Monday, March 17, 2014

How Did You Do It?

Although I'm no longer the new kid on the block when it comes to having lost a lot of weight, I still get asked that question fairly often - and my quick answer can elicit some interesting responses, depending on who is asking.

For example, I'm working on building a relationship with a new doctor - I haven't had a regular doctor for years, and longtime readers may remember my disastrous visit with one who suggested that I needed to get down to 115 pounds.  Needless to say, I didn't go back to him.  Anyway, my new doctor, who I first saw with my hamstring injury, was going over some medical history with me recently and saw in my chart that I used to be a lot heavier.  He asked me THE question, and I matter-of-factly said "a lot of hard work" - and he got the biggest smile on his face.  Said he wished he could show me to his other patients, because so many don't want to put in the effort; they want the proverbial magic pill.

Speaking of that magic pill, I can't tell you how many times I've been asked THE question, and when I give my quick response, I see faces people really think that they'll hear something new and different and wonderful and easy?  I understand that hope, I really do.  But seriously - if I had a magical way to lose weight I'd be driving a Mini Cooper.  Last time I checked, my 2002 Ford Explorer was still sitting on my driveway, so nope...I haven't reinvented the wheel, nor have I profited immensely from this. 

I also get emails...people pour out their stories to me, and it breaks my heart to read about their desperation.  I've been there.  I know how it feels to be willing to spill your guts to a virtual stranger in hopes of getting some help.  I also can tell how disappointed they are when I respond with how I did it, because I almost never hear back, despite my asking for them to let me know how they're doing.  I rarely tell people what they want to hear when it comes to losing weight.  And for that, I'm sorry.  It's not easy to lose a large amount of weight.  Aside from The Biggest Loser contestants and some people who've had weight-loss surgery, it usually doesn't come off fast.  It's not super dramatic after the first few weeks.  It levels off and can become maddeningly slow. You have to keep at it until it becomes second nature...and then, you have to continue to do it. 

How did I do it?  I just kept doing it.

If you're a newer reader, I hope you'll go back and read my archives from the very beginning.  As anyone who has tried to lose weight knows, it's not an easy journey, nor is it linear...I had many ups and downs and stalls along the way, and how I look at food and exercise has really evolved over the last nearly six years.  It's not easy to sum up how I lost the weight; I didn't follow any particular plan...rather, I muddled my way through the diet and exercise world, and managed to emerge from it a smaller, healthier person.  My meandering path shows that there is not one specific way to lose weight.  As I've said many times before, what works for me may not work for you.  But nothing is going to work until you start doing something. 


  1. Great post! I even went back to your very first post again, I sometimes do that.

    If magic pills existed we would all have a normal weight and could eat what we want. This just isn't the case.

    It takes a lot of hard work and say no a lot of times to things. You did that and you can be very proud of that. I've noticed my mind is getting closer and closer to commitment for losing the weight. I am almost prepared to work hard and get where I want to be with my health. In the meantime, I keep on reading your blog for inspiration and motivation.

  2. You must be proud, and you should! Losing weight is incredibly difficult. Maintaining is just as hard. It's when you realize you will have to keep up the healthy habits FOREVER. That is a bummer. But totally worth it. :-)

    You just keep doing it.
    it's that simple (in all things) and that HARD (in all stuffs)

  4. Meandering path pretty much says it all. Sometimes I meander too far into the woods, though LOL!

  5. My two favorite sentences in this post (which are now going into my vision book!):

    "You have to keep at it until it becomes second nature...and then, you have to continue to do it. "

    "But nothing is going to work until you start doing something. "

    These words could be a mantra for most anything someone wants to accomplish - just do it and keep doing it - so simple and so hard at the same time.

  6. Exactly! You really do just have to get into the habit and keep on keeping on. People have asked me similar questions before - "What's your secret????" Well, I exercise regularly and eat healthy most of the time. It's not rocket science, and although it's second-nature for me now, these good habits are really hard to get into initially, especially after being so unhealthy for so long. Making the choice do something, anything, is probably the hardest part.

  7. YES YES YES! Great post this morning (they always are, but this was especially great)!

  8. I love that last sentence. And this post is great! I hope I get to the point where you are, soon (past all the yo yo-ing)! I have had people ask me this question, when I am in the process of losing weight (which bugs me that people notice so much, but whatever) and it's exactly that - hard work. You have to be willing to do it! And if you aren't, own up to it. Quit looking for a quick fix!

  9. I just love your down to earth approach to everything. I am once again losing 50 pounds ... easy to lose ... difficult to not reclaim. This time I'm doing it for my knees and hopefully pain will be a good motivator. Like you said, I have to continue even once the pain is gone.

  10. It's funny but I get lots of emails from diabetics wanting to know how I manage my blood sugar so well. I tell them I weigh my food, put that into spark people to figure out how many grams of carbs I am going to eat, then take one unit of insulin for every 5 grams of carbs. The response? That takes too much time!

    Well, I'll still have my feet in 20 years - not sure I can say the same for people who don't want to treat their diabetes because its a pain in the ass.

    You should be so proud of what a great role model you are Shelley!

  11. Here here! I thoroughly recommend reading through your archives--you know it gave me the boost that I needed a year ago. And yes to everything you said. Nothing will happen until you start, and darn it, you just have to keep doing it forever.

    Great post, Shelley!

  12. This is EXACTLY the post I needed to ready today!!! Like you, I'm muddling my way through and it is maddeningly slow, but I WILL NOT STOP!

    Your post was the perfect shot of motivation for me! Thank you!

  13. When people ask me how I lost the weight I give them the same answer - hard work!
    Like Oprah said if there was a manic pill she would have found it.
    Great post Shelley, couldn't agree more!

  14. Well said! Try *something* and if that doesn't work, try something else. I went through a lot of something else's along the way. :)

  15. LOVE THIS SHELLEY! We could ALL learn much from you!

  16. Great post! Yes, sadly the secret of losing weight is that there is no secret. Eat less, move more. End of story. Well said Shelley :-)


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