Typically, in the beginning of a journey, the newness makes it fun and unique. Even if it’s a difficult journey, you try really hard and do all you can to make it a successful one. Beginnings can be scary and full of unknown factors, but I always like them because you never know what could happen. You could make new friends or discover new hobbies or grow closer to someone. The possibilities are endless, really. Sure, beginnings aren’t always what we hope or expect, but there’s something about that newness, that clean slate, that bright white background just waiting to be filled in that excites me.
I think this mentality I have is what got me through the first year of my weight loss journey. It was new to track my Points on my super-cool Weight Watchers app. It was fun to look up Points values when we went grocery shopping. It was exciting to add Points to my day when I would exercise and earn Activity Points. It was exhilarating when the number on the scale went down every single week. It was something to celebrate when old clothes that I’d kept around suddenly fit and my usual outfits were way too big.
When everything is going smoothly and you’re on plan and you’re excited and there are daisies and rainbows dotting the horizon, new journeys are awesome. It’s when the newness wears off that we have to make sure we’re on our journeys for the right reasons.
Since January 2014, I’ve lost 55 pounds. I am so proud of that accomplishment. I have gained confidence, new abilities, new friends, and just an all-around better attitude towards life. I am a happier person because I know that when I set my mind to something, I can absolutely follow through. I am happier because I no longer have to sob in a dressing room when clothes don’t fit. I am happier because I have inspired others, and there’s just something really, really positive and exciting about being someone’s inspiration.
I am still proud of where I am on this journey. I know that weight loss takes time. I know that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I know that exercise is a crucial part of weight loss just like the amount and types of food we put into our bodies. I’m honestly not complaining about not losing anything for almost six months because I am happy with where I am and, most importantly, who I am.
I know a huge part of my problem at this point is that the newness of the journey has worn off. It’s no longer exciting to track my Points, it’s just a part of my life now (which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just no longer fun). I don’t get to see the number on the scale go down anymore because it’s been stuck for so long (to be fair, it has gone up and down within about a three pound range the whole time, but still, it’s basically zero). I do still find clothes that I can wear again, which is nice, but I’ve also had to get rid of so many clothes that were too big that I barely have anything left. If anyone would like to donate to the Maegan Needs New Clothes fund, I wouldn’t object. 😉
Another huge part of my problem, unfortunately, is I have slacked off, hard, on exercise. We were doing a really good job last summer, training for 5Ks and trying to be able to run a full mile and then, hopefully, a full 5K. We hit the one-mile mark in October, which was a huge deal and I was so proud. But it didn’t get easier. I did a mile and a half without stopping once, but it seemed like it would be impossible to ever run any farther than that.
Maybe we aren’t cut out for running, but I’ve seen so many people who never saw themselves as runners keep at it and run 5Ks and 10Ks and marathons (oh my!). I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to be a running success story. But, when it didn’t get any easier, we just kind of stopped. There were sporadic instances of trying again, but it wasn’t the same. We weren’t determined anymore. We were mostly dwindling, getting ready to accept defeat, waving our white flag.
I didn’t want to accept defeat, though. I didn’t want to say I’m okay at this weight when I know my ultimate goal weight is only twenty pounds away. I wanted to keep at it because I am not a quitter. I would love to eat macaroni and cheese and brownies and pizza every single day, but that’s just not realistic for me. I know that I can eat those things sometimes, and that’s good enough. I am happy where I am, and I know that’s why it’s been so easy to get so complacent lately.
Happy is good. It’s good to love yourself and your body, no matter what size you are, because if you can’t love yourself, why should anyone else? We are all worthy of being loved, and we need to be kinder to ourselves. I wish I could go back in time, if only to tell my starting-weight self that I was beautiful and loved and believe that because it was and is true. Our weight is a number on a scale and should not define us.
So, yes, I’m proud of where I am, but my journey isn’t over yet. Weight loss journeys rarely end, and that’s okay, too. It’s been a fun journey, full of acceptance and new experiences and learning a lot, so I think it’s okay that this journey is an ongoing one. As far as the running goes, we started Couch to 5K yesterday and it went really well. Sometimes, you just have to try again. Add new things into old journeys to make them new and exciting again.
We might not ever run a marathon. We might not ever win a medal at a race. But we aren’t giving up. We’re just starting over, and there’s no shame in that.