This post was originally published February 19th, 2020.
The Challenge of Weight Loss
It’s strange that it’s so hard to see a change in our own appearance. I’ve written previously about how I was still seeing a fat guy looking back at me in the mirror even after I had lost 40 pounds. And I know from reading posts from others, not seeing a difference adds to the challenge of weight loss. Perhaps it comes from the fact that there is no noticeable difference from one day to the next when we look at ourselves. I just got a new driver’s license with a new picture on it. When I compared it to my old picture, I was shocked at the difference. So, I would suggest to anyone that has lost 10 or more pounds but feel like they’ve not made a difference in their appearance that they have someone take a picture. Then compare it to a picture from a time before the weight loss.
Be kind to yourself in the analysis and you’ll see that you are making a difference. And the “be kind” part is important. One thing I’m sure we all had down pat was giving ourselves negative feedback about our appearance. And that just isn’t helpful.
Sometimes I have mixed feelings about posting comments about my weight loss. On one hand, I know that I put in a lot of work to rekindle the motivation and self-discipline I needed to succeed in this program. I’m putting in the time at the gym and on my walks. On the other hand, I see the comments of others that are doing the same things and struggling to lose small numbers. I wouldn’t want anyone to compare themselves to me and feel like they’re failing.
For those that feel like they’re struggling:
Don’t give up. None of us got to be overweight overnight. It was a slow process. Losing it will be too. Be reasonable in the expectations you have for yourself. Weighing in 3 or more times a week means you may only see a small change from one time to the next. But, even -0.1 pounds is still a loss, which is a victory. Celebrate it. They add up over time. Not everyone can lose two pounds a week. Frustration, anxiety, and disappointment only make it harder to keep going.
When you go to the gym, be reasonable there too. The “I worked out so hard my legs feel like rubber” approach (in my estimation) isn’t sustainable. Pain makes people not want to go back. A bit of cardio and a bit of strength training to start. Build from there.
But most of all remember that you are worth the effort.