I have been on a weight loss rollercoaster for years. I’ll get healthy, have a setback like surgery, and gain 20 pounds. I’ll finally lose the weight, then have another setback and gain.
I know I’m not alone here.
I’ve learned a few things over the last few years about my dieting self. One, I’ve shared before is that I am an all or nothing person. I am all in, crazy, obsessed, and doing lunges while I brush my teeth, or I am a relaxed, happy, shun the diets foodie whose pants keep getting tighter.
The other thing I’ve learned is, that like most moms, I put myself last. Which isn’t a terrible thing, unless you’re getting out of shape and can’t make time to do anything about it. I haven’t made any great strides in this area, but I’m hoping these small changes will help me keep my health a priority.
But, the thing that bothers me most about myself is that I am a Big. Fat. Liar.
Usually, I am one of those black and white, wrong and right, lying is a sin and I can’t do it kind of people. But when it comes to myself, I’ll lie. I’ll break promises. It’s not pretty.
Every time I start a diet (and we’ve established that’s pretty often), I’ll make a list of rewards that I’ll give myself as I lose pounds. I’ll post it in my closet, or on my phone. Sometimes I’ll make a secret Pinterest board with ideas and I’ll look at it when I’m munching carrot sticks.
Somewhere along the line, my reasonable diet won’t be working fast enough and I’ll do some crazy, strict thing and lose everything in 8 weeks. Of course, at that point, every five pounds is flashing by and I don’t have time or money to make them happen. Partly because all my time is at the gym and all my money is going to supplements for said crazy diet.
But mostly, it’s because I tell myself I don’t deserve it.
This time around, I’m doing the slow and steady thing. As hard as it is for me. And I really want to have some high fiving myself moments this time. I want to dwell on my awesomeness for a little bit. I want to set a little time and maybe a little cash aside and reward myself for sticking to this. Because at the rate I’m going, it could take months to get to my goal.
So, as silly and as simple as it seems, setting up some rewards and keeping them will not only motivate me, it’ll reward my stick-to-it-ness and keep me honest.
And as long as I’m being honest, it’s hard for me to share these. What if I fail? What if I sound materialistic? What if, nine months down the road, I haven’t even lost 5 pounds?
I’m doing my best to ignore all those nagging doubts in my head and I’m doing something different this time. This time, I’m choosing to believe that I can do it and when I do, it’s worth celebrating.
Without further ado, here are the rewards I’ve planned for every 5 pounds I lose:
5 Pounds: $10 on iTunes. This is the kind of reward that will inspire me to keep going because I love listening to upbeat music while I’m working out at the gym!
10 Pounds: Manicure. I can count on one hand the number of professional manicures I’ve gotten in the last ten years. I don’t actually enjoy the process, especially the filing of my nails and dreaded small talk, but I love how my nails look when it’s finished.
15 Pounds: Workout Top. My workout clothes are 5 years old and in sad condition. Getting a new top will not only be practical, it’ll be fun to shop for and after losing 15 pounds, I’ll be feeling much cuter
20 Pounds: Go through my old clothes. I have some bags of clothes from before my last surgery that were almost brand new. I got tired of getting depressed every time I saw them in my closet, so I bagged them up. I didn’t give them away yet because I know that when I do lose weight, I won’t be able to go out and buy a new wardrobe.
When I get to 20 pounds down, I should be able to fit in roughly half of them and annoy everyone in my house with a fashion show. At this time, I’ll also enter them into the closet app on my phone, something I’ve wanted to use but haven’t been able to make much use of since only two outfits in my closet actually fit me.
25 Pounds: Pedicure! By this time, I’ll need a pedicure to go with the sandals I’ll be wearing with my cute dresses that I’ve gotten out of bags. And if you thought my manicure history is sad, my pedi history is worse. I’ve only had 3 in my whole life! I do my own at home regularly, but it’s never quite as pretty as when I’ve gotten them done professionally. So, I’ll brace myself for some small talk and get it done. And I’ll enjoy looking at my pretty toes.
30 Pounds: A dress and dinner out. This is where you start realizing just how much I need to lose. When I get to 30 pounds down, I’ll be very close where I was before my second surgery. Before menopause and before hormone therapy. Before adhesions and daily pain. I honestly have a hard time believing I can do it!
But I have to believe that I can! To celebrate this, I’ll go get a new dress and go out to dinner with my husband. We haven’t been to a nice, romantic dinner in quite a while, so that’ll be something to look forward to. And I happen to love shopping when I’m not out of shape, so looking for a dress will be fun, too.
Final Goal: I have a final goal in mind that is around 35 pounds less than I weigh now. It’s a happy, still a little curvy goal. I am always a little curvy. Even when I weighed 110 on my honeymoon, I was curvy. I hated it and resisted it then, but now I am a lot less psycho and actually embrace it. (And just so you know, 110 Is not my goal.)
I don’t think I’ll know exactly what I want or need to weigh until I get closer, since I will be building muscle, too. But I also know from history that I am never satisfied with my weight. So I’ve decided to stick with losing 35 pounds and call it finished when I get there. No more losing!
However, if I get to 31 or 33 pounds lost and I feel good in my skin and the scale isn’t budging, I might move my goal weight up a few pounds. I know from experience that I can make myself miserable trying to attain a magic number. Like when I was on my honeymoon and felt terribly fat because I wasn’t 105 pounds like I was in High School. So I’m allowing for flexibility and I’ll pay more attention to what feels good and strong and healthy to me than the number on the scale.
Whenever I decide I’m done, I’ll celebrate with my final weight loss reward.
For my final reward, I will go Paddleboarding in La Jolla. We love the beach at La Jolla and I’ve always wanted to try Paddleboarding, but I’ve worried about whether or not I have the strength or confidence to do it. This is a perfect final reward for me. I love the water. I love the sun. I need to get outside my comfort zone. I plan to be more confident after taking lots of weeks to get healthy and strong.
But, there’s still one more reward I plan to give myself!
When I complete 52 weeks of small changes, whether I lose 35 pounds along the way or not, I will reward myself. Because sticking to anything for a whole year is a pretty big accomplishment for this flake.
So, no matter what I weigh at the end of 2015, if I stick to making these changes and blogging about them, I will cuddle on the couch with a big blanket, a warm drink and a new book. And I’ll spend some time reflecting on all the changes I’ve made and then, I’ll start thinking about next year.