During my graduating year in High School (1977) I got the biggest kick out of the TV commercial featuring the winners of the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. The two mild mannered, plainly dressed, farm folk declared (with more drawl and twang than Gomer Pile) “What luck! We Mays are in luck. We have just won a million dollars! Our lives will never be the same!”
Yep, they are lucky, I thought. I am a May too, so how come I’m not so lucky? Though many spend a considerable amount of time, effort, and energy entering sweepstakes – hoping to get ‘lucky,’ I have adopted a different philosophy. “The harder you work the luckier you get!” Time and time again that has proven to be the case.
Following my weight-loss surgery in 1995, I recall mustering up the nerve to call a few of my friends to tell them what I had done. The first call I made was to a long time nurse friend. I will forever remember her immediate reply after I told her where I was and that I had just had a gastric bypass. “You are so lucky!” she exclaimed. “Lucky?” I replied. “What do you mean lucky?” I have spent my entire life fighting my weight and finally, finally, I had the courage to make this gigantic commitment. It took great thought, planning, preparation, prayer, not to mention a support of my family, and a 2nd mortgage to do this. Luck had nothing to do with it!”
The first year was a dream come true. The weight seemed to fall off. I lost 125 pounds. No complications, no bumps, and very little effort on my part. Wow was I lucky! I would find myself eating something I shouldn’t. Or skipping a few days of exercise only to weigh in to find that I lost another pound! “Dodged a bullet this week; Man I am so lucky!” I thought. And then…. I found that the next month, was not so lucky. I learned by experience that I was not invincible, and that maintaining my weight loss requires much more than luck. It requires dedication, commitment, thought, focus, and constant effort. Indeed I found, that in weight issues too, the harder I work, the luckier I am.
It has been over 20 years now and my weight continues to fluctuate up and down 15 pounds or so. Interesting, when I work hard at it, I lose – when I don’t, I gain. Go figure.
It seems that this weight management thing will always require effort. Throughout your journey, you too, will have ups and downs, good days and bad days. We have a remarkable tool, but we will always reap what we sow. As you work to reach and maintain your weight-loss goals, remember to stay committed to your Success Habits, stay in tune with your body, work hard; and oh, good luck!