She got her act together and got healthy, while I continued my downhill slide. And then one day, my doctor told me I had diabetes. With all I had learned about it, and the ultimatum I had issued my wife with her diagnosis, I knew I couldn't deal with diabetes. I'm too much about this moment to deal with the myriad of issues that diabetes creates, so I made my best effort to get it under control but my best wasn't good enough. I began looking into weight loss surgery.
What I knew was that gastric bypass surgery "cures" diabetes. They don't know why yet, and the diabetes goes away long before the weight, but for me, that became my only option. I was going all in for this.
Once I had the surgery, the first part is "easy" enough, in that you simply can't out-eat the surgery, but having watched my wife, among others, go through it, I knew more about it than most. In the beginning, it's pretty exciting, as the pounds just melt off, but from the beginning, I knew that movement was key and I began walking, very slowly and very short distances, but doing it every day, further and faster.
I'm very competitive, so my Runkeeper app was awesome, because every day I could do better than the day before. Faster. Further. Goals being achieved.
Now to the flipping of the switch. This was the light bulb moment for me. Most obese people become obese because they crave instant gratification. I was definitely that way. If I deprived myself of something, or exercised more, I didn't see an instant result, but if I ate that cookie, I did. So I "ate that cookie," literally and metaphorically.
I learned to make the PROCESS my instant gratification, instead of focusing on the result. When I walked somewhere, I saw it on my Runkeeper app, and when it sent me a message saying, "You've set a new personal record," that became my "cookie." When I ate a sugar free popcicle instead of ice cream, that became my instant gratification, when I saw that I just accomplished what I wanted to.
If you diet, you'll generally lose weight, but it can be inconsistent. So for three days, I used to eat everything I "should" and then sometimes, I'd find that I lost no weight, or very little, or sometimes even gained weight! This is bulls**t! "So what's the point?" I'd think, as I got myself some instant gratification, in the form of food, usually.
But now, I realize it's the process. If I miss out on the process, I feel deprived. If something gets in the way of my workouts or my better eating habits, it's bothersome. I feel cheated. My weight is stable, but I didn't get my instant gratification. I learned to make the process instant.
Beyond that, I saw a meme on Facebook that really, truly, changed my way of thinking. It said, "Exercise is a celebration of what the body can do, not punishment for what we ate." That was huge for me.