I’ve been thinking back on my own journey to lose 158 pounds and what really enabled me to lose half of myself. It wasn't just about size, although that was a big part of the journey. It wasn't just about the scale either. It turns out that the journey was about my whole life.
When I help people on their own weight loss odyssey, I see that their journeys are like mine. It's not just about weight. It's about life. It doesn't matter if they want to lose 15 pounds, 50 pounds, or 100+ pounds. The journey to lose weight and get fit is similar in nature.
It's easy to get so caught up in food planning, calorie counting, or exercising that we sometimes forget to keep our focus on the whole of our lives. I confess that I occasionally did. There were some times during my journey to lose weight where I became a little "obsessed" with the process. I got caught up in how my body was changing, what foods I needed to prepare, and when I was going to fit in a quick walk, that I let other life opportunities slip through my fingers.
Fortunately, those obsessed times were short-lived. I found that focusing on the simple things in life that had nothing to do with my weight helped me enjoy the process of working to improve my health. I remember a time when I had been invited to dinner with a group of old friends. I had been planning on walking that evening and knew if I went to dinner I'd have to miss my walk. My husband said, "Go - you never get to see those people." So I went and I was glad I did. I felt refreshed and renewed when I came home.
There were other times where I fit my exercise in with my children, and my older 2 still remember going on long bike rides with me. I created memories while at the same time creating a new Diane.
This weight loss journey can be exhausting emotionally. It's tiring sometimes. I know for a fact what helped me avoid “weight loss burnout” was taking the time to do those things that I enjoyed that had nothing to do with weight loss. I made sure to do nice things for other people, like bringing meals to sick friends. I tried hard to spend quality time with my kids, rather than sitting on the couch for hours like I had in the past. And I started several new hobbies - a couple of which I still enjoy today. I learned that focusing on my life as a whole rather than just being obsessed with the weight loss enabled me to stay focused and healthy mentally and physically.