Today I celebrate 10 years of weight-loss success, when the wishing ended and the doing began

One of my very favorite things to mention at the end of the presentations I give about healthy living is a quote that I came up with about a decade ago: “I don’t want to look back at my life wishing I would have… I want to look back at my life and say, ‘I’m glad I did!'” Today is a day when I truly mean those last four words; I’ll repeat them numerous times as I celebrate a milestone in my life this Wednesday, the 23rd of May, 2012.

This date marks the 10th anniversary of the moment I stood on the scale to see that I had rid my body of 162 total pounds — a moment that was immediately followed by a single tear of joy that fell silently to the ground. Oh yes, that day is one that I will never forget. It includes a realm of emotions that are difficult for me to gather and put into words.

Life flashes before your eyes

I stood there that day and recalled all that I had gone through since I was that overweight 10 year-old girl who slowly turned into an obese teen. The vision of how I looked and how it felt being morbidly obese during my twenties and for a few years into my thirties was almost too much to bear. I remembered the countless years of wishing that I was thin and feeling as though this wish was never going to come true.

There was a quick flashback that day as well … of the emotional stress caused by all the diets and the struggles with food that I dealt with for a quarter century, along with the familiar feelings of hurt, pain, embarrassment, humiliation, self-hatred, sadness and loneliness. But it was just a brief recollection of these past, negative feelings. They ended as quickly as they began. They were replaced by the memories of the past 16 months of my life; memories of strength, faith, confidence and the ability to create the changes I had only wished for in the past.

These wonderful and stupendous changes had occurred and I didn’t have to wish for them any longer! No more looking back at the past and wishing that it had gone differently. Satisfaction set in as I looked back for the first time in my life and was happy for the way things had gone! What was best was that it was all because of me.

The only one

It was my decision to live healthier. I was the one who made the decision that I would no longer turn to food for comfort. It was me who tied on those walking shoes and headed out my front door for a daily walk — nobody else did it for me!

It was my choice to quit focusing on all that had gone wrong in my past and to begin concentrating on what I would do to make it right in my future. I wasn’t looking back and wishing for anything. Wishes don’t work. Instead, I aimed for success and I hit it right on target — BULL’S-EYE!

I can look back at my life and say “I’m glad I did!” I’ve been saying it for 10 full years now and there is no end in sight… I’m going to repeat those four words for as long as I live.

It doesn’t matter who you are, changing the past is impossible. All you can do is learn from it and make the decision to use that knowledge to your advantage.

Today I ask you to celebrate my 10-year anniversary of healthy living right along with me.

Tomorrow you can join me also, when you declare, “I’m glad I did!” It’s a great feeling and one you deserve, too.

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