Criticizing various lifestyles negatively has been common during my search for sustainable weight loss and fitness solutions. I confess I was a naysayer. Hearing the words, Nutrisystem®, Atkins®, Weight Watchers®, South Beach®, Jenny Craig®, Raw Food Diet, The Zone Diet®, The Lemonade Cleanse®, and Restricted Calories Lifestyle, I cringe imagining the multiple experiences and money eaten up with each food plan over decades of weight loss attempts. Buns of Steel®, The Firm®, P90X®, TurboFire®, marathons, and gym memberships, all tried and tested live in the past. Certainly, every food and exercise plan works for somebody, and may be sustainable for someone. None mentioned above curved my appetite nor motivated me to continue long enough to maintain weight loss, lose optimal weight, or increase muscle mass. As a Debbie Downer, a wet blanket upon other’s dreams, the pessimist searching for a sustainable solution thinking the well ran dry, I am now a recovering naysayer.

Recollecting who I used to be within the eyes and voices of others, I listen now as others question my current success, wondering about its sustainability. Can clean, real food, unprocessed, free of gluten, simple sugars, and most dairy, with community support become a lifestyle? Will I always journal my food? Will boot camps, StrikeFit®, and other specialty exercise classes lose my interest, while injuring joints and muscles while aging? Will motivation wane and perseverance give way to cookies, candy, and the next food craze? The critical inquiry is lifestyle sustainability. If every plan works for someone, have I found the one that works for me. Informing my cardiologist uncle that I consume several eggs daily but my LDL (good cholesterol) level reads 74; he infers genetics plays a role. Yet my parents consume cholesterol medication daily confirming that everyone is highly individual.

After one year, my current lifestyle seems sustainable, while my body, mind, and soul continue to feel well. The journey always necessitates continued evaluation and growth. Needing not to answer how the future unfolds, but knowing a solution exists in my favor is the imperative piece of the puzzle. Personal growth aims for our best selves. When we arrive, do we know it? What does it look like for each of us? What necessitates change? What is sustainable? As individuals react differently, finding the right avenue for each of us is crucial. While a naysayer, stuck in my own failure, envious of those who discovered sustainable weight loss, maintenance, and fit lifestyles, my negativity unleashed inward and outward. While in recovery now I observe my old self in others, naysaying, hoping they, too, shall find their sustainable solution.