What I have learned so far…

Here are some of the lessons I have learned since I started my journey just five and a half months ago….

-I can eat whatever I want. This is one of the most important things I have learned and it is the concept I base my diet around. The idea is this; you can eat whatever you want, in whatever quantity, whenever you want. However, in order to do this you have to learn what your body wants. Eating is much more than taste. It provides us with the fuel we need to keep us energized and the nutrients we need to keep us healthy and strong. Typically, what we eat, and what we crave, is based off of taste but if we take the time to recognize how our body feels after we eat we will soon learn what we need and when we need it. It takes time and a conscious effort in order to reprogram your mind to ‘crave’ the things you actually need/want. Basically for me, no matter what I ate, I made sure to think about how I felt after. Did I have energy or did I feel sluggish? Did it give me an upset stomach or did I feel great? Did I feel stuffed to the point where I felt uncomfortable or did I feel satisfied and comfortable? After spending time recognizing these feelings I found my cravings changed to the foods that made me feel good and I would try to avoid those that didn’t. Where before all I wanted to eat were chips, burgers, fries, pizza now my body longs for fresh fruit and veggies, lean protein (grilled not fried) and Greek yogurt. These changes occurred not because I am losing weight or because it’s what I should eat but because when I eat this way I feel fabulous- it is what my body wants. This doesn’t mean that I don’t ever eat pizza or burgers, I still do but not very often and when I do I make sure I balance out my meal with some good carbs or swap out red meat for turkey or a veggie burger. As the saying goes; ‘eat to live, not live to eat’.

-Water is my friend, my bestest friend in the whole wide world. So, do you remember Monday’s post and how I had said my weight had jumped up from 236.8 to 239.2 after my time back home? Do you remember me saying how I would spend Monday drinking lots of water to see if it was true weight gain or just water retention? Well, I stepped on to the scale Tuesday morning and I was down to 237, just 0.2 pounds more than when I left. So I feel it is safe to say that most of that weight was from water retention and I am so glad to be rid of it. If you ever see a big, somewhat unjustified, jump on the scale you should think back to your eating habits from the previous day/week. Have you been eating lost of processed foods, eating out, or consuming anything high in sodium, more than you normally do? Well then, it is time to flush your system. Oddly enough you need to drink water to stop your body from retaining water. I try to drink at least 3-4L a day (recommended minimum is 64 oz, approx. 2L) and when I do I feel great. I should warn you though, if you drink that much water you will need to pee pretty frequently 😉

-I need to do what makes me happy. I wish I could say do only what makes you happy but if that were true my house would never be clean and the yard would be filled with dog poop. However, when it comes to how I spend my free time I make sure I do things that make me happy. This is especially true in regards to my workouts. I like walking but only outside and since San Antonio has turned into the third circle of hell I have decided to limit my outdoor walking time. I don’t like walking on the treadmill so I don’t do that anymore. I used to only care about my calorie burn and heart rate and it was a good habit to have starting off but now I am not concerned about those things. I do what feels good, what makes me happy. On Monday’s I take a Poi Spinning class. I doubt it even raises my heart rate and I probably don’t burn many calories but I love it, it keeps me moving and I have so much fun doing it. Isn’t that what really matters; increasing activity? I am lucky that I can afford to have memberships at multiple places and am able to take all of these classes that I have grown to love. *Side note: I was able to negotiate stepping up to a monthly membership, which affords me unlimited classes, at the Synergy Studio in exchange for Paul getting a kegorator- win-win. I do not take my circumstances for granted. Again, I cannot stress enough to those of you out there, especially those near big cities, take advantage of sites like Groupon and Living Social. Maybe you cannot afford a full price gym/yoga studio/boxing studio membership but an 8 or 10 class pass or a monthly pass discounted 50%+ could be in your budget. Another great tool is DVDs. I also won in the great kegerator negotiation of 2011 the rights to convert the spare bedroom into my Zen space which allows me a place to meditate as well as do Yoga, Qigong, and even Nia at home. For me, once I found things that I loved doing my life became so much better.

-It’s only about me; I can’t compare myself to others. This is a hard lesson to learn and I try to remember it every time the green-eyed monster shows his face. I think being a Weight Watchers member makes it harder because at every meeting you are celebrating someone’s success and there are always people who have lost more, faster, look better than me, and make it look so easy. It is hard not to compare myself and my progress against other people especially when they are around my size and weight. It is hard not to look at someone and think she looks so much better than me even though we weigh the same and then I start to think about myself in a negative light. I hate my stomach area, why can’t it look like hers or she has such great arms and still after all the boxing and weights mine are flabby nastiness. Usually at this point I go to one of my sisters in arms begging for a reality check. Their advice helps put everything back into perspective. Sometimes you just need someone to remind you that this is your journey, it is only about you, and you cannot compare yourself to anyone else. You have to keep your focus on you; what you like about yourself, all of your successes (both on and off the scale) and the goals and vision you set for yourself. Yes, there are still times now when that jealousy starts to creep back up but now I know how to combat it and move on.

-It’s all about the scale; it’s not about the scale at all. I weigh myself daily because I want to know and because my weight gain/loss is a sign of how my body is reacting to what I am eating/doing. Some people prefer to weigh themselves weekly, monthly or not at all and I am not here to say which way is right. It really is personal preference. I think I will probably always weigh myself daily because that is just the type of person I am. However, what took time for me to realize is that it isn’t only about the number on the scale. This is another downside of Weight Watchers (although you can track your progress in inches versus pounds if you prefer) and it is hard to break out of that tunnel-vision. My weight, albeit an important measurement, isn’t the only thing that matters and learning to recognize other non-scale achievements was necessary for my self-confidence. For me this journey started off all about my weight and trying to get it under control so of course all of my focus was on that scale. Now, my journey has become so much more than that; it is riddled with personal triumphs and it is important to recognize those as well. Since February I have; started boxing as well as taken Bikram yoga classes (some things I thought would be impossible for a fat person to do) , I have walked 8 miles at one time and came in second in my age group at a 5K, I have tried a variety of classes I had never even heard of- Nia, Qigong, Poi Spinning, Journey Dance, HoopDance, and most importantly I started this blog which has brought me so much happiness and allowed me to make some amazing friendships. So no, it’s not always about the scale but sometimes it still is. Today I weighed in at 234.8. Do you know what that means? 51.2 pounds lost! Woo hoo! 🙂

-I can do so much more than I ever thought I could. You can see this from the list of non-scale victories listed above. Although this is something I have learned about me I know it is true for you as well. I think we all tend to underestimate our abilities and sometimes we let fear dictate our choices- I know I am guilty of this. However, if I can box and do Bikram while being 130+ pounds overweight I strongly believe that anyone can. Was it hard? Yes. Is it still hard? Yes. Should you let that stop you? Absolutely not. I strongly encourage all of you to try something new, something you might not think you can do, test the limits a little. I think you will be surprised to find out you can do so much more than you realize.

-I want so much more from my life. This short, 5 ½ month journey (which is ongoing) has taught me so many things but this is really important and encompasses so much. I want more from my life, plain and simple. I don’t want to sit around and watch my life pass me by day by day, week by week, year by year, because before I know it, it will be over. I want to truly live my life and for the first time in a very long time I believe I am doing it. All of these decisions I have made; to eat better, become more active, to try new things, they have all led me to enjoy my life so much more. I think what I expect from my life and how to get it is an ever evolving ideal but the most important thing is to keep changing for the better. Try to find your path in life because once you are on it so many opportunities will present themselves to you. Seize them. Don’t let any more pass you by. You deserve this. I deserve this. We all deserve happiness. Please don’t ever forget that.

Thanks for reading!

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August 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Fitness, Life, Weight Loss.

8 Comments

  1. Latina Barbi replied:

    AMEN SISTA!!!

  2. cassiebehle replied:

    I’ve been away from WordPress for awhile with the flurry of activity that this summer has brought, but I want to commend you for your leaps and bounds in not only discovering new strengths about yourself, but triumphing over your current challenges in mind, spirit and body. Great job!!

    P.S. I recently discovered how fun it is to cook healthy food you truly can enjoy – tonight is shrimp pesto pasta! Dinner is at 7:30. Come on over! 🙂

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you so much! I have been slacking hardcore with posting too. It’s like there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything.

      Dinner sounds awesome! I wish I could come but I have to shower and head over to a friends house to babysit 😉

  3. Ginger replied:

    Great post! You really are a success story!

    • Dacia replied:

      Thanks Ginger! Although i still have a long way to go I do feel like I am a success story!

  4. Simply Sidney replied:

    You certainly have learned a ton in the past few months. You keep me thinking too, which is so needed right now!!! I have some work to do regarding my food cravings. I’ve made some big changes, I am starting to crave the better things. I totally agree that the key to wanting better foods is by spending time eating them and really listening to what your body has to say. So interesting, gesh if you point your body in the right direction it really does try to keep you on track. I now want to work out and I’m starting to want better foods. Hmmph, and all this time I was convinced my body was working against me. Can you say FLIP 🙂 Thanks for all the inspiration Dacia!!

    • Dacia replied:

      You are welcome. I wanted to share what I have learned and what has helped me find success so far. It might not work for everyone. We all find our motivation and determination differently. However, I think one big thing that anyone can take away from this post may be that keep searching for what works for you, and switch it up once it stops working, because it will be so much easier once you do. You don’t have to stick exactly to others prescribed guidelines. Do what makes you feel good and you will find success.

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