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Weight loss-one woman’s story

March 29, 2008

Hello all!

I saw this article on yahoo health, and I thought it was very informative. I copied and now it is yours to read. I chose this article because it is coming from someone who had lost 50 pounds, and now she is telling her story and how she is keeping it off.

As you will see, it isn’t easy, but it definitely is doable! Please pay attention to what she does everyday to maintain this weight loss. Like I’ve said before, it takes commitment and daily practice of good, healthful habits.

As I sit here, I am full of fear and anxiety about what my life and the future has in store for me. I am currently pulling myself through one of the most difficult times in my adult life. Not only is this one of the most difficult times emotionally, it’s the first time that I am pulling myself through a bit of a personal crisis since losing 50 pounds (give or take).


One of things I have learned, after losing 50 pounds and maintaining a lifestyle change for almost 2 years, is that I always have a choice. It hasn’t been easy to make the choices I know are right — to not abandon myself and to not engage in self-destructive and self-sabotaging behaviors that come with the territory of emotional eating.

There have not only been days that I have thought about throwing all of my hard work away, there have been days that I have completely chosen to abandon myself. But I’m not lying down and giving up. I am also not forging ahead with unaided will, succeeding like the perfectionist in me would like to. What I am trying to do is do the best that I can, what I have come to call “surfing the wave of difficulty.”

I like the surfing analogy because the first time I tried to surf, when I was 50 pounds heavier, I couldn’t get up. I remember the instructor telling me that big Hawaiian men can get up on their boards and that I could, too. Winded and exhausted, I never got up, and I remember walking away feeling so embarrassed and ashamed about how out of shape I was for a 23 year-old.

This past November in California, I took a surf lesson and got up right away. That accomplishment showed me how far I had come in the last 5 years.

There are certain basic absolutes that have worked for me and that have been an integral part of my weight loss and lifestyle maintenance. And when the “wave of difficulty” comes at me, I try to bring it back to the basics and keep it very simple. I mix the basics with a little honesty and do the following, which have not failed me yet:

• I write down what I eat every day, no matter what. Good, bad or indifferent.

• I plan what I am going to eat for the week in advance, creating a roadmap/game plan for my week ahead.

• If I know I am going out to eat, I plan ahead by checking out the menu online and prepare myself by choosing a healthy meal that I will enjoy. (It is important for me to note here, that when I go out to dinner I keep my eating very simple and I don’t order the most fattening thing on the menu, things that I choose not to eat on a daily basis.

But I do allow myself the opportunity to indulge and enjoy the experience of dining out. When I say “indulge,” I always make healthy choices, like a veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with a large garden salad. The indulge part for me, is that I tend to eat the whole meal.)

• I also find that when out to dinner, if I allow myself a bite of someone’s dessert, I feel a part of the shared experience and I don’t walk away feeling deprived.

• I bring my lunch to work every day and I eat breakfast at home every morning.

• Another thing that works for me, and again these are only the things that have worked for me, is that I get on the scale every day (or as often as possible). I try to remain as accountable to a number as I can. For years, I never got on the scale, and we all know where that got me. Getting on a scale every day also allows me to embrace and accept the constant fluctuations in my weight.

• I work out – whether it’s for 10 minutes or an hour – as much as possible. Every little bit counts and it gives me so much: a sense of accomplishment, endorphins and time for myself.

The “wave of difficulty” is stronger and more powerful than me at times, and it causes me to fall off my surfboard, get hit in the head and get water up my nose. But no matter what, I get back on my board as soon as I can. I don’t always make the best choice, and I don’t always make the best choice right away. Hell, to be honest, sometimes I jump right off my surfboard into the ocean.

I still haven’t mastered things like how to eat normally over the holidays, or how to not go crazy on days off or while on vacation. I make a lot of mistakes, and self-sabotaging ones at that. And many times I make the same mistakes over and over again, expecting different results.

As much as I don’t feel like it sometimes, especially right now, I know that in the end I will feel better if I keep my commitments to myself. Whether that is working out, taking time out for myself, meditating, sleeping in, writing down what I eat or taking a break from sugar for a while (because I definitely overdid it during the holidays and I think that the crash and burn of too much sugar has something to do with my recent emotional rollercoaster ride).

I am my own responsibility, and it’s always up to me to make choices for my life and choose how I take care of myself. Today I choose to ride the “wave of difficulty” and I can just about see the shore.

Micaela was born and raised in New York City. She has always loved to write and has been doing it all her life. In 2006, Micaela embarked on a 50-pound weight loss journey and lifestyle change. Currently maintaining that weight loss, she makes it a point to be the best person that she can be every day. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, running, people watching, time with family and friends, reading and giving back to her community.

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