Personal story and weight loss tips by Heather Wright, Clinical Assistant Director
Your weight loss fate is influenced by your attitude. Weight loss is a sensitive subject, and oftentimes, it is tied to an individual’s self-esteem and self-confidence. At my heaviest, I tipped the scale at 322 lbs. I tried so many diets over the years– Weight Watchers, Keto, almost any fad diet that seemed easy enough to produce my desired results. I yo-yo dieted for many years, and would find myself happy when I lost weight, and hard on myself when I gained the weight back. It’s difficult to have confidence in yourself when you feel that you have a big mountain to climb, a lot of weight to lose, and haven’t been successful in maintaining weight loss in the past.
I’m here to share, having confidence in yourself is the key to lasting weight loss success. I am here to tell you– You can do it, I have confidence in you! You must have confidence in yourself, too, because honestly, you can achieve anything you try to do, including weight loss.
It can be difficult to love yourself fully when you are trying to lose weight, but it is important to tell yourself that you can do it, and love yourself along the way. The fact that you are carrying extra weight doesn’t make you less deserving of self-love. Your weight is not your worth.
Make this time different. Focus on the positives and give yourself at least one compliment each day. Are you an excellent employee? Are you a great parent? Name one positive, non-body related thing that you like about yourself. Focusing on positive thinking will train you for a better mind set, and allows space for you to feel good about yourself. As you lose weight, you will discover more things to love about yourself, both non-physical and physical, and it will become easier to compliment yourself. For example, when you start to fit into a smaller size of pants, or your buttons on your shirt stop popping out, these small moments will make you enjoy watching the numbers go down on the scale.
Throughout your weight loss journey, you will also experience non-scale victories. For instance, did you eat out with the family and have one piece of pizza instead of four? That is a non-scale victory, and a step in the right direction of making positive, lasting life changes. This is something you should congratulate yourself on, by complimenting and givng yourself credit for making good decisions.
The work throughout your journey won’t always be easy, but it will definitely be worth it! Here are some additional tips that will help you during your weight loss journey:
1. Take it one day at a time.
I didn’t eat perfectly every day. In the past, if I slipped up one meal, that would turn into the day, and sometimes the week. The important thing is to get back on track. You messed up at lunch? Refocus with dinner and move forward. Change your unhealthy patterns into healthy patterns, and your results will change. Consistency is important, not perfection.
2. Be nice to yourself.
Sounds easy, but that’s not always the case. Instead of telling yourself that you can’t do something, or you made a bad choice, try talking to yourself nicely. If you made a bad choice, try to figure out why instead of beating yourself up. The fact is, you can’t change a decision in the past, but you can learn more about why you made the decision. Do you fall off of your diet plan when you are stressed, emotional, or poorly prepared? Fight back by relaxing, substituting eating with other activities, and meal prepping.
3. Give yourself permission to change and excel.
At times, we can get stuck in our way of being. Our friends and family may be used to seeing and treating us a certain way. You may be the one who everyone can count on to share dessert. It’s okay to change this! Don’t let others make you feel guilty or uncomfortable for making improvements or changes.
4. Make small goals.
When I was at my heaviest, my first goal was to get to 300 lbs., then 250 lbs., and so on. It feels less overwhelming if you break down your weight loss into small, manageable goals, and you gain confidence as you achieve each goal.
5. Dream big.
You may want to lose 50, 100, or 100+ pounds. Visualize where you want to go, and make sure that your daily decisions move you forward in your vision.
As of today, I have lost 147 lbs., and feel like a new person. I genuinely feel confident in myself. Now, I regularly hike, scuba dive, snowboard, and do activities that I never would have been able to do at my heaviest weight. If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be healthy, happy, and half my size– I would have never believed it.