I confess. I was a naysayer, critiquing other’s lifestyles regularly. I heard the words, Nutrisystem, Atkins, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Jenny Craig, Raw Food Diet, The Zone Diet, The Lemonade Cleanse, Restricted Calories Lifestyle, and cringed inside from my experiences attempting each of these food plans over decades. Buns of Steel, The Firm, P90X, TurboFire, marathons, and gym memberships, also make my hair stand on end. What I know for sure is that every food and exercise plan works for somebody, and may be sustainable. Unfortunately or fortunately none of those mentioned 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.

Now I encounter reflections of whom I used to be within the eyes and voices of others. Many question my current success wondering it carries 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 Grind classes bring boredom eventually, injure joints and muscles with aging? Will motivation wane, perseverance give way to cookies, candy, and the next food craze? The helpful question, does this lifestyle work for me, is critical. 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 inferred genetics plays a role. My parents nearby consuming cholesterol medication daily, concludes, everyone is highly individual.

After nine months, my current lifestyle seems sustainable, while my body, mind, and soul respond well. I feel great! 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 journeys aim for the best versions of ourselves. When we arrive, do we know it? What does it look like for each of us? What necessitates change? What is sustainable? As different specimens, reacting in various ways, finding the right avenue individually 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.