I came into this telling myself, "You've got to try what you've never tried."
I've tried charts. Check off charts, weekly charts, charting my weight loss, charting my destination, and on.
I've tried incentives. Cash incentives. Gift incentives. Trip incentives. Incentives for losing weight. Incentives for milage I've walked, and on.
I've tried different focusses. Focus just on eating healthy. Focus on writing everything I eat down. Focus on charts! Focus on incentives! Focus on charting incentives! And on.
I've tried Atkins, South Beach, shakes, Weight Watchers, even Spark several previous times, and on.
Some of these worked for a while, but none of them stuck. I was searching for the perfect "cure". I was looking everywhere but where I needed to.
Try what I've never tried.
I decided to try being honest with myself. Face reality. I need to lose weight because if I don't my health will decline. Right now I'm lucky. I'm 46 years old, about 50 pounds overweight and I don't have any health problems. My energy is not what it could be, I can't sit cross legged comfortably, hell - I can't sit on the floor comfortably for very long without sticking both legs straight out, but I'm otherwise okay.
I asked myself, "Just how far are you willing to let this go before you do something about it?"
I recalled how once in my early 20's I got up to about 179 lbs, joined Weight Watchers (for the first time) and lost 28 pounds. I remember thinking, "I am never, ever going to let myself go over 200 lbs." Looking back, that's disturbing. Why did I pick 200? Cracks me up. I was willing to get to 199, but not 200!
So I've been over 200 pounds, right now I'm hovering around there and I'm pretty okay with that, in fact I'm thankful because I could be a lot worse. Considering my track record I could be way worse.
So, the reality thing has been smoldering and here's what I've come up with so far. And its helping. Its working.
#1: I inadvertently came across a model of one pound of fat on Amazon. You can buy it for about $33 but I chose this picture I found...
The impact of this photograph is not wearing off on me. Its made "Damn, I only lost a pound this week" become "Woo hoo! I lost a pound!". I love this photograph. This photograph has done more for me than all the charts and graphs and incentives I've tried combined. Combined! I look at this photograph a lot. (Incidentally the pound of fat vs. pound of muscle photo is good too.)
#2: I've been watching the Ken Burns documentary on Jazz. Did you know when Louis Armstrong was a kid sometimes he didn't have anything to eat? I mean nothing. Things were that bad. Being in a reality frame of mind this struck me. Its difficult to explain, but I made a connection that helps me every day. If Louis Armstrong made it through starving to who he became - the most amazing musician I've ever heard, not to mention happy and successful - then I can wait until that next meal. I can resist nibbling as I cook. I can look away from that impulse snack. Louis Armstrong had nothing, no choice in the matter. I suppose I could whine and say it would be so much easier if I had no choice, but that's just selfish. I am damned lucky I have food in my house. I need to respect that.
That's where I am so far on the reality approach and its working. I don't care about charts. I'll lose what I lose when I lose it. Incentive has turned into present happiness. I'm living in the now. The furthest ahead I look is imagining how good I'll feel at the end of the day when I look back at my successes.
Yay team. And as always, if any of this helped anyone in the slightest, I'm glad.