Sorry. I’m not buying it. I believe that your weight loss journey begins at whatever moment you recognize that you need to do something about your weight. That might have been when you were 14 and went on your first diet, when you first joined a gym so you could start working out in an effort to get in shape, or when you were 31 and realized that you were still carrying 28 pounds of baby weight even though your baby was now four years old.
If you were driving from Boston to Chicago, and your car broke down somewhere in upstate New York, you’d have to stop and get it fixed. You might lose a few days waiting for the repairs, but you’re still on a road trip from Boston to Chicago. If you then suffered a flat tire outside of Detroit, guess what? You’d have to stop and deal with that, but you’re still on a journey from Boston to Chicago. You wouldn’t arrive in Chicago believing your journey began outside of Detroit.
It’s the same with weight loss journeys. The peaks and valleys that we go through as we try to manage our weight are ALL part of the journey, not just the smooth and easy parts when the weight is coming off. In fact, I strongly believe that when it gets really hard, when we give up and give in, when we muster the courage to start moving forward again -- these are the most important parts of the journey. This is when we face lessons we need to learn. It’s when the going gets tough that we learn to re-think the old way of doing things, and try something new. Our comfort zones helped to make us overweight, so we have to shake things up, and dare to be uncomfortable for a while, if we’re going to develop new and healthier habits.
It took me 15 years to lose 114 pounds. Of course I wasn’t losing that whole time. There were a couple of years of losing, many years of maintaining while I sabotaged my own efforts to keep going, and more than a few years of gaining again. Even still, I can honestly say that my weight loss journey began 42 years ago when my mother told me that I was going with her to join Weight Watchers.
Own your journey. All of it. The valleys are a testament to your growth, strength, and character. Your success is especially admirable if you had to struggle and fight hard to earn it. Don’t erase the failures of the past, because in doing so, you may also be closing your mind to the invaluable lessons you picked up while wallowing in the depths.