Fall down seven times…get up eight. –Japanese Proverb

At Thanksgiving, I took a long, hard look at myself and didn’t like what I saw. Despite attempts to lose weight and keep it off, I’d bounced right back up again. Now I weighed in at 225lbs. Not only had I gained all the weight I’d lost, but a few pounds to spare. At this point, I hadn’t been under the 200 mark for years.
The last time I weighed this much, I was nine months pregnant. No baby this time, just a very unhealthy, unhappy body and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I told myself I would start that day being more mindful of what I ate, how much, and why.
We got through Thanksgiving and I kept thinking about how I would make any sort of change that would stick. I’m great at thinking about things for a long time, but not taking any action. In fact, if thinking and pining for a better body worked, I’d been skinny a long time ago.
So, I decided to start small–simply eat less. I ate about half what I normally did. After a few days of wanting to eat my arm off, the change started to be less annoying. Within a month, I’d lost 10 pounds.
By now, I’d gotten through the holidays and actually lost weight, but had other concerns. I found out in mid-December my gall bladder had decided not to work anymore so it needed to come out.
Then at the beginning of January, my friend, Stefan Pinto contacted me to tell me of a new program he’d created and wondered if I would be a part of it. He knew of my weight struggles and said this program would certainly work. I didn’t have to buy supplements or fancy prepackaged meals or join a gym–all I needed was my camera phone.
O.K. Sounds easy enough, I mean, how hard can that be?
Well, as it turns out, it’s very difficult because when you photograph everything you eat and send it to a group of people who are doing the same thing–there’s no where to hide.
You can’t lie to others who see what you refuse to–“Oh no those fries are cooked in canola oil so that makes it healthy.” “What do you mean iceberg lettuce covered in dressing doesn’t count as an actual salad?” “Broccoli and cheese are good for you, otherwise my mom wouldn’t serve it.”
Okay, okay–it’s obvious when it’s written down, but when I went through the junk food detox as it were, the tough love aspect worked the best for me.
Within days, I started looking at everything I ate and drank with a new set of eyes. Did I really want that? I’d have to take a picture and send it in–was it worth the critique?
Then the weirdest thing happened–I started thinking about what I ate! Go figure…actually giving thought to the food I used to fuel my body and the weight began to melt off. My clothes fit and were becoming loose, my mood stabilized, my skin cleared, my post-surgical body (gall bladder removed about 2 weeks into the program) felt healthy, and I liked what I saw in the mirror.
Time moved forward and then I realized I hadn’t posted anything here–do I start again? What if I fail and have to start over…again.
So I promised myself if I got through Stefan’s program and was successful, I would start blogging again, because I know there’s someone out there starting where I was five months ago.
Now I’m in for round two of the program and I’m making great progress. I don’t think anything of photographing my meals, but I’m always still thinking about what I’m eating.
Now for those of you out there who are trying to figure out where to start or when–start right now, where you are. Take a picture of what you’re eating, write down what you eat so you’re completely and totally accountable. Don’t lie to yourself or anyone else about it. Embrace the power you’ll feel, after the frustration and guilt of it all. Embrace how you empower yourself and give yourself an amazing awareness of what you’re doing and what you’re using to fuel your body.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk of road blocks and the things that totally sabotage your weight loss and health goals.
Remember, start now, right this minute to be more aware of what you’re eating. It’s one of the bravest steps you’ll ever make in empowering yourself on this amazing journey.