This morning was not the first time that I stepped off of a scale and cried, but it was the first time that those tears were from joy and pride. It’s taken me almost nine months and it’s been a difficult journey, but I finally hit one of my biggest goals and have lost a total of 52 pounds since January of 2017.
I’ve hinted at it briefly in my other blogs, but for most of my life I’ve had trouble with my weight and keeping it at a healthy number. A lot of that is due to the fact that I have Hypothyroidism, which means that my thyroid which controls my hormones as well as my metabolism, does not work as well as it should. I was diagnosed with this condition when I was in the third grade and had to start seeing a specialist at Children’s Hospital every six months. Although I took the medicine that helped treat my condition, it did not magically speed up my metabolism or suddenly make me love sports. As a result, I steadily began to gain weight and when I was in high school, I tried and failed a couple of times to lose some of that weight.
I credit those failures a lot to the doctors that I was seeing at Children’s. I started to dread my six-month check-ups because I knew that all we were going to talk about was how much I weighed and that I needed to exercise and eat healthier. When I would sit in the room waiting for the doctor to come in, at some point I would almost always start to cry in the anticipation of the lecture that was coming. I felt like I could never do anything right — nothing that was actually going to make a significant improvement.
So eventually I stopped caring so that I wouldn’t feel that way anymore and could just get the appointment over and done with, with no tears or anxiety. This was probably more harmful to me than the words they said because it just meant that I continued to gain weight. In December 2016, I was at my heaviest at 232 pounds and was meeting with our new family physician in North Carolina.
I prepared myself for another lecture because this new doctor was going to take over the monitoring of my thyroid. But thankfully for me, something else happened. She very briefly mentioned my weight, she said that it would be good for my health if I could lose a few pounds but she said she thought I was smart and knew what to do.
So finally, after eleven years of feeling like I couldn’t do anything to help myself or my health, someone had finally said the right words to me. She told me that I knew what to do and that validated my feelings and confidence in a way that I can’t even explain. It was so simple for her to say that and it has made a world of difference in my life.
In January, I made a New Year’s resolution that I was going to get down to a healthy weight. I didn’t put a number on it, I just wanted to be healthier and maybe even get in shape. I changed my eating habits, I started exercising 3-4 times a week, and suddenly I was meeting all of the small goals I set for myself.
I never thought that I could lose 50 pounds, not in a million years did I think it was possible. But I’ve done it, and I’m not going to stop there. But like my New Year’s resolution, I still will not put a number on my health. I will continue to live my life with the changes I have made to it and see what happens. But for any of you that might ask me how exactly I did it, here are a few of my tips.
Believe in Yourself
You have to do this from day one of your weight loss journey because the only one who is going to get up every day and work toward your goal is you. You might have coaches, family, or friends who support you, but none of them are going to go to the gym for you or eat those vegetables for you.
Cheat Days are Important
I’ve discovered over the several times I have tried to lose weight, that the reason I give up or don’t succeed is because I miss the food that I used to eat. That is where cheat days come in. I usually reserve mine for the weekend and don’t track my calories during my cheat day. However, I don’t binge on cheat days. I eat whatever I want, but I do that in moderation and when I’m full I stop.
This is also important when you’re having a cheat day. Water keeps your digestive system moving and can help filter out extra sodium or other bad things you might eat or drink on your cheat days. It’s also just good to be consistently hydrated, especially on days when you plan to exercise.
I’ll probably have more tips and tricks to share with you in the future, but I promised myself I would write this blog when I met this big goal and now I have and I am unbelievably proud of myself so I don’t have much more to say!
Thanks for reading!