Wellness Wednesday: Don’t Criticize the Small Strides

Making a lifestyle change is a big journey. Being in for over three months and 36 or so pounds makes it seem so easy when it is absolutely not. People think as you get into it for this length of time it gets easier. While sometimes it does, there are a lot of environmental factors along with the outlook that you have that can make or break the streak that one is on at any given moment.

For the record, at my weekly weight group, I not gained weight for 13 weeks. One of those weeks I plateaued. But this week I lost the least amount of weight one can lose, a quarter (0.25 lb.) of a pound. It brought a hard mindset to me and it was a challenge to see that I didn’t plateau or gain any weight and for 12 of the past 13 weeks, I have lost weight, at times very large amounts of weight. Everyone at the group was doing their best to be supportive and give me words of encouragement, but I wasn’t hearing any parts of it. I just couldn’t see past the fact that I didn’t do as well as I thought I was planning to do.

What I didn’t do, was consider the environmental factors. The weather has been hot and humid the past few days. I have felt the need to hydrate more. Fortunately, that has been in the form of water and tea and not a constant rotating supply of soft drinks that I seemed that I needed to have always in my house, because I thought “I needed it.” Temptation struck at that group the other night because people had them, but I had to remember how well I have been doing by sticking to my guns and not having very little pop only when the cravings were really serious. I knew it was going to be a challenge to go “cold turkey complete” because I would be really miserable.

Yet, after 10 days of what I was considering very hard work, it didn’t seem if it was paying off in the dividends that I expected. I thought I was doing the best, all things considered. Yes, I snuck a few in, but I didn’t bring any big bottles in my house and go wild, which is a big feat for having a habit to do so for a very long time. I know this is what I need to do to get my health back in line. No, it may not show at that very moment and it may not always appear very pretty.  But I have to remember that I am doing the work and have to be thankful that I still can.

I could very well be a bullhead and say that I don’t need to walk or get outdoors. I could also say that I don’t need to go to work or program. What would that do? I’ll tell you what that would do. I would get into the habit of not caring again and I would just go hog wild and eat anything and everything without thinking about what it would do to me. I would be known as the person who was on a losing streak and then gain all of it back and then some. That “some” would expand and grow to the point to where I couldn’t physically move or take care of myself and they would have to airlift me out of my home. I have experienced the pain and agony of how I was. I have seen minimal physical effects and know I don’t want to go there again.

I don’t want to make this a point of “tooting my own horn” because I’m not all about that. But I need to give myself the credit for eating sensibly, going on the walks with my mother, going to day program and work. Being independent gives the autonomy to do what I want to do, but I am still learning and growing. Everyone thinks that you can just take it easy, when in fact you have to keep your well-being in check all the time and remember where you came from not physically, but also how much mentally you as a person have grown. It doesn’t happen overnight. You need to take time to explore and discover and while it doesn’t always show itself in sun and rainbows. It does show you what you need to do in order to adult, survive and be the person you want to be. You have to prove to the naysayers that you can do it and fight the ones who once thought you could but continue to backslide and rebuild yourself until you are confident that you can succeed at what you are doing and that is what you have to prove to yourself and overcome the struggles that you face and remember why you are doing it!

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