In my weight loss journey so far, something that is always on the front of my mind is accountability. I am accountable for my actions. My accountability or lack thereof has a direct effect on my level of success. This applies just as much to health and weight loss as it does to any other aspect of life. Even if no one sees me put that spoonful of peanut butter in my mouth, my body will hold me accountable.
We often hear from TV doctors or weight loss gurus how ‘diets don’t work’. Part of me agrees with that but an even larger part of me disagrees with that sentiment. Obviously if you are starving yourself, taking crazy pills, or doing something outrageous like eating cabbage soup and cottage cheese at every meal, yeah, you are not going to be able to keep that up. You can’t abuse your body and expect it to reward you.
Ok, here is where you get your pitchforks out. Because anyone that has ever lost weight and gained it all back is totally gonna hate what I am going to say next.
If you lost a bunch of weight on a well-balanced, reasonable plan and failed to maintain, that is a failure on your part, not the plan. That is the cold hard truth. (Barring some medical circumstance, of course.)
I was 193 pounds when I got married; I had lost nearly 80lbs. I knew what I had to do to keep losing. Then I got pregnant. I was 204 when I got pregnant. I knew what I had to do to maintain or gain as little as possible. I was 225 pounds after giving birth.
I was 240 even when I started Medifast.
Because I failed to do all the things I knew I needed to do. I didn’t exercise, I didn’t plan meals, I didn’t eat properly. I was lazy, I was sedentary and I was gluttonous to the point that I didn’t even have the capability to enjoy food because nothing was a treat. Every meal was a celebration.
I made excuses. I’m busy, tired, sad, hungry, happy, stressed, angry, I just had a baby, the baby is sick, I’m sick, the husband is sick, my schedule is too full, the gym is too expensive, I don’t have enough space to work out, my workout clothes are dirty, I can’t find my sneakers.
I could go on for days, hell, years, about why I would like you to believe I can’t lose weight and get healthy. And that hurts, knowing that I wasted all that time and emotion when I could have just sacked up and done the right thing. I can come up with a million excuses and none of them would be a good or valid one.
The word ‘diet’ has become this four letter word. Somewhere along the way someone came up with the line ‘Diets don’t work’. That my friends, is a crock of shit. Hell, I bought it! But now I am rebelling. I reject the notion that diets are bad and they don’t work.
Révolution de Medifast! Viva le régime!
I am on a diet.
You know why? Because I don’t want to DIE. You know what my diet is? It’s a reasonable, well balanced plan that includes a temporary reduction in calories that I chose after a lot of research and personal reflection. It’s a plan that I know I can phase into a life of maintenance and long term health. And you can go ahead and say ‘We’ll see. Just you wait.’ Yes, we will see. I might falter and fluctuate a bit. But I will never go back to what I was. I am holding myself accountable and keeping the promises I’ve made to myself and Medifast is giving me the tools to build success.
Look, I get why the phrase came about. In part its because people go on these crazy crash diets that are a recipe for failure. I agree, they don’t work. But as I sit here, looking back on every reasonable weight loss plan I’ve ever been on, I must concede that they work. They all work. I would love to continue to fool myself and somehow blame the plans I’ve been on. It sucks to admit that I jumped on board with plan X, Y, or Z without researching it or giving real thought as to whether it would fit into my lifestyle. I hate admitting that I relied solely on the diet to fix me when we all know that obesity and the inability to overcome it is so much more than food. I didn’t give myself or create the tools to nurture long term success. It sucks even more that I know I was just too damn lazy or self defeatist to climb Mount Negativity in my brain and settle in the Valley of Self Worth, build a house and live there, happily ever after.
I never asked myself:
- Am I following a diet that is conducive to good health and the goals I want to achieve?
- Am I following a plan that will allow me to maintain a lifestyle that is appropriate for me and my family, long after I’ve met my goal?
- Am I willing to put in the hard work required to maintain this lifestyle?
- Am I choosing the plan that is right for ME?
What’s worse is I never held myself accountable for the way I treated my body. And I am not talking about mentally beating yourself up for having that candy bar or forcing yourself to run 15 miles because you shared an ice cream cone with your kid. (Or maybe you ate the whole thing yourself….while locked in the bathroom…hiding behind the shower curtain…and it wasn’t just a cone but a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Whatever! I’m not talking about that!) What I am talking about is asking yourself what you really want in your life. What will make you happy? And what are you willing to do to get there?
I am holding myself accountable. I will not blame people, places or things for my failure to succeed and maintain my diet. I alone am in control of what I put into my body and the way it is treated. I’ve built my house in the Valley of Self Worth. Maybe once in a while we’ll vacation at Lake Pity Party but I will always come home to a place that nurtures success because now I know the way back home.
Where do you want to build your home?
Week six: -2 lbs
Week nineteen: -1 lb