Earlier today I was feeling particularly frustrated. Even though I know it took a while to put the weight on and it will take a while to get it off, it's still frustrating to be making the effort and not have the pounds melt effortlessly away. I feel like I'm on the brink of losing motivation, which is stupid because I KNOW I CAN DO THIS. (Thanks to all my SparkFriends for your encouragement - it really helped).
Then I had an epiphany of sorts: Losing weight is a lot like rebuilding your credit. I've rebuilt my credit from scratch. I destroyed my credit the same way I gained all this weight - by not paying attention (and not really caring until it was too late). Food tastes good and I like to eat it, especially when I'm stressed or bored. Money is fun to spend. I went to college, got some credit cards, went to grad school, lived off credit cards, eventually I had a bit of a panic and just stopped. I stopped paying my bills (except rent), I stopped answering my phone, I stopped opening my mail. I'm here to tell you - stopping didn't help anything. It just made it worse.
Here are some ways losing weight is like rebuilding credit:
* You don't really realize how much trouble you're in until the problem is out of control.
* Avoiding the problem doesn't make it go away; it just makes it worse.
* The process isn't instantaneous - it can take years.
* You have to set goals, start with small changes, and keep at it.
* If you mess up, it doesn't mean you haven't made progress. You have to keep following the plan.
I've been following Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" baby steps to get out of debt, and I'm a better person for it even though I'm not finished yet. As I've taken those steps over the past few years, my credit has improved and I have gained control over my finances. Similarly, I'm also taking baby steps to get this weight off: tracking my meals, drinking water, striving to eat healthy meals, and exercising regularly. I may not be losing weight as fast as I'd like, but I feel healthier and have more energy than I did 2 months ago. I'm on a roll. I can do this!