(I’ve seen other bloggers write letters to themselves and I thought, “What would I want to tell myself about losing weight? What time in my life would I want to address myself regarding my weight loss?” Here’s what I decided I need to know…)
Dear June 2011 Self,
Congrats on your weight loss! You have done so well, exercising nearly every day and cutting your calories, writing down every morsel that goes into your mouth. You’re kicking ass and I’m so proud of you!
But listen up: Don’t take this weight loss for granted. It took hard work and a lot of determination to get those pounds off. Unfortunately, it can so easily be added back on. In no time, you may see one pound or two pounds creep on again. You may think to yourself, “Oh, I can get rid of a few pounds easily. I’ve done it before!” But just as soon as you take that easy-going approach, you’ll gain more than just a few pounds, and then getting them off will get harder and harder.
As soon as you start putting a few pounds back on, you’ll lose your focus. Your confidence will nosedive and you’ll start to give yourself too much slack. You’ll say, “Well, I’ve worked so hard, I deserve a break from counting calories.” Or “I deserve to take a few weekends to eat whatever I want.”
While it’s true that you have earned the right to celebrate, don’t do it at the expense of all the hard work you’ve accomplished. It will just make you feel worse in the end. The more you allow yourself to slack, saying it’s no big deal, you’ll easily be able to drop a few pounds…now 5 or 6 pounds…or 10 pounds…the more you’ll risk sliding back, back to a point where you’ve gained back half of the weight you lost.
You should know this now, June 2011 Self, because like it or not, it will happen. Right now, you may be promising yourself that you’ll never let yourself go over 230 pounds again. But you will. Right now you may be promising yourself that you won’t let too many weekend-only treats creep into your weekday eating habits. But you will. Right now you may tell yourself that you won’t slack off and only exercise once or twice a week. But you will.
But as you face these realities, June 2011 Self, remember where you are now. Remember that you weigh 220 lbs. Remember that you’ve lost this weight before and, if your future self does slip up (as you will), you can do it again. You need to remember this because sometimes this weight-loss journey will seem bleak. Sometimes you’ll truly hate yourself for sliding backwards. You’ll wonder why you let things get this bad. Again. You’ll beat yourself up and worry that you won’t ever get under 200 lbs. (your ultimate goal) and you’ll start to think your happiness is linked to your weight. You’ll start to think other people’s vision of you is linked to your weight.
But it’s not. Whether you weigh 250 lbs. or 220 lbs., as you do now, June 2011 Self, remember that even if you gain 30 lbs. back, as you will, you’re a worthy person who means more to people than just that number on a scale. You’re someone who values friendship, loves her family and has a TON going for her. Even if the weight-loss struggle seems impossible sometimes, you know deep down that you’re capable of doing anything you put your mind to.
So enjoy your success, June 2011 Self, but no matter how this journey ebbs and flows, never lose sight of that end goal — and never lose sight of who you are.
Your August 2012 Self