Friday, January 16, 2015

Promises

Two years ago today I made myself a promise.

It was early 2013 and I was unhappy with myself. I was unhappy with my weight. Running was getting more difficult as the scale was creeping up. My size 14 pants were getting a little too snug. I was starting to not recognize myself in pictures.

2013 Family Fun Run 5k in Walt Disney World.

I'd made myself lots of promises before- promises to work out every day, to severely restrict my calories, to berate myself until I finally lost weight. I tried every program, diet, workout plan there was. All of them had failed.

But two years ago, I made myself a promise.

Just one simple promise; just one simple thing I was going to change.

On January 16, 2013, I promised myself that I would attend a Weight Watchers meeting every week.

That's it. I didn't set goals about what I wanted to weigh or when. I didn't have an end date or a goal event in mind. As long as it took for me to lose weight was as long at it was going to take. I just promised to change one little thing- make it to a meeting every week.

104 weeks and 46 pounds later, here I am.

No matter what the scale said, no matter if I gained or lost or stayed the same, I made it to a meeting and weighed in every single time. I looked up meetings where I would be on vacation and I rearranged my schedule to make sure I could get to one. I went to an earlier or later meeting if something with work interfered with my regular meeting. I turned down social engagements if they were on my meeting night. My weekly meeting has become sacred- and it's done so much for me.

This one small thing, this one small change has lead to thousands of other changes. It's changed how I fuel my body for running, how I take better care of myself and the people around me- it's changed how I think about myself and what I believe I'm capable of doing.

Was it discouraging at times? Of course. Did I want to quit? Yup. But I didn't. I held on to that promise I made. In my first year of Weight Watchers, I lost 12 pounds. 12 stinking pounds. That would have been enough for the Sarah of years past to throw in the towel and quit. But I stayed. I re-focused. I found mentors- both online and in-person. In my second year on the program, I lost 34 pounds.

2013, 2014, and 2015. 190, 178, and 144 pounds, respectively.

Since making myself that promise two years ago, I have set some goals related to weight-loss, but there's no deadline on when I want to be a certain weight. And I'm ok with that. Slow progress is still progress after all. 

These past two years have taught me more about commitment, perseverance, and dedication than I thought was possible from a weight-loss program. I feel ready to start 2015 with a renewed focus and a reminder that I can accomplish anything I want to- as long as I put the work in and stick to my promises. 

2102 and 2014 Jingle Jungle 5k in Walt Disney World.

If you can't tell by now, I'm a bit of a sentimental person. Dates are important to me. Today feels a little extra special because of that one simple promise I made- and kept- two years ago. I hope I'll be celebrating this anniversary for years to come- hopefully with some new promises and accomplishments under my belt :-)


What is something you've promised yourself for 2015?



18 comments:

  1. Wow. Just... wow. This type of transformation, the one that happens slowly over time, making small changes. This is the type of change that sticks. It might not be as radical as "I lost 100 pounds in a week" kind of thing but it sure is for the long term and a lot healthier.

    In case you didnt know, I'm extremely inspired by your story. Keep up the amazing work!

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    1. Thank you, Frank! I'm totally inspired by YOU!

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  2. Congratulations! You should be proud of all that you have accomplished just by setting this one goal. You are no doubt an inspiration to many.

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    1. Thank you! There have been many that have inspired me- I'm happy to pass along some inspiration.

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  3. Your transformation has been absolutely amazing, Sarah! Keep celebrating this special anniversary for years and years to come. It may not mean much to other people, but it means so much to you, as well as I'm sure Matthew and the rest of your family.

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    1. Thanks, Kathryn! It's been almost unbelievable :-)

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  4. Your story is so inspiring to me! Here you are--a real person with real struggles with a past history of an unhealthy relationship with food. And you have been able to make amazing progress in a healthy way. I'm not too impressed when someone goes on a crazy fad diet and quickly loses 50 pounds. Anyone can do that with a little determination. The hard part is making lasting changes to enjoy the benefits over the long haul through vacations, holidays, and real life. I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago. Following your example and advice, I chose to go to the meetings. I have already lost five pounds, and I'm happy about that, but I too have made the commitment to attend the weekly meetings. You SHOULD feel proud of yourself. You have made a transformation that did not just involve weighing less. You have learned the tools of perseverance and belief in yourself, which are bad-ass tools to have in your arsenal! You go, Superwoman! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! I am so glad to hear about your success with the meetings- they made such a difference for me. And you're right, the hardest part is the long haul- making the healthier choice every single day even when the cookies/French toast/wine/peanut butter/whatever looks amazing. I can't wait to hear about more of your progress! :-) Keep up the good work!

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  5. Happy WW-anniversary! I admire your determination!

    One of my goals in 2015 is to get to more meetings. I am neurotic and I need to go to a meeting in the morning, so 7 am on Saturday it is, but too often last year I didn't make it to my meetings - granted, the majority of the time it was because I was running with a friend who was having an increasingly hard time running on Sunday mornings. I would know the weekend before that I wasn't going to WW so I wouldn't try. But I have told everyone that this year WW takes priority over running - I have met a great group of women who do their LRs on Saturdays and I am only going to run with them during the week so I can make my meetings. I don't mind doing my LR alone. I am also going to make sure I step on the scale every week - I took 2-3 No Weigh-ins last year, but I want to face the scale every week. And so last week I was up 3.2, but I faced the scale.

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    1. Good for you! It's amazing what happens when you put the meeting in a place of high priority- it sounds like you have some great plans/strategies to make sure you get to where you want to be. I can't wait to hear more about your successes! :-)

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  6. Your progress is truly inspirational! As someone that just returned to WW loved reading this post! Remember what Walt said, "all of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."

    P.S. I noticed your Sole of the City jacket in the WDW 10k pic from this year, I hope your planning to run again! I am and it would be awesome to meet you for real :)

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    1. Thank you!! And YES! I'll be at the Sole of the City 10k this year as part of the B3 Challenge. Let's meet in real life for sure :-)

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    1. Bravo to you! I hope it brings you success!

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  8. You looks great! Such an inspirational transformation :)

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  9. You look amazing and should be so proud of your accomplishment. Sticking to a weight loss program is tough and you have really done well. Can't wait to see you again at a race....any chance you will be at Princess?

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