We have all heard the statistics..... 90% of everyone who successfully lose weight eventually end up gaining it back; and sometimes even more. This factoid was always in the back of mind; particularly after losing weight... was I part of the 90%; or would I be part of the 10%?
Early next month, I'm going to be celebrating 10 YEARS on this healthy living journey. In 2007, I was totally fed up with myself. I had successfully lost weight in the past; many times in fact; only to regain it all. This happened not once, not twice, but many times. It is just so humiliating to yo yo up and down... not 10 pounds mind you; but for me 80 pounds.
Now I think of myself as a fairly intelligent person. How in the World could I be so oblivious and let my weight get so far out of control over and over again? It seemed like my body and my mind were always at war with each other. After fighting the "good fight" as long as I possibly could, it seems it just became too exhausting. It was in November 2007 that I made a decision that I was going to join Weight Watchers and attend the weekly meetings for at least two years. This commitment to myself was not made contingent upon losing weight. I was going to attend meetings gain or lose. What I wanted was change; something that would be permanent, that would have time to become routine and habit. I knew it would mean I would need to make major changes in my lifestyle; but if I took it slow and just made little changes instead of expecting perfection overnight, perhaps I would have a better chance of keeping the weight off permanently
In case you haven't ever attended Weight Watcher meetings, I have to tell you they are kind of hokey. Maybe things have changed recently with Oprah's involvement; but in 2007 you walked into the venue, weighed in, and then everyone sat down in folding chairs. The leader was at the front of the room next to an easel and markers and as the meeting progressed, she did her best to engage conversation and participation from the audience. Of course, there were always one or two participants who seemed to dominate the conversation. This can get on your nerves if you let it; but I did my best to stay positive and engaged.
Without a doubt, for me the most beneficial aspect of attending those two years of meeting was the information and knowledge I gained from the other members. Some of the cooking short cuts shared were so simple and really life changing for me. Grasping that I could cook in big batches, freeze cooked crumbled hamburger, and keep a few basic items in the pantry that translated into quick easy and healthy meals was so valuable. I don't know why this simplicity wasn't apparent to me earlier, but for some reason I hadn't applied those principles in the past.
But back to the 90% / 10% "rule". I have come to think of it a little differently now, and perhaps you should too. No longer do I think that only 10% are able to successfully lose weight and keep it off. ANYONE can do it by making slow sustainable changes. These are changes that you are willing to live with for a lifetime. I now consider that permanent success may only come 10% of the times tried. I may have failed at 90% of my past efforts; but I kept trying and never gave up completely. You can fall down numerous times... but just keep getting up, because YOUR 10% success could just be around the corner.
(Before Photo taken December 2007 - After Photo Taken August 2011)
Now - Photo taken September 2017