When I began my weight-loss odyssey, I weighed about 300 pounds. My waist was so large I couldn’t even measure it with a 60” tape measure, and I had outgrown all the clothes that were available in stores. I found it difficult to walk and tired quickly.
I had tried losing weight many times over my decade-long struggle with obesity. I joined programs and saw limited success. I would lose 20 or 25 pounds, quit the program, and promptly regain those lost pounds. This cycle repeated itself over and over again. It was very frustrating.
The last time I tried to lose weight, I approached the journey differently. I finally understood it was going to be a long hard road and that instant results should not be expected. Even though I understood that going into the journey, the realities of losing a large amount of weight proved to be frustrating.
I cut back on the fat in my diet, exercised strict portion control, and began a daily walking program. The pounds began to come off. It was so exciting to see the scale drop from 298 to 278. I stayed strong and focused, but began to feel confused. After all, I had lost 20 pounds and no one had commented on my weight loss. Not one person said, “Diane, have you lost weight?” Not one.
30 pounds came and went and still no one noticed. 40 pounds and the same result. I was beginning to see some changes in my body and feel the changes in my fitness level, but apparently, I was the only one who could.
Part of me wanted to quit.
If no one could tell I was losing weight then why bother? Perhaps I should just return to my previous habit of eating a pound of candy a day. Instead of quitting, as I had so many times before, I reminded myself that I was committed to the journey – no matter how long it would take.
I persevered. And I continued losing at a steady pace. At 50 pounds lost, my previously tight, ugly homemade jumpers were definitely loose. The arms on the men’s t-shirts I had been reduced to wearing had room to spare, and my energy level had increased dramatically.
And finally, it happened. A good friend of mine tentatively asked, “Diane, you have lost some weight, haven’t you?” I wanted to jump up and down with excitement, but instead I calmly nodded and thanked her for her compliment. Day by day, more and more people began noticing that I was shrinking. It was a wonderful feeling.
However, as wonderful as it was for other people to notice my efforts, I learned a valuable lesson from those first 50 pounds. I wasn’t losing weight and getting healthy for other people’s compliments. I was losing weight and getting healthy for me.
Of course, it was nice when other people noticed I no longer got winded going up the stairs, but it was even better when I was able to be more available and active with my family. I’d encourage you not to get discouraged if no one seems to notice the fruits of your labor – instead realize that getting healthy and fit is the best reward.