Saturday, September 15, 2012

Decisions, choices and the lifelong journey of change

People are always impressed when I tell I have lost more than 150 pounds to overcome super obesity. I'm proud of what I have accomplished. The funny thing is, though, I always feel like I'm taking credit for something that's not that big of a deal. My story really boils down to this: a decision, fueled by choices, which are mere elements of my lifelong journey of change.

Losing the weight wasn't actually as hard as you may think. It's certainly not as hard as I thought it would be before I finally made the decision to get my weight in check. Overcoming super obesity, for me, was just a series of good choices. The hard part actually was deciding to start making them in the first place.

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with (the decision to take) a single step!
I think the mistake a lot of folks make when then try to lose weight is they focus only on those choices - the day to day of what to eat and what not to eat, which activity burns more calories, who to share my successes with because they will support me and who to refrain from talking to about my weight loss because it might breed envy and jealousy, or simply make them feel bad. But what about the decision?

The decision to lose weight is the absolute most important factor in permanent weight loss. It is not a matter of what choices you make along the way, because none of us is perfect, and we will each make a series of good choices and bad ones every day of our lives. If we focus on the choices we will celebrate good ones and beat ourselves up for bad ones. When we focus on the decision, however, we are able to see our choices as a complex tapestry and we can focus on the bigger picture - why we are choosing to lose weight in the first place.

This question of "why" is at the root of the decision. The choices I make along the way - the question of "how" - will work themselves out as I remain focused on my lifelong journey of change and as I move forward, resolving those "why" questions that made my decision finally click in the first place.

What was behind my decision to lose weight? Part of the answer can be found here, on a post called My Weight Loss Motivation from January 2010. In that post I talk about the things I want to do and be and a bit of my purpose. But the real "why" is that I wanted to begin treating myself - my body and my mind - with the respect I deserve. Before I made the decision I had tried unsuccessfully to lose weight and keep it off many times before. I finally realized that these failed attempts at weight loss were the result of me focusing on my choices and not on my decision.

When I wake up every morning, the first thing I do is remind myself of why I'm on this fit life journey. In other words, I am mindful of my journey. I give it the respect it deserves so I am sure to give myself the respect I deserve. This mindfulness ensures I will make choices that fuel my decision.

It's really that simple. Even so, I do want to thank you so much for your encouragement, and please continue to be thoroughly impressed by the fact that I have lost more than 150 pounds. But please, also, save some of that enthusiasm for later, when I have reached my weight loss goal of overcoming obesity once and for all.

PS - As of today, I have lost 10 pounds in the past two weeks. Current weight - 276. I have 21 pounds to lose to reach my low weight mark from June of last year (2011) and a total of 49 pounds to go until I am no longer considered obese. Thanks so much for reading and sharing my story with others on your social networks, Your participation inspires me! MyFitLife2Day is on Facebook. And please, follow me on Twitter @MyFitLife2Day.

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