I've recently had my most challenging time with weight loss and also my most empowering breakthrough. If you don't mind, I'd like to share it with you.
I've never been "overweight" or what anyone but myself would call "fat." However, there has only been about one or two years in my young life (I'm 23) where I've felt happy with my body. Those years have come and gone, along with the college-level volleyball that got me into such great shape. Since then I've stayed away from dieting, but I've tried many different forms of exercise and managed how I deal with food in many different ways. I started noticing a few months ago that everything that used to work and get me back into shape when I needed it just stopped working. I started to get desperate and, if my husband hadn't stopped me, I probably would have used weight loss supplements even though the smart, rational part of my brain was telling me it was a waste of money and potentially dangerous to my health.
Then I had an epiphany. Well, I don't know if it was an epiphany, really, but it was a complete mindset change that I'm just now able to commit to in the form of writing. I want to have kids within a couple of years from now. Never before have I said I wanted kids within a set amount of time (or that I really wanted kids for that matter). But suddenly, with that thought, it wasn't about looking hot or being able to fit into the newest two-piece bathing suit. It was about being healthy so that I can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I'm not worried about getting ready for bathing suit season anymore. I've given myself a goal of two years - in two years I want to physically be up to my personal standards.
I'm having a much easier time with eating healthfully and not criticizing myself if I miss a workout or eat a chocolate chip cookie (or two!). I know I have time. And I know that what I'm striving for is worth picking myself back up, dusting off my (slightly perkier) bottom and trying again when I slip up.
I had heard about PeerTrainer before, but I rediscovered your site and signed up for the daily emails. I love your suggestions, and it's great to just have a consistent reminder. Weight loss is a very personal issue for me, as I know it is for most women, and I don't like to discuss it with my friends and family. Having this kind of anonymity and still getting personal support is amazing. You mentioned goal setting in your email, and I never had the correct state of mind to make this sort of goal before, but for some reason it has finally clicked with me and I cannot believe how amazingly different I'm feeling and thinking.
Thank you what you have created. Two things are keeping me going: my goal and your daily encouragement. Thank you again, and please keep it up!"
I can't tell you how much I appreciate your feedback and your email. It's so gratifying when I read about how PEERtrainer and our direction and guidance has personally helped. Weight loss is such a personal issue and to this day, even going on year 5 of PEERtrainer, I still take advantage of the anonymity in certain ways. I too have changed my mindset and I never thought i would be comfortable shopping for a dress or getting in a bathing suit in front of my friends and I am! I'm not a size 0 and I have cellulite but it doesn't matter because I am so comfortable with my figure and the choices I make. It has been an extremely liberating process and sounds like you've had a similar process in getting to a goal that works for you.
Please keep emailing me and letting me know your progress. We also have started a thread in the community on the subject "How To Be Happy With Your Body."