My husband and I have gone to a recovery-oriented conference each September for the past seven years. It's a wonderful reunion with friends we don't otherwise see during the year, full of fun and fellowship in a beautiful, peaceful, wooded setting.
When you lose 40-plus pounds from one year to the next, you get a lot of attention. And scrutiny. But only one question, over and over and over.
"How'd you do it?"
Those of you who have lost weight will immediately recognize that glazed-over look in the questioner's eyes when you start reciting the familiar 'eat less-move more' mantra. I mentioned how helpful blogging has been, and that journaling of any kind is highly motivating. I usually lost them when I said I'd worked up to an average of 90 minutes of daily intentional activity.
A man about my age also had lost a good deal of weight this year, and we spent some time talking about our respective routines, favorite concoctions [both yogurt-based!] and challenges. The most important thing each of us has in common is that we recognize we're doing this 'one day at a time.'
Each and every day I wake up and thank God for my sobriety. I would have nothing – nothing – today, were it not for my continued abstinence from alcohol, and I cannot maintain my abstinence without His help. Thus endeth the spiritual references.
In a similar, but not so life-or-death way, I've been working my weight-loss program a day at a time. It's as simple as making a daily decision to work out, avoid sugar, eat healthful foods, limit portion sizes, drink enough water, keep a food and exercise log. And blog. Can't forget the blog! Heh.
The down side of an event like this is the natural letdown when you pull back into your own driveway, leaving all those friends and all that fun behind for another year. And, of course, the inevitable weigh-in, where I once again stayed the same. I had slight hopes when I left of actually losing a pound or two. But in addition to restaurant meals there were many snacking opportunities. I know that just because food is there doesn't mean I have to eat it. I didn't go overboard. [There were, after all, dozens of people watching every bite I ate!] And I did run or walk each morning I was gone. But I did eat things not on my plan.
After years of looking for simple solutions, blaming external circumstances and making excuses, I've learned – finally – that the only thing I can truly blame for a not-so-great weigh-in is myself. And I am not the number on the scale!
Where will you find me today? Back on the horse!