Not everyone can wake up one day and think to themselves, “Yup, I’m going to drop 100 pounds this year” and actually stick to the plan. Some of us are prone to a menagerie of demons that make losing weight difficult. And here is a summary of why it took me seven years to lose 80 pounds.
Although I am still reaching for my end goal, it hasn’t been the easiest road to travel.
It Really Took 7 years to Lose 80 Pounds?
Fitness gurus, experts, and YouTubers often make losing weight look easy. And for a lot of people, it probably is. But, you have to consider how everyone is different.
We all have unique needs, both physical and mental.
And it’s the mental needs you have to worry about most. Because without the right mindset, it’s far more difficult to lose weight or achieve any kind of physical health.
Or, succeed in any regard, for that matter.
Case in point, I’ve been working to lose more than 80 pounds since 2013. In fact, I was more than 100 pounds over my ideal weight.
And the most prominent reasons it’s taken so long include:
Although I’m not nearly as depressed as I have been in the past, it’s still a lingering problem. I’ll have bad days when the will to do much of anything is just non-existent.
And over the last 10 years, I’ve had my fair share of extremely bad circumstances.
In fact, within the last 14 months, my son committed suicide, a close family friend accidentally shot himself, I broke up with my girlfriend (who is an amazing woman by the way), was evicted, had to live in a hotel, and have been dealing with extreme cabin fever during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s not including the sheer amount of things before my son killed himself.
In reality, I probably should be on some kind of medication.
A Midlife Crisis of Sorts
After closing my computer business in 2012, I went through a terrible stage. I lost my business, my first ex took my sons back to Utah, my recent ex and I split up…I even went so far as to move to California for six months, leaving my daughters behind in Colorado.
Needless to say, my mind took a walk without me.
I’m doing much better, especially now that I am in Colorado and my daughters spend as much time here as they do in their own house.
My point is that a midlife crisis doesn’t always mean a guy goes out to buy a fancy car and acts like a teenager or dates a 20-year-old.
Sometimes that crash is silent, isolated, and far more devastating from a mental point of view.
Having an Eating Disorder
I am a stress eater. I also have a mindless habit of snacking when I am up late at night. And sometimes, I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I look at the empty candy wrappers on my desk.
I’m not as bad as I used to be, though. Working on getting to sleep earlier and keeping a constant vigil on myself at night has made a massive difference.
While it’s taken me so long to lose 80 pounds, I haven’t put it back on. So, I’d still call that a win, especially given recent events in my life.
Still, I often battle the insatiable urge to binge eat.
Whether you’re dieting or trying to tone up some muscle mass, you’re only accountable to yourself. Even if you hire a trainer, what’s to stop you from firing him or her and going home?
And when you’re faced with depression, the factor of accountability goes right out the window. Because you simply don’t care at that point.
In some cases, it could lead to various degrees of apathy.
It’s part of why I try to use social media, this blog, and if I ever get back into making YouTube videos. Using strangers to keep me accountable helps…on most days.
But remember what I said about mental fitness. If you don’t have the right mindset, it’ll take you years to lose 80 pounds or more. So, you need to find something that helps keep you accountable that includes a strong mental state.
Lack of Motivation
A lack of motivation is kind of a culmination of everything above. It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re depressed and really don’t see the point.
And yes, I’ve had a lot of days when the stress gets to me and I just don’t want to get up and get some exercise.
The hardest part is finding something that can keep you motivated even when things get rough. Sometimes, the goals I set can do this for me. But, there are days when even gamifying fitness isn’t enough.
However, I Keep Pushing Forward
I’m not telling you all of this to gain sympathy. I’m only expressing how everyone has different needs. And although some people make losing 80 pounds seem like child’s play, a lot of us have a far more difficult time.
In other words, you’re not alone if you are unable to reach your own health and fitness goals.
And although it sounds like I am failing, I’m really not. After all, I’ve kept off that chunk of fat despite everything. That’s because no matter what, I’ll keep trying to work on self-improvement.
In the last few months, I’ve made incredible leaps and bounds. I’m finally feeling like I have a hold of where my life is going and where I want to be.
But it wasn’t an easy road, to be sure.
It took a lot of soul-searching, reflection, and personal understanding to get to where I am today.
Never give up, never surrender!
My point is that even when things look bleak, it’s only temporary. And if you keep trying, putting one foot in front of the other, and reaching for those goals, then you’re still in the game.
You might even wake up tomorrow with a sense of purpose and clarity that opens your eyes and mind to all kinds of possibilities.
That’s what happened to me, anyway. It was an instant, “holy shit” moment that seemed to bring the puzzle together.
So, don’t give up. You never know when you’re moment of clarity will come.
Losing Weight is All About Mentality
If you don’t have the right mindset, it’ll take you more than seven years to lose 80 pounds as well. It all starts with how you feel about yourself and where you truly want to be in the future.
It’ll take a lot of patience. But, the rewards are incredible if you stick with it and keep trying your best.
Just make sure you’re working on your mental fitness. Because without a positive mindset, success will be nearly impossible.