This is not an endorsement for any one diet program, instead it is about my journey to lose ten pounds that became thirty pounds and could easily have become fifty or more. After I had my children, I never could get back to my goal weight, I was always about ten pounds away, and that went on for a decade until my life style changed and I wasn’t exercising as much and within a year I went from ten pounds to lose to over thirty. I would make some progress, but something always got in the way. I’m sure this sounds familiar to some of you. I’m not proud to admit it, but I fell for the sales pitch for supplements and quick fixes, I counted calories, and desperately tried to outrun a bad diet. Nothing worked.

I realize that I was punishing myself with thoughts like, ‘I won’t buy new clothes until I lose X number of pounds’, ‘I’ll date once I look and feel better.’ One day I sort of lost it in the grocery store because I just couldn’t handle buying food anymore. I didn’t know what food to buy, I didn’t know what I wanted to eat, or what I even could eat that would be good for me. I had listened to so many people telling me what I needed to do that all of the advice was swirling around in my head and I became unable to do anything. Plain frozen, in the grocery store, hoping that someone would just figure it out for me. When that didn’t happen, I left and got on the phone to purchase Nutrisystem. I followed it for a while, and there is nothing wrong with the program, but eventually I got bored eating their food. They were supportive on the phone, but I started to feel like I couldn’t go out, even though they have some thoughtful literature about how to eat out. Once again, in desperation, I went to my doctor begging for diet pills, and she scolded me saying that I would likely have a heart attack if I took diet pills. She suggested that I needed a social aspect of weight loss and that I wouldn’t be successful if I tried to do it alone. Her solution, try Weight Watchers.

I resisted for months because in my mind going to Weight Watchers was like publicly admitting that I couldn’t solve my weight problem on my own. The problem with that logic is that over a decade of trying proved that I couldn’t solve it on my own. I needed support, I needed to find people with the same mindset and similar struggles. I’m not endorsing Weight Watchers or suggesting that Nutrisystem doesn’t work, I suspect if you follow any diet program you can likely see results. I’m not an advocate of quick fixes because once I did that successfully, I did in fact gain all the weight and then some back, but I do think it’s important that we don’t punish ourselves as we try to make changes to our lifestyle. It’s important to be honest with ourselves about what we will need to be successful. A friend of mine swears by counting calories and she wants her weight loss journey to be something private. I found that isolating and I needed the social aspect to be successful.

It’s not so much about selecting a program as it is about being honest with yourself about what kind of program will work for you. I spent so much time in denial about what I really needed that I wasted time doing things that I knew wouldn’t work for me. At times it was because I wanted an easy fix, but sometimes it was really just me getting in my own way. I wanted to lose weight privately and then present this more improved version of myself to the world, but that’s really not me. It’s not how I do things. I need support and I need to share my journey with people, and I need to make a long term commitment. Once I accepted these things (that anyone who knows me would have told you years ago), I was able to find the right program for me. I’ve been going to meetings for over a month now and I’m a 1/3 of the way there. I’ve accepted that I’m a work in progress but that doesn’t mean that I need to hide out until the scale tells me that I’m ready for public viewing.

If you are struggling with weight loss, I hope that you will take a moment to be really honest with yourself about what you actually need to be successful and not waste a decade in denial like I did. Make healthy choices that work for you and like yourself along the way.

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