Last week I shared this post on the NYAM FB Page:
The text on the post read:
What’s the difference between these two pictures (besides about 30 pounds)?
the cumulative effect of small, sustainable changes
Learning to focus on MYSELF FIRST
Learning to stop trying to control shit I can’t possibly control
Self-healing and tons of internal work via therapy, reading, listening to podcasts and self-reflection
An ADHD diagnosis
Finding medication that actually works for me
never quitting on myself, no matter how many times I fell off track or failed.
Discovering things I enjoy doing AND DOING THEM
Making progress building the reality I want for myself and refusing to let my circumstances dicate the direction my life takes.
You deserve to come first.
This was one of the comments I received on that post:
Did it take you a year to lose 30 pounds?
I replied with Yes, why do you ask?
The commenter then replied, that’s a long time I feel for 30 pounds.
She followed that up with my point is, when you want to loose weight you wan it faster than a year for 30 pounds. Too slow for too little.your opinion is what counts not mine
I’m not really sure why this person felt the need to tell me she didn’t think I had lost weight in the right way or quickly enough.
That it had taken me too long.
And yeah… Of course I’d love to get results more quickly.
I’d love to lose 30 pounds, overnight.
I’d love to make a million dollars in a week.
I’d also love to blink my eyes and have my house be spotless and snap my fingers and be on a beach in Aruba.
Hello Captain Obvious.
I’m actually really good at losing weight very quickly. I’ve done it many many times!!!
I mean look at these results:
That’ was the time I participated in an 8-week “butt camp.”
I lost 20 pounds in 3 months, traded lots of fat for muscle, and achieved great results.
And then, just like every other time I achieved very noticeable and impressive results in a short period of time, I GAINED ALL THE WEIGHT BACK.
And then some!
Here I am at 184 pounds in January 2022.
Three pounds heavier than I was in May of 2020.
The problem with achieving fast results is you almost always do it in a way you can’t sustain.
You make drastic changes in the short term and they just aren’t manageable over time.
It’s the same as doing a massive clean up of your house.
You can get impressive results in a weekend.
But if you don’t change your daily habits, you’re gonna end up with a mess again.
It’s no different with weight loss.
You can make drastic changes in the way you eat and lose a shit ton of weight in a couple months.
But drastic changes will ultimately lead 99.9% of the population, right back where they started.
So in reality…
You don’t “wan it faster than a year.”
You don’t want major results in a short period of time.
Not if you want them to actually last.
Waiting is hard.
Making small, manageable changes can be really frustrating when you’ve learned that focusing on results is what’s most important.
It’s taken me a long time to learn this lesson.
It’s taken me a long time to learn to be patient.
It’s taken me a long time to learn to measure my successes by focusing on how consistent I am with small changes and new habits.
And this is my reminder to you if you’re on a journey and the progress has been slow-going.
Slow and steady wins the race for a reason.
That saying has been around for centuries.
Human brains work pretty much the same way in 2023 as they did in 0023.
Too much change equals too much discomfort.
Humans are wired to avoid discomfort at all costs.
There’s only so much of it you can take until you revert to the relief of old behaviors.
Which was the (missed) point of my post on Facebook to begin with.
There’s a noticable difference between the two pictures in that post.
I did have a goal of losing weight last year.
But my bigger goal was taking care of myself.
Across the board.
I focused on doing things consistently rather than intensely.
I stopped doing everything for the kids before I did anything for myself.
I changed my environment.
I spent the first year of my divorce, living in my new house in a bedroom that looked like this:
It was depressing.
Now I love my room.
I turned my back deck into a little sanctuary.
I created a super cozy office for myself where I love working.
I started working on changing my sleep habits.
I stopped sleeping on the couch every single night.
I started working on making changes in the way I ate. Very small changes.
I started drinking more water.
I started doing stuff for pleasure. For myself. Without the kids.
I tried new things. I taught myself how to stand-up paddleboard.
I stopped putting all my energy into other people and things I couldn’t control and I put it into myself.
I started working on changing my all-or-nothing mentality.
And most importantly, I stopped focusing on results, and I really started measuring my success by how consistent I was with new habits.
This is how you make lasting changes.
Before I wrap this up, let’s go back to the comment that started this whole post.
You want results faster.
And this isn’t for the original commenter who didn’t really get the point of my post to begin with.
(Because it wasn’t really about weight loss at all).
This is for anyone who is still reading who is also beating themselves up for not doing anything as quickly as someone else.
For anyone who is comparing their resullts to someone else’s.
An achievement is an achievement.
Success is success.
Progress is progress.
I’ve run 6 marathons. I ran my first one when I was about 43 years old and the last when I was about 47.
I didn’t finish in the top 10 percent.
I didn’t finish in the top 20 percent.
I don’t think I even finished in the top 50%. In any of them.
But I finished.
All of them.
I learned a lot about myself in the process.
I reminded myself that I’m tough. That I can do hard and scary things.
I don’t give a crap if someone can run a marathon in less than half the time I finished in.
And I certainly wouldn’t shit on anyone who took longer to finish than I did.
It doesn’t matter if you run a marathon in two and a half hours or four and a half hours or ten and a half hours.
Running a marathon is an incredible achievement.
.01 percent of the world’s population has run a marathon.
ONE HUNDREDTH OF ONE PERCENT.
You know what percent of people who lose weight actually keep it off?
Most people gain the weight back.
Because they don’t lose weight in a way they can sustain.
It doesn’t matter if it takes you five months OR FIVE YEARS to lose any amount of weight.
Just like it doesn’t matter if your kid starts walking or talking or sleeping through the night or being completely potty trained more quickly than another kid.
We all develop at our own pace.
We all get things at different rates.
We all have a-ha moments and breakthroughs at different times in our lives.
Whatever you are working toward, if your progress is slow-going… GOOD!!!
Keep at it.
I’m proud of you.
And I hope you’re proud of yourself, too.
Right..small steps and consistency are the key! Thanks for sharing your journey.
Amy Meyers says
This is my year of taking small steps. I no longer put my kid before myself (granted, she is 19 now, but still…)
I’m glad to see it worked so well for you!
This! I am going to be coming up on a year in April that I have been on yet another weight loss journey. Short backstory I am diagnosed with Chronic Intractable Migraine which means I would usually suffer 9-15 migraines in one month every month and had been for 7 years of my life . I have three kids two are adults and out of the house one is sixteen my baby. I have been on every medication imaginable for migraine none and I mean none have helped they are hormonal and the hardest to treat. Did i mention that I also have been going through perimenopause on top of my migraines . I decided to start moving anyway last April and getting my self into a better way of feeding myself I refuse to call it a diet. It has been a loooong and frustrating journey I have lost 20 pounds solid since . There were days I was so sick with migraine i wanted to go to the emergency room but knowing it wouldn’t help …. Been that route several times over the years. Every day I can I show up I do the work it may be slow but over time its going in the right direction. You cannot ever compare your journey to anyone this is your journey alone and you must navigate it how you see fit at the time . I may never stop having these migraines but I will show up and do everything in my power ie ; nutrition, exercise , meditation to help my body become strong and fight this disease and you know what now I only get three a month and the next day I dont feel like Im nursing a hangover. So I am stronger , more resilient
I love this so much. This year I’ve decided to make one healthy habit at a time, until I feel it is bedded in before I move onto the next. So far so good, and a few pounds down too.