On Communities

Exactly one year ago my bathroom scale told me something that at first I couldn’t believe (even though it was just the culmination of a trend), and which I didn’t like. It said:

80kg

For most of my life I had been in the low 60s, then - after I switched from an active athlete to an active student - in the high 60s. Enter the lifestyle of a young married couple and I found myself in the low 70s, still not too concerned. This held on for a few years until it slowly - kg by kg - went south to the high 70s. And then, on June 6, 2010, I crossed a border. 80kg just didn’t look right, and - truth to be told, it didn’t feel right either. This also would have meant to buy new pants, and that had to be avoided by all means. I decided right there and then that the weight had to come off. I set the arbitrary goal to get back to 69kg.

A journey begins

I knew I wasn’t going on a diet or anything like that. I didn’t want to give up any of my favorite dishes, because that way I’d feel punished. I quickly realized I had to move my body more, thereby burning some calories, as well as watch my food intake.

Calories in < Calories burned = Weight loss

I found a few helpful tips online, such as

  • Drink lots of water
  • Keep track of your food/calories
  • Do not weigh in every day
  • Weigh in at the same day of the week
  • Drink lots of water
  • Don’t agonize over plateaus. 

The best thing though that I found was a community that supported (passively and actively) my effort. And that is the most important thing I learned during the last year. Whatever endeavor you want to tackle, if you have a community (can be online or among friends) that shares the same interest (in my case: lose weight) and is there for support, there is a high probability for success. You get cheered on for your achievements, you get support during your mishaps, you can share your experience with others and thereby grow. 

Celebrating success

Too bad I didn’t have the presence of mind to take a picture right there in the bathroom, a year ago. Those before-after pictures make it easy to celebrate successes, which is very important. I only have a mid-way picture of myself with 75kg (which I am not going to post here, thanks for asking). Just imagine this:

 

being carried around by yours truly day in, day out. Yes, I can’t imagine that, either. 

The future

As of last Saturday my weight is down to 68.3kg. After reaching my goal of 69kg in November 2010, I was able to more or less (Christmas, thankyouverymuch) keep it there. Now with the outdoor season on the bicycle and with the running shoes in full swing, it’s easier to hold my weight. This also allows me to have the occasional binge day without regret. My life is good and I am pretty sure I’ll never carry around that crate of water bottles other than for shopping reasons.

What’s your success of the year?