When starting a lifestyle change, one of the things you must decide early on is whether or not to tell other people about it. On the one hand you have the added benefit of growing your supporters and having everyone on the same page. On the other hand, you risk increasing the pressure on you. Some people do better with the added pressure, I don’t. Late last year, my cousin decided to get fit. She lost about 20-30 by the end of December. Around this time I had a small desire to get serious about losing weight, but I had no plans to start soon. I couldn’t have predicted what happened next. As I was lying in bed on January 2, I felt as though I was suffocating. I started getting scared and reluctant to fall asleep. Looking back, this may have been a small panic attack, but it changed me. That was the moment that I decided to change or risk dying at a young age. On the third, I started eating as clean as I could. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than nothing. The great thing about doing something new is that you get to do a lot of hands-on learning. You play around with things and figure out what does and does not work for you. I mean, take a look at what I ate on day two!:
You live and you learn.
As time passed, I made smarter choices and by mid to late March I had lost 45 pounds. That’s when my road got bumpy. My cousin was steadily approaching 100 pounds lost. I was very proud and felt nothing but happiness for her. Unfortunately, I plateaued a bit and hovered around 45 for a while. Then came the pressure. My family was pitting me and my sister against our cousin. They probably thought it’d motivate me more, but instead I lost all the drive I had. This was never a competition for me. I was just trying to better myself. My cousin thrived on it, but I shut down. There was just too much comparing our respective progress. If she went to the gym 6 days a week for 3 hours, I was expected to do the same or better. Eventually it all led to my depression. I couldn’t drop more than those 45 pounds. The gym started to feel like a chore. I never felt as sad and discouraged in my life as I did during this time. It has taken me a long time to get right again. While I have forgiven my family, I have not forgotten. That incident outweighs whatever benefits that could come from sharing my intentions with those around me. Naturally, some people may do well, but it’s definitely something I’d heavily consider first.
In other news, tomorrow is my first weigh-in! Come back then and see what my number is.
Until next time,