Saturday, January 1, 2011

What Is Your Destiny?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi

On January 1, 2005, I did what millions of people are doing right now: I resolved to lose weight. I didn’t know how much or how long it would take, but I resolved to do something to take control of my body and my health.

Six years and 170 pounds later, I realize I did more than lose weight. Losing weight takes courage, yes, but changing your life to make weight loss permanent? Yeah…that takes a lot more than courage. It takes love. And I am, finally, in love…with all of me.

When I started this journey, belief was the only thing I had going. I believed I could do it. I believed I was worth it.

That belief became my thoughts, which I journaled into words and spoke aloud. I told my family and my doctor, “I’m going to lose weight!” Those words led me to Weight Watchers online. As the weeks went by, my new way of eating became a habit, and in time, I started to value what I was accomplishing and what was emerging physically and emotionally. When I learned to value both my body and my thoughts – when they matched – I knew things were different this time. My destiny was not only to be thin, but to love who I am.

In an email last week, a friend wrote how she wants her thinner body back. She’s lost a substantial amount of weight, but over the holidays has gained a bit to where she physically notices it.

“Isn’t it cool,” I wrote, “that you can physically see that you’ve gained? I mean, when I was 300 pounds, or even 200, I could never see it. I never paid close attention to any part of my body except to criticize it. That you SEE it means you care and you will break up with sugar after the holidays. You’ll never go back to where you were because as you said, you want your thinner body back. I think that’s what differentiates people who lose weight for the last time from those who yo-yo. You fall in love, so to speak, with what you’ve accomplished.”

My friend’s destiny is to be thin. It’s what she values, it’s what she works for, it’s what she talks about, and it’s what she believes.

If losing weight is your destiny, take it from a seasoned yo-yo, been-there-done-that dieter: don’t change everything right now or turn your world upside down thinking if you run away from the old, the new will emerge. Instead, try it Gandi’s way.

Start with (and feel) these two words: “I believe…” Let that belief consume your thoughts and let your thoughts become your words and your words your actions. In time – in the proper time that is right for you – your actions will become your habits. And because you are patient, you will value what you’re accomplishing so much more because you will – in this process – start loving yourself more than you ever imagined.

And that, I believe, is the greatest destiny of all.
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19 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post!
    I read it a couple of times.
    It really resignated with me.

    When I lost about 15 pounds I was so angry with myslef because I did not see any difference. But then gradually I did. It is amazing the difference I felt in myslef once i did. At one point I had 20 pairs of jeans and one pair fit. Now all 20 pairs fit or are too big and that is an AMAZING feeling!

    Over the holiday I had a piece of cheesecake. I did not beat my self up for it. But there is NO WAY that I want to go back. I only want to go forward to see where else this will take me. That feeling of fitting into my jeans is just to great!

    I am noticing that I am starting to feel better emotionaly as well and that has to have somthing to do with my weight loss. I dont stand in my closet and get upset because nothing fits and then sit at dinner with my husband when we should be on a date and want to cry because I am still upset about the closet ordeal!

    Anyways..I think I am starting to love myslef..Maybe for the first time EVER!.. That I can remeber anyways and I have a long ways to go. I am excited for my future!

    Thanks for your post!

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  2. You are so encouraging. When your hubby asks you not to bake for the month of December because he needs to lose weight, after the shock, you really look at things differently. We may never be thin, we're 65, but we can be healthier. Happy New Year friend.

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  3. a while back I wrote a post talking about the fact I can now SEE fat. I could not see fat in my heavy days.

    I had a suspicious lymph removed early December. And I found it because I am thin and lean and could SEE it when I got out of the shower.

    It was benign. But if it had been cancer (as suspected), my thinness would have been THE factor in identifying it. In my heavy days, would never been able to see it (or anything else) lost in the fat.

    Those of us down to a lean maintenance weight do have the advantage of being able to see/notice a couple pounds of weight gain.

    To be honest, I can feel a 1/2 lb now. I could not have felt a 20 lb swing in my former state. And I have read a LOT of bloggers in the past who had to drop 50 lbs to notice in their early weight loss journey.

    Some see this (us) as being rigid or too hyper concerned but it is the reality of maintaining within a pound or so of goal at the low end of BMI.

    We are the less than 10% who maintain long term. And doing what the 90%+ does will not work. We are different.

    I have been tested (surgery) 3 times. And that first time was during my first year of weight loss when I was a TOTAL NEWBIE. I hung on that time with finger nails, but did maintain for 3 month and then slipped back into weight loss. and it was over the holidays no less. I hold that time up to myself as a 'if you could do that then, you can do this now' reminder/affirmation.

    What a good new years post!


    PS - I spent most of November and December in my skinniest pair of jeans as a means of taking very special care of myself.

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  4. You are a true inspiration. And your I believe concept is a great one. Currently I am giving up Diet Soda. I am on Day 7!! Now, Lynn....I never thought I could do this. I mean I ADORE diet soda!! Adore it! However, I am also sick of being addicted to anything and diet soda had become just that.

    The way I see it is that right now I am believing I can do this. And I am. So once I get over this addiction I can give up sugar. I can lose this 30 pounds. I can get the fit ME back!!!

    I appreciate your words and will continue reading your blog to help me reach my goals. I have a creative blog that is over a year old but just recently began my fitness blog Skinny Me. That is how I found you!! You are now on my blogroll and I enjoy stopping by. Happy and Healthy 2011!

    Leslie

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  5. Wow, that was sucha beautifully written and inspiring post. Seriously, I'm in awe! As one of your other commenters said, it really ressonates with my heart! In 2010 I lost 45, but have gained 15 (probably more like 20-25 to be honest) back. But during these 5 month that I've gaind it back, I've been trying to learn how to love myself. And I think that the love is going to carry me through this year, and help me lose that weight once and for all. Thank you for this post. Thank you for your encouragement! Watch my blog, I'm sending my readers to read this!

    Sam

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  6. Lynn, you always seem to have a way of narrowing things down to their basic core; case in point, you telling your friend that she was lucky she could 'see' that she'd gained. You are right; after I hit the 200 pound mark, I did not see the gain after that. I kept getting larger but there was already so much there, an extra 10-20 pounds really didn't matter much. Well, it did; I just chose to ignore it.
    I am lucky that I can see it now. The few pounds I gained over the holidays has my body screaming for me to get them off and I am listening, whereas before, I didn't. Very uplifting post. Thank you.

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  7. Your post gives me hope. I'm also a chronic yo-yo-er and wagon-faller-offer. And today on 1/1/11 I am starting again to lose almost 200 pounds. You are proof it is possible. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  8. I love what you said about "falling in love with what you’ve accomplished.” I think that hit he nail right on the head :)

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  9. This a a beautiful post, Lynn! Happy New Year!

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  10. Thank you for your post... made me think I sat down today and realized that I will be 30 years old in 280 days. I also realized that I weighed 258LBS. My goal is to lose 58LBS by the day I turn 30.. http://ashandlewplus2.com/2011/01/01/280-days-to-a-new-me-lew-that-is/
    check it out and let me know what you think
    Lew

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  11. When I joined WW on Jan. 21, 2009, I promised myself I would do whatever it took to reach my goal...and to the core of my soul...I BELIEVED it.

    It's amazing what you can accomplish if you just BELIEVE.

    Happy New Year!

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  12. So much good here. Thank you for the reminders.

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  13. Great post! I've been thinking a lot about this very same thing. I've not taken good care of myself this year and with it a year of transitions, I've watched the number on the scale creep up and up. When I first joined WW, like you I said and did whatever it took to be successful. Now, like then, there is no room to beat myself up. I just need to focus on the behavior and believe.

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  14. Ah, destiny. I love how you phrased this post. And you are so right - weight loss CAN happen for anybody if the belief is there. Happy New Year, my friend! :)

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  15. What a great post - thanks, Lynn. I'm not in love with myself yet, but have come to a very deep understanding that this year my focus will be taking care of myself. That means physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I believe I am worth it. Finally.

    Thanks for sharing so much of your journey - you have more influence than you realize :)

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  16. I BELIEVE (AND FEEL) THAT I CAN LOSE WEIGHT AAAAND MAINTAIN MY NEWER, HEALTHIER BODY.

    Thank you for sharing your story. You're amazing. You're inspiring. You're wonderful. It'll be a long journey, but I'm worth it. My family is worth it. My life is worth it.

    Thank you for your inspiration! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!

    *hugs*

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  17. What a wonderful, heartfelt piece. Your words will truly inspire many and I am one of them. Thanks so much.

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