The sum of the Cardamom - posted by Hannah (The Sum of the Cardamom is the directly translated Swedish expression for The Long and Short of It.)

Dear buddies,

Did you know that this year has 53 weeks? Next week is more or less a bonus week! So, I thought that this may be a good time to reflect upon the year that has passed and my journey towards health so far.

This year I started out at 179.7 pounds, and as of WI yesterday, I will end it at 161.2.
18.5 pounds lost may seem like a tiny harvest for an entire year. But it isnít. It is a wonderful result. Not only because these 18 pounds have been added to the other 67 pounds I have lost the last two years, but because these 18 pounds have taught me many things.

They have taught me that I can lose weight without my antidepressants. I quit taking meds last fall, and started gaining weight. My appetite changed, and my serotonin levels were up, down and all over the place. But with the help of consistent diet and exercise, I have been medication free for all of 2004! And I have lost weight.

They have taught me that sticking to the program even when the pounds seem to be stuck to my behind really pays off! I may have lost ďonlyĒ 18 pounds, but I have lost several sizes in clothes. I look more or less normal now! (Check out the 50+ picture album if you donít believe me!!)

They have taught me to listen to my body. After all the weight I have lost, and all the exercise I engage in it tells me that I need to fuel my body properly. I cannot spend my points on sweets, cakes and ice cream. I need food. Carbs, proteins and fats. As well as the occasional sweet, cake and ice cream, all planned for and OP.

They have taught me that I CAN stay OP through almost anything. Through family deaths, through infidelity, through illness, madness and sadness. I just have to make up my mind to do it. It may sound simplistic, but it really is no more difficult than that. After three years on WW this time around, I know all the tricks. I drink my water. I know what to eat. I know what not to eat. I know what situations to avoid, and which activities to engage in. If I fail, it is because I didnít think, didnít plan, simply put, because I chose to fail. And that is NOT acceptable behavior from a Bootcamp Buddy.

They have taught me that even though I am closer to goal than I have ever been before, and I do know the tricks of the trade, I still need to pay attention to what I eat. If I start believing that I know it all, it will all come back and bite me in my ...

They have also taught me that even though I might be doing everything right; my body has its own agenda. And that is OK. I cannot fully control the outcome of my actions, I can only control my actions. My choices.

MY CHOICES. Because they have also taught me that the minute I start doing WW for someone else than myself, for someone else to like me, or to be pretty for someone other than me, I fail. If I donít want to do this, I cannot do it. But whether I want to do it or not, is just a matter of mindset. MY CHOICE. And I choose to enjoy this journey.

My wonderful buddies have taught me many things this year. That I can say NO (thanks Suzie), that I can be appreciated (Thanks Chris P) that I can have many interesting conversations with buddies who are of other opinions than me (Thanks Theresa). And most importantly, that this journey to health really isnít about the pounds we lose, but about all the strength we can gain from each other. Thank you all buddies, and particularly the Breakthrough Sisters on 100+.

My most important lesson this far in my journey? That itís really all about the process. That I am constantly changing, but still staying the same. My looks are different, my emotions the same. My world is different now, my outlook is different now, I am healthier now, but I was always worth feeling this way. Strong. Confident. Beautiful. And I can say that now! (Thank you therapy!! )

No matter how much weight you have to lose, how far you have come in your journey, you are worth every effort to love yourself. Take care of yourself. Do what YOU need. Because that, my sweet buddies, is the sum of the cardamom! We need to love ourselves now as we would love ourselves at goal, and we will get there faster. We are all worth that!

Yours sincerely

Hanna
__________________
Highest: 250
Start WW: 220
Current: 161.2
WWGoal: 156.5 (71kg)

85.6 pounds lost, 4.7 to go

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The only way you can fail to reach your goal is to stop before you get there.


The odds of hitting a target go up dramatically when you aim at it. -Mal Pancoast