I’m a little less than two weeks away from my twelve week goal of losing 20 lbs. Am I going to get there?
I mean… miracles DO happen… But I am twelve pounds away from the finish line, and unless I lose a pound everyday… I will not get there.
And, let’s be honest. I really don’t WANT to lose a pound a day for the next two weeks… because that would destroy my body and my mind.
About three weeks ago, it became blatantly obvious that my rate of weight loss – while steady – hasn’t been fast enough to meet the goal I’d originally set. And, yes, I could have pushed myself to go a lot harder and a lot faster – and maybe I would have made it.
But what would the repercussions be?
I don’t ever want to beat up my body – to push it way beyond its limits – just for the sake of proving I can meet a really tough goal… or to look a certain way in the mirror. The heart and intent of this challenge was to break up the log jam of me starting something important and then giving up when it got hard.
And after twelve weeks of following a plan… continuing to push myself even when the results weren’t coming… talking myself back into the ring when I had a bad eating day… the log jam has definitely been broken.
I may not have reached the 20 pound goal, but here’s what I did do:
I completed these steps most days:
- Worked out for at least 30 minutes
- Tracked all calorie intake/output
- Stayed within my calorie deficit
- Checked in with an accountability buddy
- Went to bed at 10:00 p.m.
I picked up a few additional healthy habits along the way:
- Lowered caffeine intake to between 0-3 cups of coffee per day
- Joined a gym to do HIIT, spinning and weight lifting
- Learned to better understand my hunger cues
- Subscribed to Daily Harvest to get nutrient dense lunches for work
- I now purposefully take the stairs or park further from buildings so I can get more steps
During the challenge, I also experienced some not-so-fun health challenges:
- Nasty stomach bug that hung around for several days (thank you, Mexico.)
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (Whaa??? I know. It sucked.)
- Anxiety and Depression
- Difficulty yawning and taking deep breaths
- Severe neck and shoulder pain that sent me the chiropractor and massage therapy
As I look back over the past 12 weeks, I am so proud of what I have done – and I will continue to do it until I reach my goal. And, I’m completely fine if it takes another 12 weeks to get there.
I know from experience that I am much more likely to sustain a lifestyle change if the habits that support that change are solid and ingrained. And, with weight loss, I know that the longer it takes to come off, the more likely I will keep it off. And that’s so much healthier and better for me than killing myself to reach a goal only to gain it right back because the lifestyle isn’t sustainable. I’d much rather have permanent change.
Here are some health benefits I’ve noticed:
- I can walk and hike briskly while talking without losing my breath
- I am stronger
- I sleep better
- My mood is generally better
- I’ve noticed that exercise really decreases my anxiety
- Being outside more makes me feel happy
- I feel more empowered to set healthy boundaries at work and with friends so I can take care of myself
And so, the question remains… will I sell my kayak? That was the whole motivation in the beginning. If I didn’t reach my goal, my awesome boyfriend was going to list my kayak online to sell. It would be cheating to not sell it, right?
I know that may seem unfair… but oh well. Sometimes life ain’t fair. I’m choosing to have grace for myself because I really did try the best that I could. I made consistent, gradual, sustainable change, and that mirrors the spirit of the challenge perfectly.
I’m so proud of myself.
What about you? Have you ever tried a weight loss challenge? How was your experience? I’d love to hear about it!
Until next time, my adventure friends.