Did You Have an Aha Moment?

fireworks at the Aha moment

I often wonder what makes people finally get started and finish their weight loss journey.

For this Friday post, I wanted to talk about whether or not you had an “Aha” moment when it came to getting started on your weight loss program and share my “Aha” moment with you.

I’ve told you about my inspiration picture that I used to help me keep going when times got tough, and shared a lot of stories about my weight loss and weight maintenance experience. I wanted to tell you what finally got me moving off the diet merry-go-round and what the first few days after that moment looked like.

I had dieted for over 10 years and never lost more than 25 or 30 pounds, at the most. I cycled through diets like they were water, trying this and that to no avail. Sometimes I think I forgot what diet plan I was supposed to be following because I had tried so many. Honestly.

And yes, there were times when I temporarily gave up dieting altogether and just ate candy with no guilt. Well, with almost no guilt.

But there was a day in early 1997, when I realized that if I did not do something right then, I might never do it. In fact, I worried that I might not have the opportunity to do something about my weight later. I honestly feared for my life and I feared what would happen to my children if I did not change my ways.

That was my “aha” moment and it actually happened on the scale. How ironic. I was at my doctor’s office for a check-up and when the nurse weighed me, I had that “aha” moment. All at once a thousand thoughts seemed to flood my head and I decided that day to do something about my weight, and I did.

I sat down at my kitchen table later that day and came up with what would eventually be the plan outlined in my book and the plan I use when I teach my weight loss class. I changed my life that day and I’ve never regretted it.

Those first days were difficult but exhilarating at the same time. I felt excited about losing weight for the first time in a long time and believed that I might actually be able to do it. I even stuck with my diet when John brought me candy because he felt bad about going out of town. Leaving that candy alone was one of the first of many victories that helped me succeed and gain confidence in myself.

Of course I had struggles while losing weight, and I’ve had struggles since then, but I have never gone back to being obese and I have never gone back to living such an unhealthy lifestyle. Thank God.

What’s your story? Have you had an “aha” moment or was your beginning a slow process? Diane

24 thoughts on “Did You Have an Aha Moment?

  1. PlumPetals says:

    This is the first time I saw your inspiration picture. I’ve never been thin, so I didn’t have a reference point to even imagine what I could look like if I tried. I think that’s what kept me in denial for so long. Surely I wasn’t that big I’d tell myself. For me it was getting on the scale and seeing 3 digits appear (in kg) and I was like, W.T.F?? I quickly got off the scale, looked around (even though I knew I was the only person in the room) and told myself No Way. This stops RIGHT NOW. Since then I’ve been working at it … as you said, there have been ups and downs, but never, ever, ever again will I get that big. Never.

  2. Susan says:

    I had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic about a year and a half ago. I hadn’t been checking my sugar regularly or following any sort of special diet because my doctors had told me to exercise more and lose some weight. And I did. I went from not exercising at all to running regularly and even completing a 10K. And from the running I lost about 20lbs. But because I wasn’t eating right, my weight had plateaued and I had even put about 5lbs of what I had lost back on. I finally decided to check my sugar one morning and instead of being lower like I expected, it was significantly higher. Almost high enough to be full blown diabetic instead of just pre-diabetic. That was my aha moment and since then I have started following a diet plan for diabetics. I’ve started losing weight again and have gotten my sugar mostly under control. I expect there will still be ups and downs, but I am more determined than before. Similar to your turning down candy, I turned down a free lunch at work that contained foods I can’t eat. That was significant for me, as I used to eat anything they brought in for us, thinking it was the bonus they never give us.

  3. HappinessSavouredHot says:

    That’s a good question, Diane! I’m not sure what my aha! moment was!

    Like I said before, even when I had extra fat I still saw myself as fit and thin, and nobody told me otherwise, either. One day I decided to hire a personal trainer, but it was mostly to help me strengthen the weaknesses that prevented me from running a half marathon. When I became strong and lean in the process, it was a bonus!

    I think my aha! moment came AFTER I lost the weight. I went to shop for clothes and everything looked great, even in the unforgiving changing room mirrors!

    The long term aha! is to discover that being over 30 was not the culprit for all m y aches, pains, lack of energy, etc. Not being fit was the culprit.

  4. Fiona Jesse Giffords says:

    I personally had many aha moments with the success of my weight loss goals. Every time i reach my goal i feel overwhelmed and celebrate my success.

  5. vickie says:

    I actually had TWO aha moments. The first one was motivated by not becoming diabetic (everyone around me, non family, was getting diagnosed that year). I lost 60lbs with that moment and it put me at the high end of normal BMI. Stayed there for 2 years. Then I realized the remaining 20lbs was all around my waist, which still put me at health risk and made clothes VERY difficult, had another AHA moment and dropped that excess in 6 mos. That put me at the low end of BMI where my body is most happy. I am not someone who can carry (really) any excess weight. Now I am what I would term as daily dedicated. My habits keep my maintenance steady.

  6. Losing The Rolls says:

    As I currently weigh close to 400 lbs, it’s probably obvious that I have yet to have an ‘Aha’ moment. I’ve experienced many things that should have been triggers to start the weight loss. I’ve been a diabetic for ten years, have had high blood pressure for twelve years and now high cholesterol and thyroid problems. I would have thought the physical limitations due to my obesity or the health concerns would have motivated me by now to lose weight. I cannot afford to wait for the elusive Aha moment, I need to start eating healthy and exercising. I think I am ready but only time will tell.

  7. Michelle says:

    My “aha” moment was around the time my second daughter was born. My first daughter was tall and thin from the beginning. My younger daughter has my build. It’s obvious already. Even at a few months old, she had a very obvious tummy and I knew she would have similar struggles with weight that I’ve had my whole life. I have pictures of me at 3-4 years old with a large tummy. I decided that I needed to help her (and my older daughter) by being a better example for them. I don’t want either of my daughters to feel like I did when picked on because of my weight in school. I was asked at one point during my later elementary years if I was pregnant by one of my male class mates. I don’t have that inspiration picture like you have because I’ve *never* been thin.
    This journey started with wanting to be a good example for my daughters. I also want to be around to see them grow up. It has also morphed into being for myself as well. I started feeling so much better after the weight started coming off. Now, at 60 pounds lost, I was able to climb through the play structure at Jungle Java with my older daughter with no trouble…other than the bruises I have on my knees now because I’m too tall to stand in the structure. I suspect that will be less of an issue as I continue to lose. I still have 40-50 to go. I will get there. My daughters are young (1 and 4 yo.) and they will only remember a thinner Mommy.

  8. Meghan Rich says:

    Yes 2009 I was at the dr and she was a size 2 lady who I hated at first but she ended up doin me a big favor. I knew I had gained some weight but I was kind of in denial about it. I was 5’3 148lbs and I guess my blood pressure was high and she said its probably cause I needed to lose weight, she went off on how I needed to eat healthier and excersise and then walked me all the way across the office to show me the bmi chart…. While I was initially hurt it did become my aha moment… I did not leave the office and start on it right away but it was the kicker that got me thinking about it. Early 2010 I made a plan and stuck to it since August 2010 I have been sitting At a size 4 125 lbs. (even gained 40lbs pregnant in 2012 and have gone backdown to 128.). I wonder how long I would of let it go if I didn’t have that aha moment…. (Still seeing that dr) she’s great 🙂

  9. L says:

    My “aha moment” was a diabetes diagnosis from the doctor. I pretty much knew already, but his confirmation through blood testing really struck at the core of me.

    On another topic: I have trouble moving around in the comment box on your blog lately. I can backspace, but I can’t delete. Weird, it only seems to happen here. Wanted to mention it to you.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Diane
    I call the Aha moment the “trigger” moment. My trigger moment happened when my grandmother passed away in the hospital one week after celebrating her 88th birthday. She was a lively, active woman who inspired me. I looked at myself and realized that I would never live as long as she if I kept eating the way I was. One month later, I lost 20 pounds. One year later, I had lost 80 pounds. I didn’t diet- I changed my life. And, twelve years later, I am so glad I did!

  11. Matt G says:

    I didn’t really have an ahha moment. I just realised how hard gym work (and energy levels in general) was when I didn’t eat well. I felt sluggish and wasn’t working out too effectively. So I guess it was more of a realisation than a specific ahha moment.

    • Ralph Blunk says:

      Same here, Matt! I struggled a lot even before I decided to lose weight. Mentally and emotionally, I’m not prepared and motivated. As a result, I was not doing so much progress in my weight loss program. I wish I can experience this Aha moment.

  12. Joy says:

    I am still in the process of losing weight but I realized I am not getting any younger, i am 33 and some day soon I want to have a baby but I really want to be the healthiest I can be before that day comes that what’s keeping me motivated.

  13. Dave says:

    I have lost 25lbs and keeping it off….I know help others in my gym as well as home to do the same…love your tips and tricks as well…..cheers

  14. evilcyber says:

    My aha moment was (trying to) swiftly walking down a street and getting out of breath. That evening I looked long and hard at myself in the mirror, consciously taking stock of a midsection that had gotten to the size of a soccer ball.

  15. JIll says:

    My aha moment was when I realized there was no aha moment. There was no secret. There was no insider information. The quest to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle is a daily decision, some times a moment-to-moment decision for me. It will never suddenly be “easy”. There is no magic
    diet or easy answer. Once I realized this, I was free of searching frantically for one. I knew I just needed to put one foot in front of the other and do it. Consistency would bring results. Once I got the results (lost almost 80 pounds), I looked for an aha moment or magic way to keep off the weight. I then learned that would never come either. Now, I try to make more good decisions than bad decisions. I still slip and fall and have to get back on the wagon, but as long as I’m on the wagon more frequently than I’m off, I’m doing better. Another great post Diane!

  16. Alan Stransman says:

    The Aha moment is often a favourite piece of clothing you can no longer wear. That happened to me a few years ago when I gained weight as a result of a prescription medication. Couldn’t find a suit to wear to a wedding. That was the impetus for a 20-pound weight-loss.

  17. Tanvee says:

    Hi Diane, I think I had a few aha moments..one of which was when I changed jobs and my new team had all healthy eaters so for lunch everybody ordered salads I did not want to be the odd one out so even I did the same and surprisingly I was not hungry as I expected or irritated as I expected that is when I realised I could do it and another moment was seeing one of my snaps, it was a snap where I was not hiding behind somebody as usual, I really did not recognise myself…I always knew I was fat but till then I did not know how fat!!!

  18. Ryan says:

    Mine was when I saw a picture of myself with one of my kids at their recent birthday party. It was more of an “UGH” moment than an “AHA” moment.

  19. Lucille says:

    My “aha” moment was on the scale too, actually. I lost 50 pounds when I was 21 and slowly gained it back. Now I’m working on getting that down again. I use inspiration pictures by taking a picture of myself every couple weeks, so I can see the difference even if I don’t feel different.

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