I’ve lost almost 20 lbs since April.
I now feel stronger and better about my body than I have in years.
In the beginning, it was quite the opposite.
I hadn’t weighed myself in months, but as I was about to go on a trip to Hawaii with my family, I decided it was a great time to lumber onto the scale and assess the damage. (Yeah, not so smart.)
I knew that I was larger than normal, but when I saw the number, a number 10 lbs more than I had ever seen on the scale, I was a bit shocked. I proceeded to tell my husband I was fat and do very little else about it.
Then, in Hawaii, we took pictures next to these gigantic banyan trees that were in Jurassic Park. As I looked at the photos afterward, all I could think was, Wow, I look huge. I felt ashamed that I had let myself get that big. Tears rose to my eyes as I pleaded with my sister, Rachel, not to post the pictures on Facebook.
In the car that night, I opened a Weight Watchers account.
Rachel, who lost 35 lbs on Weight Watchers, and has kept it off for 5+ years, looked over. What are you doing? She asked.
I’m joining Weight Watchers, I told her.
Right now? In Hawaii? She sounded incredulous.
Yes. I am sick of feeling this way.
And so my weight loss journey began, in the middle of a trip that included lots of decadent eating and frequent visits to Lapperts Ice Cream.
I had “tried” to lose weight 4 previous times, unsuccessfully, but this time was different. This time, I was committed. And I was willing to buckle down and make major changes to get those pounds off.
I made an agreement with Rachel that I would weigh in with her every week. Every Wednesday, I take a picture of the scale and text it to her. That, more than anything, has helped me stay on track.
It’s one thing to weigh in with the Weight Watchers ladies, and quite another to weigh in with your sister who will call you if you “forget” to weigh in.
The first week, I lost 3 lbs. The second, I lost 4.
As my body changed, I felt more confident and excited to be seen.
I shopped for fruits every week. My kitchen filled with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas. I ate Israeli salad and hard boiled eggs for lunch everyday. In the mornings, I measured 1 tablespoon of half and half before pouring it into my cold brew.
I also worked out more, sweating on the elliptical and swimming in the pool in our condo building.
But it wasn’t all easy.
I went to Denver for a month and gained 2 lbs. It was just too hard to pass up going to my favorite Ethiopian and Thai restaurants…and overeating my mom’s amazing cooking.
My mom and I drove from Denver to Miami, on the way, going to Nashville, Asheville, and Savannah, where I gorged myself on southern cooking.
When I returned to Miami, I got back on track.
I’m not going to lie. It is tough to snack only on clementines and apples. And one day, I ate chips with a wild abandon that I knew would have dire consequences.
Yet now, 4 and a half months after I started dieting, I actually like looking in the mirror. I feel good in my body. And I’m determined to keep losing weight until I have the body I’ve always wanted.
It’s not for my husband. He seems to barely notice I’ve lost weight.
It’s for me. Because I want to feel good.
And it’s not just about the weight or about feeling healthy, although those things are important. It’s also about showing myself that when I want to do something, I can.
I want to lose 15 more lbs in the next few months. But I already feel so much better in my own skin. I smile when I look at myself in the mirror, instead of looking away.
So…what can my weight loss journey teach us about writing and blogging?
1. You have to be committed.
The first 4 times I tried to lose weight, I made a half-hearted attempt to eat healthier. When the pounds didn’t come off quickly, I gave up. This time, I put my heart and soul into it. That’s why it worked.
Blogging takes an enormous commitment as well. You have to really want it, and you have to be willing to keep going, even when it’s hard.
2. Accountability really helps.
When you have someone who gets what you’re going through to check in with every week, it’s waaaaay easier to keep pursuing your goals.
Sometimes, the only thing that kept me from ordering dessert was the knowledge that I would have to send my sister a picture of the scale the next morning.
And what’s kept me committed to blogging over the past 2 years, more than anything else, are my Mastermind groups and accountability partners. When I know that someone is going to check in on me every week, I am much more likely to keep writing, to keep creating.
It starts with my commitment to myself, but having someone else rooting for me has made a gigantic difference.
3. Having a specific goal helps a lot.
With weight loss it’s easy to set a specific goal, because you can pick a number you want to see on the scale and aim for it.
With blogging, it’s a bit harder. What do you aim for? More page views? Getting more content written? More email subscribers?
It can be tough to even figure out what your goals are – let alone whether you’re getting closer to them.
And without knowing if you’re getting closer to your goal, it’s very difficult to celebrate the small, incremental steps.
So before you freak out that your blog isn’t “successful,” ask yourself what success means to you, and why. It will help you gauge what your next steps should be.
4. There’s no straight line to success.
Just like I found myself leaning on the kitchen counter, shoving chips in my mouth, or indulging in road trip gorge-sessions, I’ve also skipped weeks of blogging.
But because I care so much about creating this blog, I always come back to it. (And after my chip pig-out sessions, I went back to munching on peaches instead of chocolate bars.)
If you find yourself skipping out on your blog for a few weeks, it’s okay. Really. You can still build a blog that matters to you and inspires your audience.
Forgive yourself and then get back to it.
5. Figure out what works for you, and stick to it.
The how of losing weight is actually quite simple. Eat less and burn more calories.
But just knowing what works won’t take the pounds off. Making daily choices to be healthy is what actually creates change.
The how of blogging is also “simple”. (Okay, not really.) Choose a focus and an audience, write regular posts, promote them diligently, and keep experimenting.
And then, to create a blog that you love and that inspires an audience, you have to figure out what works for you, and then keep doing it. And, when it stops working (and it inevitably will), shift and try something else.There is no magic bullet that will catapult you to blogging fame. There’s only your hard work.Click To Tweet
6. The internal benefits are even more important than the external ones.
It’s fun seeing the numbers on the scale go down every week. But it’s way more satisfying to have my clothing fit better, to feel beautiful, and to want to be seen.
It’s the same for blogging.
Instead of gauging your success by page views and email subscribers, ask yourself, Do I feel excited to blog? Do I feel seen and heard? Am I connecting to the people I care about? Am I passionate about getting my writing out there?
Use your own feelings as a barometer of success. You’ll get a lot farther that way.
Can I be totally honest with you?
Part of why I wrote this post is because I am really, freaking PROUD of losing 20 lbs. I wanted to share it with the world.
I think, more than anything, that’s why we blog. Because we want to be seen. We want to share our stories and triumphs with an audience.
So thank you. Thank you for witnessing me.
And thank you for joining me on this long, delicious journey of blogging and creating.
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