Friday, May 22, 2015

Planning To Succeed

I had a lightbulb moment about this whole weight loss thing while grocery shopping earlier this week. So much of the struggle surrounding weight loss is about changing your mindset-- far more than about changing physical habits.

The cookie aisle is right at the front of my grocery store, meaning you have to go through the cookie/chip aisle as you enter. It was Monday night around 7:30pm and I had just worked out and I hadn't eaten dinner yet. Naturally, I found myself staring a box of soft-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Cue my mental dialogue:

"I don't have any sweets in the apartment, so I should buy some. Just for after dinner."

"Remember the last time you made that mistake and bought the tri-colored wafer cookies and then ate THE WHOLE THING in 3 days?"

"Yeah, but I can be good this time! I will stick to a serving!"

"Oh, so you will practice moderation exactly the way you haven't for the last 26 years of your life."

I didn't buy the cookies. 

And it's not because I didn't want them. And it's certainly not because I have super-human willpower of steel. Quite the opposite, in fact, which is why I couldn't buy them. Ideally I would be able to buy the cookies, eat just an actual serving size, and be satisfied. But I know I struggle to do that. Had I bought the cookies, I can almost guarantee you they'd already be gone. So, instead of buying them and putting myself on a plan to fail, I bypassed them and put myself in a position to succeed. 

Weight loss is about making those [hard] little decisions over and over again. Every time I grocery shop. Every time I want to skip a workout. Every time I go out to eat. And this is not to say that I never buy the cookies (spoiler alert: the reason I have learned this lesson is because I have made the wrong choice many times). But, this is to say I try to make planning for success my habit, rather than my exception. 

I can sometimes be a bit of a control freak, so I HATE to ever be put in a situation where I throw my arms up and say "WELP. I guess it just isn't going to work out for me this time." The reason why I got to 228lbs in the first place was because I did that with eating all the time. I did that with working out all the time. And, shockingly, I continued to gain weight because I kept telling myself that all the external factors were preventing me from losing weight. WRONG! I was preventing me from losing weight. At first, that's a really humbling (and sucky) mental shift to accept. But, in time it actually becomes very empowering to recognize that you are in the driver's seat and success or failure is no one else's fault but your own. And, real talk: this holds true for more than just weight loss.

Hence, one of my favorite quotes:

Happy long weekend!

Have any weight loss lightbulb moments lately? 


  1. I LOVE that quote! Like I'm printing it for my desk!! I love what you said about making the hard decisions over and's SO much more helpful to think of it that way rather than one BIG thing. I, too, sadly cannot practice moderation. I think I finally get it after 30 years.

  2. Your grocery store is EVIL. That's just mean. Good job on avoiding the temptation!

  3. HI Carolyn! Long time, no see! :)

    I'm reading The Diet Fix. Not sure if you have. Not trying to pull you away from abstinence. It just wasn't working for me, long term. Good job on avoiding the cookies though! :)

  4. Amen to that!! Changing our mindset sets us up to making changes to our physical habits much easier. Saying no to temptation just once in the grocery store is a lot easier than saying no to it every day in your apartment. I haven't had Mountain Dew in my apartment in months now and it makes it so much easier. Now I need to work on saying no while at work. I'm thinking maybe I'll leave my wallet in the car while at work because then if I want a Dew I would have to walk outside to my car in order to have money for one from the vending machine.

  5. Long time no see Gwen!! Hope all is well (I need to catch up on your Diet Fix experience on your blog!). I haven't heard of that book, but always curious about alternative methods. I'll have to look into it!