As I was returning home, after completing Instantaneous Transformation Costa Rica 2018, I realized I had a choice. You see, a lot had happened for me during the 2-week leadership, communication and listening immersion course. When I arrived, I weighed 330 pounds. And when I left, I didn’t have a scale, so I can’t tell you what number I weighed. But, while I was there, I brought awareness to some behaviors I had that kept the weight in place. Once I saw those behaviors and quit judging myself for being the way I was (including the weight I was), I felt lighter and freer.
It was easy in Costa Rica because I was away from my “real” life and in a paradise where everything was taken care of for me. Food was prepared in a buffet style with fresh delicious local fruits, vegetables and farm-raised meat – all I had to do was make good choices in what I ate. I took walks around the resort with some of my friends, and I found I could move in a way that was easy and steady. I didn’t have to overexert myself or “pound” myself to get to the end as I had so many times before when I exercised. Things were different, and I felt different. And then it was time to fly home.
I remember landing at Houston Hobby airport and going through customs. It was around 2pm in the afternoon and I was hungry. Now I was on my own. I didn’t have prepared food where the choices seemed to be easy. I was walking through the terminal to my gate and I came across Hudson News, a newsstand in the airport with candy, potato chips, other snacks, books, newspapers and supplies for travelers.
I remember walking past the sodas. Mountain Dew had been my drink of choice and before I left for Costa Rica, I was averaging two 2-liters per day. Flash forward two weeks later, and there it was, in the soda cooler, “looking” at me. In that moment, I realized I had a choice. I could either choose to buy and drink the Mountain Dew. Or I could choose to build on the momentum of what I started in Costa Rica by making good food choices and drinking water, exercising, etc. I bought a bottle of water.
I was also looking for something to eat. I found a restaurant and looked at the menu. Burger, french fries, sandwiches, pasta, salads. My eyes immediately went to the lasagna with garlic bread. Then I looked at the salad choices and found a Caesar salad with chicken. I ordered it with no croutons and dressing on the side. I sat at the bar and enjoyed it. It tasted good. And I felt good in choosing it.
After paying and proceeding to my gate, I walked by a corridor vendor. I noticed a new thing I hadn’t seen before. A wonderful snack bar called “That’s it”. As I read the label, I discovered it only had 2 ingredients – an apple and one other additional fruit. I bought 2 bars – one blueberry and one strawberry. I had never seen it before and wanted to try it. I had just eaten a meal, so I wasn’t hungry and ended up packing the bars into my bag. I figured I could eat them later when I was hungry – either on the plane or when I got home.
As I sat at the gate waiting for my plane, I was satisfied both physically and emotionally – physically because I nourished my body with good food and drink, and emotionally because I kept my word with myself about my desire to lose weight. The thoughts and temptation were there – I could have drunk the Mountain Dew or I could have eaten something fried. But I didn’t. I just didn’t want it anymore. And by keeping what I started in Costa Rica going in the moments at the airport and as I travelled home, a cumulative effect happened. Making good food, drink and exercise choices were no longer hard. Future choices became natural, obvious and easy. And they have become the foundation for my 105-pound weight loss to date.