a day to celebrate

Today is remarkable for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, it's Audrey's 8th birthday. It's almost incomprehensible, that the tiny beautiful baby with the bright eyes and easy smile has turned into this smart, funny, beautiful little girl. Her creativity, wits, drive, and compassion constantly astound me. People always say, kids grow up so fast, and I never really understood it until now. She is the best kid in the world and I'm proud of her every minute of my life.

Happy birthday, pink ninja.

Secondarily, I am at my lowest weight in 8 years. I'm not big into the "fatblogging" concept, but I wanted to set down a few thoughts.

I've read a lot of websites, about diets, fitness, weight loss... and after trying so many of them without good result, I have to go with the new Weight Watchers motto - "Diets don't work."

I'm starting to believe that losing weight is an issue of recovery. Like drug addiction or alcoholism, you can't really change until you're ready. And then, it has to be a complete life change. Your views on food have to change - what is acceptable to put in your body, how much and what makes you feel good to eat. When it's ok to indulge and when you really don't need it. How to find activity that makes your body feel good, that makes you happy.

You can't do it from a list or a program. It has to come from personal drive and motivation. And it's undoubtedly true that many people can get the initial motivation, that switch, from various programs. That charismatic trainers and spokespeople can inspire. But the desire, the change, must come from within.

What did I change? Nothing that major, when it comes down to it. No marathons, no cabbage soup diet. I stopped eating out so much because of necessity - I was broke. Now it's an occasional treat, and I enjoy it more because of it. I eat until I am full, and then stop. I have stopped feeling guilty about not eating my whole meal. I eat tons of the things I love - mostly fruit. I drink tons of sparkling water. I had a gym membership, but I rarely use it. I enjoy walking or doing exercise at home far more. So I do all the things the diets say I should do - in my own way.

So what does all of that mean? I had to figure out how to make the core concepts of fitness and weight loss something that makes me happy, something that can be part of my every day life. It took me a long time to figure out, and I'm not really sure what the final tipping point was - I'd call it a paradigm shift, really. But the results are inarguably good. And I wish all of the diets and programs out there focused a bit more on helping people truly find their own place in their lives for being well. It is above all a *personal* transformation. I really don't think there's any way.

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