Why were you inspired to do this?
All my life I have had negative body image problems. I've hated my body and hated myself, used words like "fat" and "ugly" to describe myself, and generally felt horrible. I haven't been healthy either--not obese, not horribly unhealthy, but definitely overweight and definitely too sedentary. Whenever I would start trying out a diet or exercise routine, I would quickly fall off the wagon and then feel guilty. My body weight haunted me. It was spiritual weight just as much as physical weight. Then one weekend in August 2006, after hearing about how others in my bell choir had great successes with the South Beach Diet, I decided it was time to do this.thing for real, finally.
What were 3 things you did to make this happen?
I used the South Beach Diet, reading the book, buying the cookbooks, and following the plan. It worked out well for me because sugar and starches are where I tend to most often lose control.
I did my best to stand up to social pressures urging me not to change. There were people in my life that were upset with my decision and attacked my choices when I wanted their positivity most. But I tried not to let that stop me. Eventually those around me saw how important this was to me and what their responses really meant, and they went from unsupportive or sabotaging to supportive and encouraging.
I prepared a lot of my own food. It is so, so hard to truly get healthier or lose weight unless you actually cook for yourself. I tend to live off of prepared food, so this is a challenge for me, but shopping for good foods and cooking my own meals helped me control better what went into my body and eat things that were really good for me.
How did you feel once you had accomplished this?
I felt great. My self-image problems weren't all solved, of course, and emotionally it wasn't all a bed of roses. But I loved being a size 10, and I loved how much better I looked, and I especially loved being able to look at the numbers on the scale and realize I'd done something both good and measurable. However, living with this goal crossed off the list made me realize that "losing 25 pounds" isn't really a good life goal--or rather, it isn't a COMPLETE one. Losing weight is wonderful, but it's only a step. It doesn't mean much unless you maintain it, and I found maintenance hard. I think all in all I probably kept the weight off for two and a half years. As of 10/20/2010, I've gained it all back plus another ten pounds. And that is truly dispiriting. I feel miserable now, like I did before I started. I'm glad I did this goal, because it proved to me that I can do good things like this even though they feel impossible. But the next life goal, now that I know I CAN lose the pounds, is to maintain goal weight for five years. Losing 25 pounds is a thing you do. Keeping 25 pounds off is a life improvement.
Additional notes and tips:
I dated this achievement based on my wrap-up post on LiveJournal (foleyartist1.livejournal.com/175385.html) after my one-year anniversary of South Beach.
In the pic you can see my newly skinny self in Sweden--and all that extra weight around the middle is camera equipment, baby! Not the flesh it had once been.