No matter whether I weighed 200 or 300 pounds, I never really gave up trying to lose weight.
Sure, I’d try to talk myself into temporary contentment for a short while, but before long, I would try some new dieting strategy in the hope that I could get to a healthy weight and stay there. I could almost always lose 10 or 20 pounds on my new diet, but then before I knew it, those pounds came whooshing back on. (Often bringing some of their pound friends with them.)
What made me quit my diet so soon into my journey?? Why wasn’t the scale moving down a bit motivation enough for me to keep going? I don’t have the definitive answer, but one little piece of the puzzle for me was that it was hard to do all that work of eating “better” and not have anyone notice.
The hard truth is this: At 300 pounds, it takes a lot more than 10 or 20 pounds for friends and family to notice the change. Honestly, it takes a lot more than that for the severely overweight person to notice the change.
But I didn’t realize that at the time. Instead, I thought that people should notice that 20 pounds. After all, it was hard work to lose 20 pounds!
So, discouraged by my lack of stellar progress and saddened that all my hard work wasn’t being rewarded, I’d quit my diet for the 500th time. The 20 pounds would come back on and guess what? No one even noticed I had gained a few pounds – not that they said anyway.
How do you feel when no one notices that you’ve lost weight? How do you stay motivated?
Obviously it took a long time for me to stay motivated without verbal acknowledgement from people I knew. I let that (and other things) stop me dead in my weight loss tracks.
The final time I lost weight I thought of the process with new eyes. Instead of losing weight and achieving a new level of fitness for praise and acknowledgement from other people, I embarked on my journey for me.
♦ I was the one who needed to be able to walk easily and improve my fitness.
♦ I was the one making those day to day choices that would either improve or further harm my overall health.
♦ I was the one wearing sized 28 clothes.
♦ I was the one who could change my life and reap the benefits.
I have to be honest though – it was still hard to push through the weight loss process alone. When I lost 20 pounds, not one person noticed. 30 pounds lost, no one said anything. It wasn’t until I reached that 50 pounds lost mark that the first person said anything. Even then, I could tell they weren’t entirely sure. I still remember one of my friends saying, “Diane, have you lost some weight?” She asked tentatively, as if she didn’t want to hurt my feelings if I hadn’t.
I wanted to grab her and jump up and down but I was afraid I’d hurt her so I just calmly said, “Yes, I’ve lost some weight.” I didn’t tell her how much and she didn’t ask. It was a still a good feeling to finally have someone acknowledge my hard work.
The great thing about her noticing was that it did not increase my desire to lose weight. Why? Because her reaction and the eventual reactions of those other friends and family were not my motivation for losing weight.
I was losing weight because I knew I needed to and was ready. I knew that no matter what other people thought – I needed to stay motivated for me.
Do you find it hard to stay motivated when no one seems to notice? Where are you on your journey? Diane