Lessons Learned From Being A Failure
I'm going to lose 50lbs in 3 months and be in the best shape of my life."
I've uttered those words wayyyyy to many times. I've lost count of how many times I've tried to change my body. I've gained and lost probably 500 pounds in my lifetime.
Diets I've tried and failed:
Weight-Watchers x 2
Medifast x 2
South Beach Diet
Hypnosis for weightloss
Juicing (fat, sick, and nearly dead documentary)
I tried to be Anemic (sad but true)
Keto (I failed at this too)
I had a strong desire to change. But I was missing something that would not just help me start well but finish well.
3 Reasons I Kept Failing
1. I always half-assed everything. I particularly commit, while putting in minimal effort. When I started keto I did everything wrong, as wrong as possible (That's why I created my How To Get Started Guide 🤗). I did Noooo research. I knew the words: High Fat, Low Carb. So I ran with it. Pulled pork and Bacon with extra BBQ sauce. Every day. For a week 🤦🏾♀️. I was really upset when I got on the scale and I had gained weight. but I wasn't tracking my food, so I didn't actually know how many carbs a day I was taking in.
2. I commit to too many new things at once. I'd go to the gym 5 days a week, eat 500 calories a day, and drink a gallon of water a day. I would do really well for a month or two. I'd get all excited. I believe I can do anything (being the extreme optimist that I am) and then suddenly, my will is not strong enough any more. I'd quit eating as healthy. Start drinking a little soda. Stop exercising as much. Then I drink even more soda…. Start having a daily treat or two. And guess what? I also gained back the 10 pounds I just lost. This would happen again and again… and again 😫
3. I'd lose sight of the end goal and get discouraged. I wanted to lose 80lbs. I would see people lose weight so quickly on all these programs I paid for. I paid for the same things they paid for, so I expected the same results. When I lost 5lbs in a month instead of the 20lbs I wanted, I would get really discouraged. I felt (whatever thing I was trying at the moment) didn't work, so I quit. Just that simple, I quit.
What I was trying to do wasn’t working.
Losing weight is all about trial and error: Try a diet, and see if it works.
Though it's a tedious process, the mistakes teach you a lot about what a sustainable diet should look and feel like—and what you should stay far, far away from (hello $200 HCG drops).
The answer, at least for me, was not trying to become more disciplined, but changing the way I thought about failing. If I took lessons from all of my past mistakes, I could change them into results.
I've failed many, many, many times. Everyone fails. The goal should be when we fail, we learn.
The simple thing I changed to lose and maintain the weight:
Stop comparing my beginnings to someone else’s middle.
Stop comparing my starting point to someone else’s highlight reel.
I compare myself to who was yesterday, not to someone else today.
Everyone's weightloss journey is full struggles!
It's so hard to not compare your journey to anyone else's. You may think everyone is doing better than you are, but you are only seeing the image they portray to others. Everyone has their own struggles and weaknesses — after all, we're all human.
I kept it small.
80 lbs is an overwhelming amount of weight to lose. It always seems impossible until it's done. I would always get overwhelmed with the amount of weight I had to loose 🥺, so this time I took baby steps. I set out to lose 3lbs. Then 2lbs. Then 4lbs. I didn't set a time limit and I was forgiving for my mistakes. The next thing I knew, I was down 80lbs in 8 months 🤗. Instead of thinking about the finishline, I concentrated on each step. Not ever goal was about a number on the scale, some were to zip up a jacket, buckle a belt, or fiting into my petty dress. I celebrated every step of the way. I was proud at 10lbs down, I'm proud at 82lbs down.
My biggest lesson has been to think of slip-ups/treats (Not Cheats) as learning opportunities 🤔. There's no such thing as 'blowing it for the day,' making it OK to binge and start over tomorrow or next Monday (we all do it 😬). Each meal or snack is another opportunity to make a healthier choice, don't let the train derail from a single less than stellar decision 🤗.
Keep it simple. I don't do a lot of ingredients. I don't do a lot of inticate recipes. I track my food.
At one point or another, we are all going to suffer through failure. I don’t say that because my outlook is pessimistic – it’s the realist in me speaking here. I’ve failed countless times. In fact, at one point, you could have called me a professional failure. But through those failures I learned some important lessons. Today, I would never take my failures back. I would never unwind the clock and do it all over again.