Yesterday I had the privilege of having someone ask me what I’ve done to lose so much weight.  I admit the question brings a nice feeling as, not only has someone noticed I’ve lost weight, but they also want to know my “trick.”  You know, as if I’ve got some sort of secret which has escaped scientists for years.  My response to this question is the same these days “diet and exercise.”  The response of the individual yesterday differed incredibly little from that of most:  “Ugh.  I don’t like either of those.”

I get it people, I really do.  I can’t say I’ve loved every second of learning to eat differently, but I can say I enjoy what I’m eating and I’m not hungry.  I can’t say I’ve always had a love for exercise, hell, I can’t even say I have a love for exercise right now… but I can say I love doing things which were a challenge/impossible for me before.

I cannot help reduce the difficulty.  If it were easy, no one would have a weight problem.  If it were easy, people would be successful every day.  (And in truth, I don’t consider myself any more than just a bit successful.  I am, after all, still over weight.  I still eat too much sometimes.  I still eat too mindlessly sometimes.  I exercise half-heartedly sometimes.  The success is that I’ve lost weight and I’m (so far) maintaining this loss.)

What I can say is this:  Baby Steps.  No one is saying you have to jump into the deep end of the pool.  Feel free to test the water with your hand, sit down by the edge of the pool and dangle your feet in.  You may not be far, but you’re better off than you were.  No one is saying anyone needs to start jumping into daily exercise from a sedentary lifestyle.  All you have to do is start moving.  It sucks.  I’ll be the first to admit it sucks at first.  I practically threw up the first time I went ONCE around the Curves circuit.  What did I do that amounted to anything special?  I went back.  I kept going back.  I set goals, small but attainable goals.

And you know what?  It worked.

The food thing is the same way.  I started by finding what works for me.  I’m fine eating half my calories during the day and then the other half at dinner.  Why?  I’m busy during the day.  I’ve always been a big dinner kind of girl.  I LIKE eating a big meal.  It’s part of me… and organizing my calories this way works for me.  Want to eat small meals all day long?  Sure, you can do that.  Want to eat a big breakfast and then pace out the rest of your calories?  Sure!

The changing diet goes slowly.  I started by buying 100 Calorie packs.  Why?  I liked crunchy munchies and I wanted to make sure I didn’t fudge my portions.  I detest them now.  So little food for 100 calories!  I substituted ground turkey for ground beef.  I incorporated more salads, searched for lower calorie recipes.  I learned new ways of cooking.  I scoured the internet for variety. (And somehow I became pseudo-vegetarian, totally unexpected.)

Things take time.  Yes, I’ve been disheartened many times by slow progress or no progress at all.  But looking back over the past year, I can see the slow changes and the comparison between me now and me then is gigantic…. Nearly as gigantic as my stomach rolls were.