My kids went back to school this past week, and I saw a lot of friends who hadn’t seen me all summer. It was wonderful getting so many compliments on how I am looking so far, very nice reinforcement…especially when people comment on how healthy I am looking, not just on the weight loss. What struck me today was how many people commented on what hard work it must have been to lose the weight. I just went ahead and agreed with them, but I realized today that in my mind, the weight loss is not really where the hard work lies. The hard work has been in changing my lifestyle. The weight loss is just a side benefit of that. I have been working to transform myself from a person who dreads any bit of exercise, even walking to the park, into a person who thinks Zumba is great fun, and is even starting to look forward to jogging. I have been working to transform myself from a person who eats when she is bored, who eats until she is stuffed, who chooses to eat more pasta when she wants more food, and puts no real thought into the damage the food she is eating could cause her, into a person who eats when she is hungry, eats only until satisfied, eats extra veggies if she is still hungry after finishing her meal, and thinks about how each food she eats can aid her in being a healthier person.
Going by these criteria, the hard work has already been done. This is my life now, I am a person who enjoys exercising regularly, and who is conscious of the foods I eat. The weight comes off because I do these things, and beyond that I am already seeing the benefits of my new lifestyle. I have so much more energy, I have less aches and pains, I enjoy playing and running around with my kids, and I would rather go for a long walk with a friend than meet for coffee. It could be a bit of work to continue this through the winter, as my husband and I both seem to have a bit of seasonal affective disorder, and we get grumpy and lazy in the wintertime. My belief, however, is that these habits are already so ingrained, that it would feel odd to not exercise, and would be strange for me to stop tracking what I am eating. I may still be in the middle of my journey to being a healthier person, but I feel like I have already succeeded.