Fear of Succeeding – Diet Day 75

When I began my weight loss journey using the Take Shape for Life program I secretly worried that I would not be successful. I had never been on a diet before and I wondered whether I would have the self-discipline to stay on track. I had heard horror stories of other people trying to lose weight only to see all of their hard work go for naught and they came away discouraged, disappointed, and still heavy.

What if despite all of my hard work I didn’t lose any weight? I’m a very results oriented person and I wasn’t exactly sure how I would react if my body just didn’t want to go into fat burning state or stay there. I was investing a lot of time and money into this program and I didn’t want to look back at this experience and say I failed.

Fortunately, the program has worked. Over the past 10 weeks I have not only seen my weight diminish at a steady pace but I have seen inches come off dropping three sizes in pants and two shirt sizes. I’ve seen my health get substantially better and I am now within four pounds of reaching my ultimate goal.

My health coach Amy has been amazing during this time helping me cope with the mental and physical changes I have undergone. Now with the end in sight she has me focusing on a transition plan of moving from fat burning and weight loss into a maintenance program where I can put the things I have learned into practice and manage my weight and physical activity to stay at the level I am at.

I thought I would be excited when that day happened. I thought like Rocky Balboa I would sprint to the top of the stairs slimmer and raise my arms in the air to the world showing that I was back and healthy. Instead I find self-doubts clouding my thoughts.

What if all the hard work I put into losing the weight goes by the wayside and I revert back to my pre-diet habits and begin to see the weight come back on? I am definitely not strong enough to deal with the yo-yo effects of dieting then regaining the weight and then some.

During the weight loss phase I’ve had things pretty simple. There are five small meals or meal replacements and one “lean and green” meal of protein and vegetables. It’s easy. I know what I am going to eat every day. As long as I follow the plan I will be successful.

Once I leave fat burning state and move into maintenance the rules change. I no longer have the security blanket of a structured eating program. Portion control and caloric intake is now completely my domain and the success or failure I have is a result of my choices. Given the fact that my food decision-making is what made me overweight in the first place I am not really confident in my abilities to be successful.

This is something I never anticipated, the fear of succeeding. Over the past week I have become very introspective wondering whether I would become a victim of success and see my new weight loss as a reason to celebrate with a big dinner and outlandish dessert. Would I reward myself for the weeks of exercise and getting back into shape with a few nights of sitting on the couch watching movies with my wife?

I started to question, what was my goal? At first I thought the goal was to lose weight. But the longer I have been on this diet the more I have realized that the numbers (either the amount of weight lost or my current weight) was not the goal. My real goal was to be healthier.

There is no way I don’t want to be healthy. I don’t want to go back to a point where I am not active or that I have to take medication to breathe or maintain a healthy blood pressure. I refuse to watch my body put on additional weight that would jeopardize my health or shorten the time I would have with my family.

Being healthy is not an end state but an eternal journey that I will need to maintain for the rest of my life. This program has taught me that I can be successful. I have been practicing for the past 10 weeks what I will need to do once I am out of fat burning state.

I have been given a set of strategies that will help me to survive in the real world where society promotes obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. This shouldn’t be a frightening thing. I have the tools to be successful; I just need to trust myself to follow the patterns I have learned.

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