Life forces us to face challenges and struggles that we must overcome. Some are easy, and some are so daunting that we don't know where to begin, and just thinking about it makes us feel stressed and overwhelmed. These are the times we must dig deep and believe in ourselves. Two years ago, I weighed 325 pounds. As much as I wanted to lose weight, the task of losing close to 200 pounds felt impossible and I didn't know where to begin.
Now, I have changed my life completely. I love hiking, became vegan, and I have lost 175 pounds.
Even though there is still so much I want to accomplish, I know that no matter what I set out to accomplish, I CAN do it! I know that you can do it too! Here are 5 Tips that I have learned along my journey:
1. Take it one day at a time…
Focus on winning THAT day…that moment. Every day we face so many choices and each healthy choice deserves to be celebrated. Did you choose strawberries over candy? Celebrate! Did you walk a few extra steps on your morning walk? Celebrate! Did you feel the need to binge eat, but managed to avoid over eating? Really Celebrate! Good job! My favorite feeling is waking up in the morning knowing that the day before I made good choices. It makes me feel healthy and motivates me to continue doing my best. Go to bed proud, wake up happy!
2. Don’t focus on how far you have to go.
Set small, attainable goals for yourself. I focused on losing 5 pounds at a time. If I looked at the big picture of “I need to loose 175 pounds” I became overwhelmed and discouraged. It felt like I would never get there. Reaching your small goals will take you towards reaching your big goals.
3. Treat Yourself!
Most of my life, I would treat or reward myself with food, but now I treat myself with little gifts- like pretty dresses, new shoes, a pedicure, or inexpensive jewelry. Some times, when I know I am facing the extreme urge to over eat, I think about the money I would spend on fast food or junk food, and instead I spend that money on something small for myself. Last week, when I was feeling stressed and had the urge to go to food, I bought myself a few new bottles of nail polish instead of food.
4. Time does not matter!
It doesn’t matter how long it will take you to reach your goals when it comes to better health. Do not let the amount of time that it might take discourage you. Like the saying goes, “the time will pass anyway.” When you look back, you won’t think about how long it took you to achieve your big goals, but you will be happy that you were successful and that you started when you did. The greater the struggle, the bigger the reward. Great things take time.
5. Always believe in yourself!
This may not come naturally for you. It certainly didn't for me. There will be people who make you feel like you are not good enough, and sometimes that person will be you. It it so important to always believe in yourself no matter what anyone else says. Don't let anyone else, especially not your own self doubt, keep you from reaching your goals. Believe that you can, know that you can, and work hard to prove yourself right. When we believe in ourselves, work hard and never give up, anything is possible.