Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Measure of Success

 I've been working on changing things in my life. Project Transformation 2015. I decided the end of last year that I was not going to take my bad eating habits into the new year. And here we are almost two months in and I've kept that promise to myself. I also decided that I wasn't going to diet ever again. After years of cutting out this or that, drinking horrible shakes as meal replacements and putting drops under my tongue and eating 500 calories, I was done. I was going to eat clean and healthy, get up off the sofa and move and if the weight came off that would be a bonus. At over 100 pounds overweight, I knew that I needed to do something so I did set some goals that I hoped to achieve by changing my eating habits. My minimum goal was to lose 1 lb a week. I figured at the very least I would be down 52 lbs by next year. And that would be awesome. But I also set a goal that I knew I needed to reach a bit to meet. 10 lbs a month. I was thrilled when I was down 14 at the end of the first month. And happy that, with almost a week left in February, I'm only 1.4 lbs away from my 20 pound goal.

I admit that there are times when I've struggled. When you've spent a good part of your life using food as a comfort it's hard not to fall into senseless eating when feeling overwhelmed. I've been forced to not only come up with new coping mechanisms, but to change habits that I've had all of my adult life (and probably a good part of my childhood too). I've had to become super aware of my behaviors and triggers and do some serious self talk to get through stressful moments without falling into binging and undoing all the good I've done.

It's a hard thing to take a really honest look at your life and see things that aren't so pretty. But it's an amazing thing to take an honest look at the efforts and changes I've made and be able to see that I'm succeeding. I've discovered that being healthy and trim is not the only measure of success. Every day that I manage to stay on track, make good choices and feel happy and not deprived is a success. Some hard days I measure my success in hours or even minutes. But every minute I choose me/health/life over binging on a bag of chips or eating things that have absolutely no nutritional value, I celebrate that success. I celebrated a major success when I actually managed to take a road trip without stopping at my normal snack stops and when I did stop I bought a banana. Not that I didn't cruise by the chip aisle, look over all the candy bars and try to convince myself that it would be ok to have some "just this time". It took some major self talk to just use the restroom, buy a banana and a bottle of water and get back in the car and continue on. But I did it. And I smiled like a goon as I drove down the road. Yay Wren!!!

After years of beating myself up over what I and others perceived as a lack of self control and the daily negative self talk about all the ways I'm failing, this idea of celebrating every little success feels great. It's still a battle now and then, but I'm getting there and learning that there are ways to measure success besides a number on a scale.

Feeling blessed on this beautiful morning,

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