When I lost enough weight for people around me to notice, the natural question I got was "How did you do it?". Most of the time I just answered "Well, I just started running and watching what I ate." I would usually leave it like that because most people really didn't want me to go into the in's and out's of what I did, they didn't really want great detail, they just wanted a short and sweet answer. Believe it or not, until I lost around 10 pounds (which is when most people started to notice) not many people knew I was dieting(or not dieting :) ). I'm not one to tell people what I am doing when it comes to that sort of thing. AR knew, because we are close and only two friends that I spend a lot of time with knew. Of course Hubs knew, and I think my neighbor knew. I just didn't want a lot of people to know. Surprising I know, I have talked a lot about it on this blog, but it was because I knew most of you were having the same struggles I was. Also, I know this sounds mean, but I once knew a girl that was dieting and the minute she started whatever diet she was on at the moment, everyone knew. We would go out to eat with a group of friends and she would look at the menu and say "Well, I can't eat that, that and that." Then when everyone would get their plates she would say "Do you know how many calories that has in it?" Then if all of us decided to order a dessert to share she would just sit there with this little pouty face and not eat it, instead just having a small bite and leaving it at that. It was annoying and it got to where the people in our little group didn't want to invite her to eat because really, who wants their food scrutinized? So, I didn't want to become "that girl". I wanted to get my support from my closest friends, my Hubs, and from you guys (and you guys have been wonderful!)
So, back to my original thought (I told you, I'm a rambler, but I will eventually make it back to the point of the story). This acquaintance that goes to our church started asking me how I did it. At first I was giving her my "canned" answer. But, she kept asking so one day during a break during VBS I told her about the "Couch to 5k" running plan. She was very interested and kept asking questions about it the entire week. After VBS was over I didn't see her much (she goes to the late service and we go to the early service) until a couple of weeks ago when AWANA started back on Wednesday nights (her son is in my class). Again she started asking about what I did and asked me to print out the running plan for her and write down what I ate. I didn't do it at first because I wasn't sure she really wanted it. She asked me again two weeks ago, so I finally did it. I printed out the C25K for her and went through my food journal and wrote down some suggestions of what I ate, about how many calories a day I tried to stay at, tips such as reading labels, eating more fiber, drinking more water, laying off diet soda, and measuring food. I gave it to her last Wednesday night when she was dropping her son off and she was very excited, at first. She stood there reading over it and her expression began to change. She said she couldn't possibly give up her Diet Cokes. I told her she didn't have to but I did because I started getting stomach aches and had read some research about the affect it has on your body, and I told her about poor JKW and her kidney stones and having to go to the hospital and all (Jen, I have told everyone about you, you've become a public service announcement!). Then she said she didn't like salads unless they were loaded with cheese and drenched in dressing (I don't put cheese on my salads and I measure my dressing), and that she really doesn't like vegetables at all. Then she read about my 40-calorie-a-slice-whole-wheat-bread and made a face, of course she doesn't eat wheat bread. Other things were, she doesn't eat yogurt (okay, not everyone likes it, I know), doesn't like eggs, high fiber cereal is yuck, she doesn't really like water, and do I really measure my food? I just smiled and said that these are mearly suggestions and she can tailor the diet to her needs and likes. She asked if I really kept up with everything I eat by writing it down, she thought that was too tedious. I just stood there thinking "OK, you asked me what I did and I told you, you can use this info or not,I don't care." (of course I didn't say that) Then I suggested that if she didn't want to do what I did that she look into Weight Watchers. She said there was no way she would ever do to a meeting and that she didn't think those things really worked. (For the record I think Weight Watchers is a great program because it teaches you to eat in the real world and it teaches portion control.)
Later that night I got to thinking about what went on and what she said. I really and truly think she wanted me to give her a quick fix diet. She wanted me to say drink a shake for breakfast, eat a lean cuisine for lunch, and whatever the heck you want for dinner. She wanted me to tell her that this is all easy and that I didn't have any struggles. Sorry, that's not the case. It was hard, I did get tired of writing down what I ate, I did get tired of measuring my food and there were a lot of days that I wanted to give up on the C25K before I completed it. But was it worth it? You bet. I don't think she will do any of my suggestions. I don't even think she will do the C25K. It makes me sad. Of course the way I lost weight is not the only way to do it, but I didn't only do what I did to lose weight, I did it to get healthy and I wanted to make permanent changes in my diet and lifestyle. I'm still struggling. There are mornings that I don't want to run or go work out at the gym. There are days that I want to eat whatever I want (and some days I do). There were 2 weeks after we got back from the beach that I barely ran at all. But most days I try to stick to it. And isn't that the point? I have a bad day, well, then I do better the next. I am definitely not perfect. Have I had a diet coke since January, yes. But then I pay for it with a stomach ache. My biggest excuse is with exercising and let me tell you I have a million of them. I didn't sleep good last night, I'm on my period, or about to start my period, my allergies are acting up, I'm sore from my last workout, there were too many people at the gym when I got there. You name it, I've probably said or thought it. But to not even give it a try?
My conversation with her made me realize that excuses will keep you from your goal. They can keep you from even getting off the starting line, they will keep you from being happy. Don't believe me? Watch "The Biggest Loser" and see how excuses got the contestants to the point they are at right now. So I am making it my new mission to let go of my excuses. I want to run a half marathon but have let excuses keep me from training. I am going to find a half marathon to run and sign up for it and start training for it. I want to reach my goal and be a good example for my children. I tell my seven year old almost everyday that nothing is achieved without hard work, now I need to live it.
(soap box over, sorry!)