Are Your Health and Weight Loss Goals Within Reach?
Seven years ago, I began making changes and taking care of myself. Through diet, exercise and a lot of hard work, I lost 160 pounds — and I've kept it off ever since. It's hard to believe that I'm seven years into this journey!
I've shared my struggles and successes on my blog for the past six years, so people tend to share with me, and I'm a good listener. Chances are I've walked in their shoes. I've battled my weight my whole life. I know the shame and embarrassment that comes with morbid obesity, and the joy and pride that comes with fitting into smaller clothes.
I love being a cheerleader and providing a shoulder to cry on, but there's something I hear often that really irks me. It's sentences like this: "I only have to lose 10 more pounds, and I'm done!"
My problem is the suggestion that once the goal is reached, you can revert back to old habits, abandon the new ones, and everything will be fine. It implies that a temporary fix, like a diet, can solve a long-term problem, such as achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Chances are that it won't.
The honest truth is that you need to strike the word "done" from your vocabulary, at least in regards to your health and fitness goals. Long-term success requires long-term dedication.
Take it from me: I work just as hard now to maintain my weight loss as I did when I lost it in the first place. I don't say that to be discouraging. In fact, I love the journey that I'm on — it's hands down the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced.
I will never say I'm done because I know I never will be. I will continue to learn, try new foods, try new forms of exercise and work hard because my weight loss and maintenance is a source of happiness in my life, and I deserve that happiness. Plus, I know that as soon as I become complacent, the weight will come back. Complacency is what got me to over 400 pounds to begin with!
Your path, like mine, will continue to evolve, and having goals is an important part of that. What I'm saying is that while reaching your goal is certainly something to celebrate (preferably in a manner that doesn't involve thousands of calories), as soon as that celebration is over, you need to focus on a new goal. You're not done. It's just on to the next step, whatever that may be.
I realize now that I lied earlier about striking the word "done" from your vocabulary. There are a couple fantastic ways to use "done" while on a healthy eating and exercise program. Let me give you a couple of examples: "I'm done eating these unhealthy snacks" or "I'm done with this awesome workout, but I'll be back at it tomorrow."
What's most important is that you find stuff you like doing, healthy foods you like eating and great exercises that you can do daily. Find changes you can make in your life that are sustainable. All you need is a little momentum, because once you get the ball rolling, all you need to do then is keep it up!
David Garcia is the blogger behind Keep It Up, David and has shared his weight loss story on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "The Doctors." Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and read his blog at keepitupdavid.com.