Why can't you just get started on your weight loss journey? If I had a nickel for every time I asked myself that question during my obese years, I'd be seriously rich. So many times, while sitting on the couch eating something fattening, I would berate myself for having allowed myself to get so overweight, and ask myself why I couldn't get going.
I had good intentions. I'd make a conscious decision to purchase healthier food – to not eat a whole gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and try to get off the couch, but I never followed through. I joined my local weight loss center, paid my fees, but it seemed that I was incapable of losing more than a few pounds. I blamed my failure on everything imaginable: my slow metabolism, genetics, food manufacturers, lack of information, wrong equipment, money, time, family obligations.
The one thing I didn't blame my failure on was myself. I couldn't seem to see that those external factors weren't ultimately the problem. The problem was me.
I was allowing myself to continue gaining weight at a rapid pace by eating unbelievable amounts of food. I was the one who chose to sit on the couch all day, and I was even the one responsible for grocery shopping. It turns out ice cream wasn't to blame for my obesity, it was just me.
This was a hard pill to swallow, because I didn't like to think about being responsible for weighing 300 pounds, or for not fitting into restaurant booths. I was frustrated with myself on every level. Finally facing myself in the mirror and accepting that the responsibility for the weight gain was mine alone helped me realize that the responsibility to lose weight and get healthy was also mine.
Getting started had always been my problem. I knew what to do; I just couldn't seem to do it. The last time I began my weight loss journey I started with a completely different mindset. Instead of thinking about losing weight as a negative proposition, I turned it around and thought of it as a positive change. All the things I wanted to do but couldn't loomed in front of me like a beacon.
Getting started that last time was easier. I worked hard at banishing the negative thoughts and emotions surrounding the weight loss process and focused on the "what-ifs." What if I could run a 5K or climb on the jungle gym? What if I could buy some crackers and only eat a few? What if I had control over my food choices and actually lost weight once and for all? What if, instead of feeling bad about myself all the time, I could feel good about myself?
When I got started 12 years ago, I had a firm eating and exercise plan in mind, and an accurate perception of my strengths and weaknesses. Armed with this self-knowledge, I finally had success. Every time I was tempted to blame external things for my weight problem, I reminded myself where the responsibility actually lay. Starting anew each day, I resolved to make the best choices I could. When I "messed up" and accidentally ate something I hadn't planned on, instead of beating myself up, and giving up, I just started again. It took just 14 months for me to lose 150 pounds, starting fresh every day of the year. You too can get started today at fulfilling your goals. The problem is you, but the solution is also you.