Thursday, 16 February 2012

"To thine own self be true" - a lesson in comparing yourself to others

I hope everyone is having a great weigh-in result this week.  For me, I've hit a milestone, losing 1.8kg.  It's my highest weekly loss ever and now takes me to the lightest weight I've been since I was 18 years of age.  It brings me to a 32kg loss from my heaviest weight and 14.7kg total since starting 12WBT.  Sometimes I find it hard to believe. 

I'll admit, its great to have a big loss on the scales and do happy claps, high-fives, air-punches and joy jumps.  But here's my weight loss reality.....most weeks I average a loss of only 800gms and sometimes its as low as 200gms.  However, in each 12WBT round I consistently lose weight. There are times, as I'm sure there will be for you over the coming weeks, when its very hard to have a loss of only 500gms, for example, when you are seeing other people post big losses of 2kgs or more. 
When the small losses happen, the bad fairy / Darth Vader voice in my head inevitably pops up and says things like "you are failing, you'll never get there, what's the point?" or "come to the dark side and console yourself with a blueberry muffin and cappuccino but make it skim milk so you can appease the guilt from the muffin.  Go on, you've been good all week, it won't hurt."

So before I go to that dark place, I remind myself of this; before starting Round 3 in 2011 (my first round), I had been trying to lose weight for some time. I was already eating fairly healthy and exercising daily but there was plenty of room for improvement and a massive plateau to break through.

Other people who started at the same time as me had diets, exercise patterns, ages, genders, and the amount of weight they were carrying that were vastly different to mine. In other words, although we were all doing the 12WBT plan, we had all started from different places. This is why its so important not to compare yourself to others.  Chances are you didn't start at exactly the same point.

I have since found a 12WBT twin, the wonderful Erica, whose journey, weight loss, issues and frustrations are spookily similar to my own.  We often do the same things each week (often at the same time!) or burn the same calories, but our results still vary. 

For me, having tried to lose weight for so long now, I know that I have a pattern of losing weight; over 4 weeks, I have 1 big loss week, followed by 2 weeks of average losses and a 4th week of a small loss and then the pattern repeats. My body ajdusts for hormones and recalibrating the weight it has lost.  

Very rarely is the path to success a straight line for me but as long as my weight is following a downward trend, I am happy.

Even though I know my patterns, when I lose less than 500gms, I review the week to see what I could have done differently.  Sometimes I accept that it is what it is and I simply need to persist.  Other times I need to adjust my exercise intensity, or the times that I eat, or just slap myself stupid for not controlling my snacking habit.

And that's the point.... it's about my journey and how I am going to manage my health for the rest of my life.  No one can do that for me except me.  My photos show me at my starting point and various weight milestones along the way that remind me of how far I've come and how far I have yet to go.

It's worth remembering too that in 12 weeks time you will be comparing yourself with YOUR before and after shots.  Not mine, not someone else's. If you follow exactly what Michelle says, you will be amazed at the changes. 

The road to great health is different for everyone.  Some people take the freeway and others, like me, take the scenic route because I have a lifetime of weight to shift,  habits and thinking to change, and so much to learn to make sure the rest of my life is not like the first half.

I don't try to do big spectacular weight loss feats anymore.  I find small, daily changes in my habits are the key to success.  Small weight losses can add up to a big change. I focus on being persistent, consistent, and running my own race.  One meal at a time, one exercise at a time, one day at a time and I am getting there. You can do it too. It only requires that you be true to yourself.


  1. Thank you so much for this post - nothing makes us as unhappy as comparing ourselves to others. I know I have been a slave to the scales in the past and when I have a 'low' loss or even a gain, i throw in the towel and eat everything i can. I read this on the 12wbt forums initially and i just want to say how helpful it is to read about other peoples' experiences and how they deal with hard things that come up for them. Thank you.

  2. Jacqueline I love your blog you hit my head space spot on, xxx