Embarking on a lifestyle transformation is never an easy decision. You’ve got to give up something in order to bring new things into your life. Habits, ideas, maybe even people need to change in order for true change to take place. Habits that provide comfort are the hardest. As I’ve been slowly correcting the way that I use food and adjusting how I spend my spare time, I’ve become aware of the way that comfort can lead to self sabotage, and in this case could set me back into the yo-yo pattern I’ve been working so hard to end.
The month of October was the hardest yet. As autumn takes over, those habits of comfort seem to kick in at even greater lengths. One “annual” pumpkin spice latte leads to another… One candy corn pumpkin leads to 10… One sugar rush leads into just another quick “hit” and before you know it, you’re secretly grabbing a bite of pizza and stashing a candy into your bag because your body is now craving it.
What can we do in order to avoid these struggles when all around us are carefully orchestrated, researched based marketing ploys encouraging you to give in to these comforts?
I found success by reaching out to my community of health. Talking to friends and family that are also on the path of transformation saved me. After making myself physically ill from “indulging” in not only those despicable candy corn pumpkins, but also fluffy frosting covered cookies and greasy cheese pizza, I reached out to my community. My long time friend and inspirational leader told me, “Girl! Perfection isn’t long term. There will be times you have the opportunity to learn from choices you make.” These words not only unburdened me from the feelings of guilt that I had, but also illuminated a problematic feature of most health programs.
On my past health roller coaster rides, I’ve done really well… until I didn’t. When I gave in to those cravings, I felt as if I had to start back over again. For example, with one temporarily effective program I followed, Whole 30, if you screwed up, you started back at Day 1… I used this program for about 90 days and even though I gained some healthy habits along the way, it wasn’t sustainable. The mental concept of having to ‘Reset” to Day 1 was effective for only the first month. After that, with very little progress made in weight loss goals, resetting just became defeating.
Long term change will only happen if you are persistent and forgiving of your humanity. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for growth in change. I didn’t have to start over an entire 30 days, I just had to change my very next choice, and then the one after that.
I’m excited to share my progress so far. This is my 3rd month on program and my body has changed so much I can hardly believe it is true. Sometimes when I walk by a mirror, I pause to see the woman I’m becoming. I’ve seen glimpses of this woman in the past, but never like this. When I was at a healthy weight in the past, I was a 19 year old girl. I didn’t have kids, a career or an education. Today when I look in the mirror, I’m the woman that I’ve always wanted to be: a healthy, strong mother with a college degree and a stable career.
This is only the beginning.
Want to know more about my transformation? Just ask.