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1. It is a LOT easier to keep weight off than it is to lose weight. Your body strives for equilibrium and resists changes in weight. I always heard people say this, but I learned it first-hand, the hard way.
2. I am not exempt from a slowing metabolism. I used to think if I ate right and stayed active, my metabolism would run like a well-oiled machine forever and ever, amen. Not necessarily true. When they say your metabolism slows as you age, they aren’t joking. (You have been warned, young, thin friends. You have been warned!)
3. I need less food than I thought I did. Also known as, “Being a little hungry is not the end of the world.” Or “Staving off hunger pangs is not a worthy goal.” Or “For crying out loud, stop your whining.” I wrote an entire rant about hunger and how I deal with it here.
4. I am stronger than I thought I was. I have two words for you: Clapping push-ups.
5. Sometimes you really CAN be doing everything right and still not lose weight. Eat less, eat better, move more, eliminate stress, eliminate sugar, get rest, lift weights, try intervals: Done, done and DONE—Yes, I did it all, and I did it diligently. But despite my very best efforts, I couldn’t lose the weight—at least not for a long time (like YEARS).
6. The secret (if there is such a thing) to reaching your weight loss goal is sticking with it—even if it takes years. Most of us give up too soon. When we don’t lose our “1.5 to 2 pounds per week” we get discouraged, decide it’s not worth it and we quit. I learned that my best efforts produced results in the range of 1.5-2 pounds per quarter. It took me a full year to lose just 6 pounds. I am so glad I didn’t give up.
7. I am capable of developing an eating disorder. While I was sympathetic to people who suffered from eating disorders, I really never understood them–especially anorexia. “I don’t get the whole eating disorder thing,” I thought. “I like food way too much,” I thought. “I could never starve myself,” I thought. That is, until I reached my lowest emotional point (which incidentally, was my highest weight). Working out so hard, I could barely walk a flight of stairs. Eating so little, I was hungry all the time. And then stepping on the scale to see I gained (not lost, GAINED!) 2 more pounds—for a grand total of 23 pounds gained in about a year and a half. At that lowest point, I stood at my kitchen counter and thought, “If I just stop eating, I would HAVE to lose the weight. Maybe if I just stop eating….” I never followed through, but I came dangerously close.
8. I judged you. When you told me you were trying as hard as you could to lose your weight, I secretly thought, “She can try harder.” When you told me you were watching your portions and cutting out junk food, I thought, “I doubt it.” When you told me you were working out and counting calories and keeping a food log, I thought, “She must be exaggerating.” All these years of loving and supporting you through your weight-loss struggles (on the outside) I was secretly judging you (on the inside). It took my own weight-loss struggles for me to come face-to-face with my stinky, judgmental attitude. I didn’t like what I saw. I was wrong. And for that, I am truly sorry. Please forgive me.
9. If I had to go through the whole weight-gain fiasco, just to rid myself of my stinky, judgmental attitude, then it was worth it. Every last ounce of that stubborn weight–it was worth it.
Q4U: What have you learned the hard way?
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Linking up with my friend Jill Conyers today. For more fitness related posts, check out her weekly blog hop!