking in messages that made me feel better. I have been researching philosophy (particularly Stoicism) and working on boundaries, ego, and much more in the last quarter of the year.
I realized a few things about myself and for myself:
- Discipline and consistency have only brought me good things
- Where your mind is, your body will follow—take in things that give you energy, power, and focus
- Keep my own scorecard: remember that we need to evaluate ourselves and not ask others if we are good enough, worthy, or right. We decide what makes us happy and what will leave us feeling successful. Looking to those outside of us will not help. They get to do them, and I do me.
- Everyone has their own agenda, and I need to know what mine is, not theirs. I don’t need others to convince me that what I am doing is wrong and what they are proposing is right. If I am happy with my life and what I am doing, than I am the judge of what is right for me.
I am proud to say that by sharing, showing up, and being honest in the Half Size Me community, I am back in my range of 150–160 pounds for my 8-year weight-loss anniversary.
“Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.”
― Roy T. Bennett
There will always be those that won’t want to do the work necessary for a big change (in any area of life). Joel and I have paid off $180,000 in debt over 10 years following Dave Ramsey’s principles. We had to give up things. We had to be disciplined with money. We had to do hard things. We now have no more consumer debt. We are “weird people,” as Dave likes to say. And I am totally content with being a “weird person.”
I know not everyone will want to do what we did to pay off debt.
Does that make us wrong?
Does it mean that because the average person might not choose to do it that I am wrong or disordered?
No! If this is a meaningful goal for me, then who has the right to pass judgment on what makes me feel good, empowered, and focused?
We need to ask ourselves questions: What do we value?
What do we want our lives to look like?
What will make us feel accomplished and feel like we’re moving toward happiness?
I am walking into my 9th year of maintenance feeling empowered and knowing that my voice matters most in what is good for me. I am being very cautious in what I take into my life. I am protecting myself from negative and critical voices. I hope you will do the same thing and have a wonderful year of progress!