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Yesterday started EXTREMELY early for me… like 4:30 am early. 😦  Jake woke up with a wet diaper and his bed was covered too.  Once I got him changed and the bed cleaned he was more than happy to go back to sleep.  Me, not so much. Yesterday was a running day so at 5:10 am I headed out the door to meet my running buddy.   Rachel and I ran 5 miles together and then I ran 2 miles by myself.   It ended up being a great run!

Dark but beautiful. :)

Dark but beautiful. 🙂

I stumbled upon this article the other day on CNN.com about the key strategies to extreme weight loss.  Over all I’ve lost about 40 pounds in the last 2 1/2 years.  I lost 10 pounds the first year and about 30 from January 2013 to August 2013 and I have kept it off for almost a year!  These strategies really spoke to me.

1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Transforming your life requires stepping out of your comfort zone. Let’s face it, being comfortable and doing the behaviors you do right now got you to the weight and place you are today.
If you are OK with that, keep doing what you are doing. If not, you need to prepare yourself for true change — and this means being willing to embrace feeling uncomfortable.
No real transformation happens inside your comfort zone.

This was very fitting for me.  When I decided enough was enough my sister talked me into trying the Paleo diet/lifestyle.  The basics are lean meat, veggies, fruit, some nuts and healthy fats.  I was a HUGE pizza person!  I couldn’t image Friday nights without pizza and wine.  When I started I tried to find Paleo pizza recipes, but they just weren’t the same.  I was bummed at first, but I was consistently losing weight so I stayed motivated.  Now, I can’t remember the last time I had pizza!

2. Get your mind right.
Eating right and exercise are critical pieces to any physical transformation, but a mental transformation is just as important.  People who succeed develop an optimistic or positive attitude about their new life. They expect success; they believe they can and will succeed. They concentrate on what they get to do in their new life, NOT what they can’t do. They savor positive moments, and enjoy the journey!

This is soooo true!  Just like my pizza example, I didn’t focus on what I couldn’t have, I focused on what I could have and ultimately my success!  I wanted to get into those skinny jeans, I wanted to run that race.  I just went into attack mode and it worked!
3. Figure out your deeper ‘Why?’
True transformation requires powerful motivation. This motivation comes from linking your new lifestyle to the things you most want to accomplish.  Look a little deeper and consider your purpose in life. Is it to run your own company, keep up with your children, help the underserved or be a better spouse? Identifying how your new lifestyle will help you achieve these things is what will get you up at 5 a.m. or allow you to pass up your favorite dessert when necessary.
Linking your new lifestyle to your passions makes a transformation permanent, not temporary. Successful transformers spend time peeling back the layers and determining why they really want to lose weight, to better understand who they really are inside!  

I don’t know if my “whys” were super deep.  I was just unhappy with the way I looked and felt.  I had been carrying around that extra 40 pounds for almost 10 years and I was just tired of it.  I wanted to feel good about my body.  I wanted to be healthy.  I wanted my change to be permanent.

4. Be the hero in your own movie. Only you have the power to change you.  One of the most important steps in any transformation is deciding to stop playing the victim role.  Realizing you have the power to write your own story is critical to achieving true transformation.  Things do not happen TO you anymore; YOU create opportunities and direct your new life.  You are empowered to choose what you will do and how you will react.

“If nothing changes, then nothing changes.”  I’m not sure who said this phrase, but it’s so simple and true.  For years, I would complain to my husband that I couldn’t lose weight.  I’ve always been a “runner” so I would go out and run my 3 miles at the same pace I would always run and then I would go out and have pizza and I just couldn’t understand why the weight wasn’t fallen off.  LOL! My metabolism really went south right around 28 and since then I’ve had 2 babies, so if I was going to lose weight I couldn’t keep doing the same ol’ thing.  If I wanted change, I had to change what I was doing.  Enter – Paleo diet, interval training and weight training. I no longer made excuses why I couldn’t lose weight.  I knew why I couldn’t and I was ready to do something about it!

5. Pay it forward. Successful transformers appreciate what they have been given and how their lives have changed for the better.  They want to help others change their life and experience the power of transformation, and by doing this, they help themselves. It’s contagious!

I think I’m in the process of paying it forward and I hope to be forever in the process. People have asked how I did it and share all the knowledge I have gained over the last 2 years.  I am not perfect, not even close, but I am forever changed.  I want to continue on this healthy journey.  I love reading health articles, trying new recipes and working out.  I actually get in a bad mood if I haven’t worked out in a few days.  Jason will tell me to go and run if he feels like I’m stressed out.  My how times have changed, and I love it!