Decisions That Change Your Life

I had someone email me the other day who asked this question. (I asked permission to use it in this post.)

Why is this so hard? I really admire people like you who make a commitment, focus on their goal and stay on track ’til they reach their target. I don’t know what its going to take for me to reach that level of commitment.

I emailed her back that  the weight loss journey is one of decisions. I shared some other bloggers who have maintained a large weight loss such as Jane and Lisa. Any person who has lost weight and maintained  it for any length of time had a point where they said, “I’m making a decision to change my life forever. The time is now.”

I can’t speak for Jane or Lisa, but for me, the desire to change had been in my heart and soul for a long, long time. The years I struggled with obesity were filled with desires to lose weight, decisions to join WW or try another program, and deep disappointment when I once again failed. So how did I manage to go from failing over and over again to finally succeeding in meeting my goals and staying there?

Making one decision wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough to just say, “I’ve decided to lose weight,” because I had said those words thousands of times before to no avail. No amount of health risks, appearance flaws, or personal dissatisfaction had been enough to move me from “I’ve decided,” to “I do.”

But on that fateful day after my doctor’s appointment I made the same decision I had made before. “I’m going to lose weight.” And I did.

But what I did differently from before is probably one of the most important decisions I ever made for myself.

 I decided:

  • I wasn’t going to quit no matter how many bad decisions I made along the way.
  • I was going to press forward irregardless of how I was feeling that day.
  • I was not going to allow the fear of failure to stop me this time.
  • I was going to get healthy and fit because I wanted to, not because other people were telling me to.

The decision to start again was accompanied by the decision to not quit. And because I’m human like everyone else, there were days when I fell apart. Days I didn’t want to eat only one serving of a food. Days I didn’t want to exercise. Days I hated life. And on those days I didn’t always make the “right” decision. But instead of quitting like I would have in the past, I made a new decision right then. I decided to keep going in spite of my setbacks. I decided not to quit.

Our lives are filled with decisions all day long. What to wear, what car to drive, when to get up, who to call, where to eat, what to eat, when to brush our teeth, etc. So as I continued on the weight loss portion of my journey I learned that I just needed to keep making better and better decisions with regards to my food and exercise choices. I decided long ago to brush my teeth daily. Why couldn’t I learn to decide to make as healthy choices as I could? I realized that I could learn to do that, and I did.

And the more good decisions I made the easier it all became. Not “easy as pie” but not impossible either.

One good decision beget another until the good decisions far outweighed the bad ones. The weight loss was steady and I reached my goal.

And then the fun part began. The good decisions I had trained myself to make became good decisions I continued to make into maintenance. Not always perfectly of course – but right enough of the time to maintain for all these years.

So what’s your decision today? Diane


23 thoughts on “Decisions That Change Your Life

  1. Sharon says:

    This time as I’ve re-lost the 30 pounds I’d gained from my previous 65 pound loss, I made a decision and it has helped me tremendously. It is somewhat controversial and as I’ve talked about it in my own posts, I’ve found sometimes people disagree with it, but it was right for me and it has made a big difference in my success. The decision was that I would lose the weight I’d gained and would not worry if my food choices offended anyone else or made anyone else angry. This was about my life and my health and other people’s reactions to my choices were self-serving. That was almost five months ago. I’m very close to goal and yes, I’ve had some “controversial” situations, but I’ve stuck to my decision and have no regrets. And as you said, the good decisions are now so much a part of me, I’m finding myself able to (very carefully) move back into any given situation or event and stay true to the habits that have gotten me back to goal!

    Yes, decisions MUST be made and the decisions MUST be unique to what each individual needs to most encourage them. Excellent post!

    BTW, I’m watching the mail every day for my book – can’t wait!

  2. Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not says:

    “Not quit” sounds so easy when you start..but wait until those bad days come! haha. It’s absolutely the most important decision to make. Not quitting also means your always going to believe you will get to where you want to be, no matter how many times you stumble in the process. Your posts always make me think and I love it 🙂

  3. Emergefit says:

    Depending on the source one chooses, it appears that we make up to 30,000 decisions per day. Every moment — every action we initiate is the result of a choice. I admire your choices Diane, that led you to who you currently are, as admire the choices which keep you there.

    A long time ago someone asked me, “When does this get easier…?” referring to the exercise and eating choices she had engaged in. “Never” I said, “but it gets more rewarding the longer you stay with it.”

    Every time someone puts a piece of food to their mouth, one of two signals goes off in their head:

    1) This is good for me, and I’m going to eat it.


    2) This is not good for me and I’m going to eat it anyway.

    After that, it’s all about choices…

  4. Dr. J says:

    Never make the mistake of thinking that making these choices are easy for someone else but hard for you! It’s hard for everyone. The difference is successful people find a way to make these hard choices and actualize them.

  5. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    Great post Diane! The concept of weight loss is easy but the doing is hard & it is about choices & how much one is willing to do to be healthier & happier for many. It always comes down to the choices we make!

  6. blackhuff says:

    I love how you say that it’s a decision that one makes, it’s a choice. Which is absolutely correct. One should choose to do it for yourself and not for others. One should choose to go forward, regardless of how you feel that day. Very well said, Dianne.

  7. E. Jane says:

    When you speak of the desire to lose weight, I understand exactly what you are saying. I,too, have had a great desire to lose weight, but there have been many false starts and mistakes. There is no magic, and we will make bad decisions, have bad days, and feel fearful, but you have shown that with perseverance, we can succeed.

    The decisions that you made at the beginning of your weight loss process are truly a guide for those of us who are strugging to get out of the starting gate or who are into the process, but our progress is precarious. If we do (or believe) just those things that you have outlined, I know we can change.

  8. marie says:

    And we continue to make good decisions every day. My sister uses this analogy ‘If you break an egg do you throw out the whole dozen?’, one bad decision should not deter us from our main goal.

  9. Holly from 300 Pounds Down says:

    You’re right . It really is a series of daily decisions and not just one . Even now I can easily turn around and go backwards. It isn’t a flipped switch in my brain that stays on the right track now forever. I have to work at it daily. Some days are easier though . Some months are easier! But it’s still a constant daily decision. Just like you said. For me it’s a lot like an alcoholic who has to constantly work their program to stay away from drinking!

  10. RunLibby says:

    What a great post!
    I have failed I don’t know how many times, and it has always been because at some point I make a mistake and decided not to correct for it. I gave up on myself because I had a moment of weakness. I’m much more successful this time around, and I’m not quitting. I also think having a goal of running a 1/2 marathon has helped. There’s something tangible to strive for… and it’s not far away. I will be running in May, but I may not get to my goal weight for months after, and I’m ok with that. I’m focused on my first goal.

    But I do have a question for you. Did you ever hit a plateau? I’m struggling with that right now. In years past this is the point that made me give up because I felt like I was “torturing” myself and for what? No weight loss. This time around I’m ok if I had to be stuck at this weight because I am healthy, but I would like to lose more. How would you keep up your moral if you were stuck and how (if you did) manage to get off your plateau?

  11. Alayna says:

    Thanks again for another wonderful post, Diane! Today’s post is especially timely for me as I’ve been very consistent with exercise but have been struggling a lot with emotional binging. So even though I work hard at the track or gym, my exercise is offset by huge overeating and so I don’t lose weight. Perhaps reframing the process in my mind will help….as you said, it’s all about the small decisions that add up to the large accomplishment.

    I am back up from my slip up and ready to try, try, try again!

  12. Blessedmama says:

    Diane, I am so thankful each time I read one of your posts. It’s always as if you’ve written it just for me. Thank you!

  13. Taryl says:

    I wonder if that is a feature of successful losers and maintainers – many different diets and changes get us there, and yet I think most have the same set of final decisions as you, in not quitting or giving up, not going back, ever, etc. I know my own choices that started me down this path and have me here, today, were almost identical to the four you outlined, despite us having vastly different approaches and journeys.

    I tell people when they ask, you just never give up and quit. That’s the only way you can fail. And I really, truly, believe that.

  14. I ❤ 2 Eat says:

    You’re so right, Diane – everyday we make a ton of decisions. And being healthy and fit is part of that decision of our lifestyle. I made a bad (okay a couple) decision(s) today, but I think your post might be convincing me as I write to not make the third bad decision…off to the gym! 🙂

  15. Jane says:

    For me, it was making a decision to take the actions only I could take and each and every day I have to make that decision again. It is not perfect but it is working. You said it very well “no perfect but right enough of the time to maintain. I don’t know about you, but I have had my times of maintaining but still eating large quantities of foods to have the bulk, if not the calories. That does not work for me today. It is still squirrels in the brain time when that happens.

  16. Christine says:

    yes you are right sometimes decision makes life happier.

    Am i right tell me with your personal experience?

    Thanks for sharing

  17. Janis says:

    You know, hearing about people’s experiences makes me question that enervating statistic that “they” (you know, that nebulous “they”) always tell you that says, “Only a very, very few attempts at weight loss end in success — the rest end in a gain.” With the implication of course being, stop trying, give up, you’re destined to fail anyway, pretend you like being out of breath all the time, aim low for yourself!

    But IS that statistic really correct anyway? I mean you have let’s say a dozen failed attempts at weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight. And you had ONE successful attempt. So how would that be reflected in the statistics? A dozen failures and ONLY one success? Yes, but it’s all in the same person — and ending up with a success is all that really counts in the end!

    So I don’t trust that statistic. I can see it all too easily as starting out as a dozen unsuccessful weight loss ATTEMPTS versus one successful ATTEMPT and being mistranslated in the popular press as a dozen PEOPLE tried to lose weight and failed and only one succeeded. I just don’t trust it. I mean, if you had been sampled at any of those times by someone studying weight loss, you would have counted 12 times as a failure and only once as a success.

    And it bugs me that this untrustworthy statistic is used as an excuse to encourage people to give up on themselves.

  18. Lisa says:

    Thank you for including me in this post! It’s a great topic.

    For me, it was time to make a drastic change. I had a lot of health problems and was only 25. I needed to do something. The decision to lose 100 pounds was overwhelming, but 50 pounds seemed like I could do it. I made the decision every single day to count my calories and stop eating when I reached 2,000 for that day. It was hard, it was challenging, I slipped up many times, but I kept at it each day. It worked.

  19. Christie says:

    Awesome and inspiring post! I have lost weight and gained it back on several different diets (80 lbs once)! I have cant say I have ever been here before,, I don’t know what is different this time but it is different, it has all clicked. I’m doing it, I am 28 pounds down and I don’t feel deprived or on a “diet” I eat what I want, I listen to my body, and I make good choices, and when I want a treat, I have one. It has never clicked EVER like this before. Just awesome!

  20. Karla says:

    My long term goal is to maintain my weight loss, to get to my goal I have to do something TODAY to get to my goal, and quitting is not an option. if I stumble and make the choice to eat what I want, no one is responsible for that choice but me, things may happen but I choose how I respond!!! If I am stressed and over eat, I choose that response. My goal was to lose the weight. I reached that goal, but now I have a new one. Maintiaining the weight loss

    Deciding what my goal was and doing something TODAY to get to that goal is what pushes me every day

    Sorry to ramble …….

  21. me says:

    “I wasn’t going to quit no matter how many bad decisions I made along the way.”

    This is the one I believe and am working on but has derailed me time and time again!

Leave a Reply