Welcome Welcome Welcome!
I always like to greet the New Year with gusto… I like to think that by opening my arms and giving it a great big hug that it knows that I’m ready for it and looking forward to what each day brings.
Of course I don’t expect it to be all “Sunshine and Lollipops” (although the great thing about WLR is that if I do decide that I want a lollipop – I can just go and get one – pretty much all my favourites are on the database so they can be properly logged and accounted for).
I fully expect that, like its predecessor, 2015 will be a combination of highs and lows; great days and gloomy days; a mixture of “I-can-do-anything” days and “it’s-seems-too-hard” days. That’s what life is all about.
It’s also about making the most of every opportunity; learning new things; sharing old wisdom; making new friends and valuing old friends. It’s about picking yourself up and dusting yourself down when you’ve been side-swiped by something unforeseen, unexpected or just plain unavoidable; it’s about holding out a hand when you see someone sideswiped, helping them back on their feet and supporting them as they continue to make their way through the year, and life.
All of that, and more, is also what WLR is about. At this time of year the “making new friends” part is great – it’s usual to see new names, faces and stories on the site as people start on their “New Year, New Me” plans – and have decided that WLR is exactly what will help them succeed if part of that plan is to lose weight or just adopt a more healthy attitude to food, drink, exercise and general wellbeing.
I have to admit that the scales did show that a couple of pounds had crept on between 23rd December and 1st January – but only a couple of pounds… and I know how and where they came from. The end of December is a busy time in the Hudson Household, not only with the annual “festive season” but with six birthdays to celebrate. Whilst I have continued to stay “on the wagon” and stick to my favourite tipple of lime, soda, ice and a slice, I wasn’t quite so resolute when it came to pieces of birthday cake and making the “most sensible” choices when presented with the menu for one or two of the birthday meals.
I also have to confess that my daily workouts were allowed a “Christmas holiday” too and so I did have to dust off my stepper before I got back on it on the first day of 2015 – but again I know that it was my choice to decide not to exercise. It was my choice to have creamy pasta sauces and fish and chips; it was my choice to have a slice (or two) of birthday cake.
Just like it is my choice to start to 2015 and particularly my WLR journey with renewed focus after my short break. That’s the great thing about it. It is all entirely down to me. Of course the support of my fellow WLR-ers is fantastic; the depth and breadth of knowledge that can be found on the site is great; the information stored on the databases is wonderful – it makes logging my food and exercise so much easier – but the reality is none of it will work unless I make an active decision to use it wisely and make it work for me.
It isn’t a “quick fix”; it isn’t waving a magic wand and suddenly I’m the shape and size I want to be and able to consume anything I want without any consequences. This is my weight loss journey… and then when I get to goal my journey continues along a different path which is my “maintenance journey”. I know that it will be a journey that I will be on for my lifetime because I’m not one of those people who can eat what they want, when they want and still stay slim and trim. The mere thought of a custard slice seems to be enough to make the scales show and extra pound; the hint of a cheese pasty and my waist expands by an inch (or so it seems). So I know that I will need to keep applying the wisdom I gain here at WLR even when the scales give me the number I’m looking for. But that’s no bad thing.
My WLR experience has already taught me valuable lessons. Who knew that I could love mustard so much? Who knew that my body would decide that instead of a bacon butty (with thick bread and an equally thick layer of butter) I would crave ham salad wraps or that tortilla chips and dips would make way for a bowl of fresh fruit and natural yoghurt if I felt the need for a late night snack?
Who knew that, after ten days of not exercising over the Holiday Season, I would actually be itching to start again? It certainly wasn’t my “default setting” pre WLR but now it feels entirely natural.
Of course I don’t apply everything I’ve learned on WLR to my journey. Try as I might, running is never going to be my exercise of choice – but for many of my WLR friends it is has become an absolute passion and a key part of their own journey.
I don’t believe that lentils (or pulses in general) will ever feature heavily in my menu plans (don’t ask me why but my brain and my stomach seem to have made a pact which try as I might I just can’t get past) but I know that WLR members have some fabulous recipes which include these – and which are shared and loved by many more members.
Which I guess is the real reason why WLR works. It can be summed up in one word. YOU.
There are guidelines and hints and tips. There is a wealth of information and advice. There is limitless support from the other members. Success stories, the forums, the buddy system, being able to email one another. All of these help to make WLR a great place to succeed …. but none of it is worth anything without YOU.
YOU are the most important aspect of the whole journey – and it is you who decides the route you want to take; who chooses the strategies that work best for you; who make decisions about what to eat, what to drink, how to “move more”.
To all of the wonderful WLR-ers who have been on this journey for sometime – I look forward to stepping out into 2015 alongside you.
To all of the wonderful WLR-ers who have just arrived – Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! I look forward to getting to know you and sharing your journey.
With a huge “Here’s to 2015” hug