On New Year’s Eve we were at a house party and there was a friend of ours there who smokes. She’s one alone, the only smoker in our group. She shared with us that January 1st was her quit date, she’s been gearing up for it since September, apparantly she had a health scare earlier in the year so she’d decided quitting smoking was a good idea. She told us how on January 1st she was going to officially be a non smoker. People at the party who have smoked and since have quit gave her pep talks and tips and tricks while she gave us all the same excuses that everyone has used, that everyone uses so that you understand that this is going to be extra hard for them. That they have special circumstances or issues etc. Anyway, there was a Polar Bear Ride on January 1st afternoon that Ray went on (I still can’t wear proper pants yet….thanks, Tattoo….getting dressed for work tomorrow should be interesting!) and when he came home he mentioned that this lady had not quit, was still smoking, had a partial pack and a full pack with her.
I felt really sad for her……….because we have all been in that exact same situation. You set a date to lose weight, quit smoking, start exercising, save money, eat less, whatever your issue is. And on that date you wake up in the morning and absolutely nothing is different. Nothing’s changed. You’re still the exact same person with the exact same addictions, stresses, emotions and habits. You would still rather nap than go to the gym, you’d rather have a slice of cheesecake than an apple or some carrot juice. You still go to the mall and whip out your debit card when you see something you want rather than walk away. Nothing’s different.
So what do you do? What do people who succeed at revising their lives do differently than the people who do not succeed? I was trying to remember how I did it when I turned my life around. I don’t really know with any sort of absolute certainty what it was. I do know some of the things that keep me going and I’m sure that they must’ve factored in when I started.
- what you want to achieve has to be more important than what you’re doing now
- discomfort is part of the deal
- nothing, and I mean NOTHING changes overnight
- you have to trust yourself and your process
- practice continuous improvement, reassess as needed, tweak, modify and help build a snowball effect
More than any of the things above though, you just have to do it. Buckle down, endure the discomfort and achieve something that is valuable and lasting and important. Decide to be one of the people who succeeds. Decide that you are going to succeed at something difficult that most people don’t. Ask yourself, “Why shouldn’t I be a success story?” and then work your ass off to get it.
I looked at a picture from the week before I started Weight Watchers in 2007. It took me 8 months to lose 85 pounds. I’ve kept it off for 3 years and 9 months. I realized this morning that this year is the first year that I have ever not had a number in mind that I want to get to or lose. I thought maybe it was an oversight on my part so I thought about it and all that’s happened for me is that I woke up on January 1st and nothing’s different. I just keep on keeping on………….exercise, veggies, water, lean protein and good fat. It’s the same now as it was 4 years ago. Nothing’s different. If I want something to be different this year for myself I have to create it.
Here’s the before and after……..a week before I started WW in 2007 and the after picture is a cute picture from November when I tried on my mom’s wedding dress. And then there’s a before and after headshot.