Every journey we take has to begin with the first step. But sometimes that first step is difficult to take. And oftentimes that first step has to be repeated several times until we finally get it right. That was my case in my fight to end my own obesity and lose over 150 pounds.
I watched the scale bound up from a healthy 165 pounds to an extremely unhealthy 305 pounds in a matter of six or seven years. Every time I outgrew another item of clothing, I got frustrated with myself and my seeming lack of self-control and willpower. I gazed in my closet with dismay, hating all my fat clothes, and longing to wear my smaller, “regular-sized” clothes, even if they were sorely out of date.
Over the 10 years I was morbidly obese, I tried to lose weight. I honestly did. I tried diets printed in magazines and books. I joined very reputable weight loss centers in attempts to get my weight under control before I blew up even further. And I even tried a few crazy diets like the Grapefruit Diet. I was taking steps every time, but those steps didn’t lead me to success. Why not? I had taken the first step, but nothing happened. Why?
I think there are a variety of reasons why our attempts at diets fail. Here are some of the reasons and excuses that I hear when talking with people about weight loss:
- I wasn’t ready
- It was too hard
- The plan was expensive
- I didn’t have any family support
- I can’t follow the plan exactly
- It didn’t work
- I have too much to lose
- I’m not good at cooking
I could list many more, but I’ll stop there! One common denominator I see in that list is negativity. There are few things more dangerous in our lives then negative thoughts. I went into almost every diet I tried with a negative attitude. “Well, I’ll give this program one more try, but I probably won’t be able to do it,” I’d think as I filled out the registration form. And I was right. I didn’t do it. Even though I had taken the first step in my attempt to get healthy and lose a LOT of weight, my negative thoughts, and attitudes turned out to be a predictor of failure.
The last time I started on my weight loss journey I took the first step from a position of positivity rather than negativity. Instead of thinking, “I probably can’t do this,” I told myself, “Sure, I’ve failed in the past, but this time is going to be different.” And it was.
I have to tell you that just thinking positive thoughts isn’t enough to ensure success. But beginning your journey with positive affirmations and encouraging thoughts is a great first step. I wasn’t always positive about myself on that last weight loss journey, but when the negative thoughts of self-doubt began creeping in, I banished them with the reminder that I was worth all the effort that it took to get healthy and yes, “I could do this.”
So as you step out in your own journey, I’d encourage you to banish self-doubt whenever it creeps in. The journey to lose weight isn’t easy, but the rewards at end are worth every effort you put into yourself. So take the first step again. And stay positive.