How'd you get there?

photo by Fatty Tuna

Seeing as January 1st is just behind us, many a blogger has posted their goals for 2009, quite a few of which involve losing some excess baggage. As important as it is to make the decision to lose weight, I think it's almost more important to understand how you got there in the first place. Whether it's just making the wrong food choices, laziness in not wanting to prepare fresher food from scratch, eating for emotional reasons {comfort, boredom, stress, reward}, lack of knowledge about portion control, I think it will do us worlds of good to understand the "whys" and not just attack the surplus pounds. I'll go first.

How did I get this way?

I had zero understanding of portions. I had no clue what a cup of pasta looked like and it was not uncommon for me to go for seconds. I was fixed in the mindset that healthy food = flavorless. I couldn't discern the types of foods I was craving {sweet, crunchy, salty, etc.} and how to translate those same cravings into healthy choices.

I think I had a relatively basic understanding of what foods are good for us and what foods aren't. Avoid anything fried, cream sauces, mayonnaise, and lots of sweets. {I guess that means a quarter-pounder is good food, eh?} There are lots of other nuances and so much more to learn about what foods are the best foods and which foods should be avoided. I was under the basic premise that a healthy lifestyle would be one of deprivation and that if I wanted to lose 20, 30, 40 pounds and keep it off that I would never again be able to eat the things I loved the most.

I never was an exerciser or had the interest to become one. I do usually enjoy it when I do it, but I was convinced that I would not be able to lose weight if I did not work-out several times a week. That was not something I wanted to do and I now know that exercise is just one small part of a healthy lifestyle, not the key that unlocks all the doors.

I just wasn't ready to change.
As long as I could wear nice clothes and
felt like I looked presentable then I really wasn't motivated at all. The tipping point was when I stopped feeling good in my own skin, when the only types of clothes that would fit were too similar looking to potato sacks. Several months went by between the time I knew I should do something about my weight and actually getting up the gusto to actually do it. But when I was finally ready, I was ready. I didn't look back. I didn't give up. I kept moving forward.

After rereading everything I've written above, I can see now how much of my extra weight was due to what I believe about healthy food and eating well. The poor eating habits just stemmed from what I held to be true. Really, if you think about it, all of our actions, eating included, begin with what we believe. If we address the excess pounds, without addressing how the pounds got there, I don't think we can be successful in keeping them off over the long haul.

Ok. Your turn.


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