Thursday, September 23, 2010

How much and how long?

Did anyone catch the Oprah show a couple weeks ago on the biggest and most impressive weight loss stories she's seen? I think it was a rerun from an earlier time. I'm not generally an Oprah watcher but when something pops up about weight loss, I tivo it so that I can be inspired.

The stories were incredible. Women losing 250 pounds in a year. Men becoming half their size in a short period of time. These people all looked incredible. I was impressed. Oprah and her doc (can't remember his name) were both in awe of the hard work and results each person had accomplished and rightly so. They were inspiring.

Some of the women started out at the same weight I did. I listened to their stories and could so relate it to my own. One lady talked about how she couldn't walk without getting out of breath and that brought back memories of not wanting to park too far from the store because I didn't want to be out of breath and sweating when I got inside. I'd forgotten some of that.

Anyway, what really got me thinking though, was that each time they'd relate their stories, Oprah wanted to know how long it took them to lose the weight. Some were a year, some two years but it was all generally a short period of time in relation to the amount of weight they had lost.

I was actually a bit surprised at the emphasis that was placed on the length of time. We all do that though, don't we? I know I did.

When I started, I wanted to know how long I was going to have to eat like a rabbit. Give me a date, a timeline, an END! And when I didn't reach my goal weight in the timeframe I'd established for myself, I was severely disappointed and somehow felt as if I were a failure.

In reality though, is there ever an end? Aren't we making life changes here? Do we ever really stop losing weight and working toward our goals? I don't think we do and that can be a bit hard to digest.

When I reach my 157 pound goal, I'll need to maintain it. That will mean consistent adjustments, changes, and work to keep my eating in order. It's a fact of life.

So is it really that important that I get to my goal immediately? Or is it more important that I take the time needed to learn how to manage this for the rest of my life?

I'd rather have a few mess ups now, take an extra year to lose the weight, and then really learn how to manage my eating. Dumping my weight quickly, being released into the world, and putting it back on is not an option in my book.

Time is irrelevant and often an unnecessary roadblock to our weight loss. The time will pass whether we're working on our goals, at our goals, or ignoring our goals.

So what would happen if we ignored the time factor and instead focused on the process? If each day we focused on the now and dealt with the issues that brings up instead of beating ourselves up for not being where we should be?

That, to me, sounds like a much healthier and easier to manage approach.


  1. I tend to want this NOW even though the logical part of me knows that it's much wiser to take my time and make permanent changes.

    Thank you for this post. Thank you for reminding me that this is not a race.

    Have a great day!

  2. When I started out I thought I would be done A LOT sooner then now but the reason I think I will be successful this time out is that I have/am still working on the internal causes. The good news is I have stayed the same weight while doing all this but I am so ready for the scale to start moving again!

    Good post! Have a good weekend!


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