Is It Worth It?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
6/3/2010 6:16 PM   :  134 comments   :  14,795 Views

By Beth Donovan, ~INDYGIRL

Iíve asked myself some days if itís worth it, all this tracking and exercising, and eating foods that are good for me when I would rather dive into a box of donuts and then go to sleep. Sometimes I feel alone struggling at parties or buffets while everyone else is enjoying all of the food and Iím wondering if the scale will even notice how good Iím being by not indulging. Sometimes it can be so cruel. There are the family gatherings and the comfort foods from childhood, the outings with the girls and the lonely nights in front of the television. If Iím good, will the scale notice? Better question yet, is all of this change worth it?

The answer I always come up with is YES.

I had come to a point when I weighed between 400 and 460, that I thought, ďWhy bother dieting? Iíll suffer and just gain it all back. Why not just eat and enjoy?Ē At that point in my life I was just focusing on the scale. The scale is a tool, but not the god we make it out to be. I was right, too. I would have just gained it all back if I had kept dieting. What I needed was a lifestyle change, and Spark People helped me find that. Itís the difference between going full throttle until you burn out and give up and taking baby steps to a new life.

I was missing out on what I have now, more happiness, more physical abilities, a much more positive attitude, and an enjoyable life instead of merely existing. I have more energy, and feel excited about all I have achieved. Each day a new surprise awaits me, such as a seatbelt fitting that once didnít or being able to leave a place on my own after my wheelchair has broken down. I love being able find old favorite dresses in my closet that once again fit me. My husbandís arms fit around me now when he hugs me and I sometimes fit in a booth at restaurants. These little things each day remind me of just how much I was missing.

Lifestyle change isnít easy, but done the Spark People way, it is easier. Spark People doesnít promote jumping into a new lifestyle with both feet and doing everything perfectly. Instead small, attainable streaks of success in a few areas are promoted to empower and give results to a person. From there more healthy habits can be added and built upon, thus creating a new lifestyle. Baby steps still get you where you are going, youíre just not so exhausted from the journey that you can actually enjoy yourself.

If youíre one of those people, like me, who asks themselves ďWhy bother?Ē every now and again, you arenít alone. If it is every day, several times a day, youíve definitely overwhelmed yourself with lifestyle changes and need to scale back a bit. The idea is to make a few changes and get those incorporated into your life, and then make a few more. If youíre struggling with the first few changes, scale back to one change at a time. Lifestyle change is to make your life better, not stress you out.

Why do you want to lose weight or be fitter? For some itís playing with their children, going on vacation, wearing cute clothing, alleviating pain, getting healthier, or even just looking good. Whatever it is that drives you, you must concentrate on that as a reality, not just a someday pipe dream. Start playing with your kids now, for instance. Maybe you wonít be able to play for long, but itís a start. Start a vacation fund. Get a few pieces of cute clothing for the body you have now--donít wait until when. Talk to your doctor now about pain and health issues. Go get a make-over or spend a day at a spa to make yourself feel better. The point is that you donít have to count a single calorie to get the ball rolling in the right direction. These are all steps in the right direction of lifestyle change.

When you do feel good about yourself, the counting, tracking, and workouts will become easier. It will also be easier if you take baby steps and work with SparkStreaks, rather than the typical on-or-off and all-or-nothing approach that most fitness plans use. If tracking everything is too much for you at first, start by just tracking water, fruits and vegetables. When that gets to feel normal, try food tracking. When that gets to feel normal, track exercise. The important thing is that you are doing better--eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising more, drinking more water. You donít have to compare yourself to anyone but yourself. Keep trying to improve on your own records and goals.

I have a few rules I follow about treats, tracking and exercise.

  • If I must indulge, and there are those times, I have to enter it into my tracker. Sometimes I go over, and that is my choice. I add a little more exercise that day or the next or I might cut a few calories over the next few days. I donít starve myself to make up for my indulgence. See the reality and plan ahead or around it.

  • I also have to order small if itís available. If not, I have to order an appetizer or split a meal if going out. It not only saves calories, but it saves money, too.

  • Tracking is a great tool and well worth the reality check on both sides. Sometimes I find Iíve eaten too little or havenít gotten the nutrition I need in a day.

    Tracking exercise is easy with the Quick Track feature. Just enter the minutes you spent exercising or even actively playing and you are done tracking for the day. Workouts donít have to be work. They can be any kind of active movement you want and feel comfortable with. Being disabled and unable to do typical workouts, Iíve worked out by rolling abound my kitchen using my arms and legs in a rolling chair before. Get creative and have fun.

    If tracking everything just isnít for you, try the Quick Track features that allow you to track fruits, veggies, water and exercise in quick clicks. This will help you start making good choices and help you be accountable.

    To find the Nutrition Quick Track feature: Go to the "my Nutrition" page and you will see the glass of water and picture of fruits and vegetables. Click those as you eat or drink them and they will fill in with a colored picture representing what you ate or drank. To use the Fitness Quick Track: Go to the "my Fitness" page and you will see a small box that says Quick Track. Simply enter the minutes and what you did and youíre done.

    So, the question ďIs it worth it?Ē Yes, it is worth every minute of counting, every extra step I take, and every bite not taken to feel as good as I do now. I love my new life and canít imagine going back to my old one. I look forward to waking up and living, rather than merely existing now.

    Do you ever have those moments where you question whether you want to be losing weight and continuing on your healthy journey? What do you tell yourself?


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    Comments

    • VONNIE17
      134
      Thanks fo reminding me to do little steps.I am recovering back surgery and trying to loss weight .Have been going to therapy twice week sometimes not sure how to put down exercises I am doing but I do them everyday and walking too.wants aweek I take day off from those exercisesI am also tracking my calories what I eat .Have lost5#so far will keep it up have more to go but take at 5# increments. - 1/15/2011   11:32:40 AM
    • CHRIS315
      133
      Hi Indygirl this was so inspiring. I have 50 pounds to lose i have been watching calories and exercising atleast 5 times per week one hour per session for six weeks now and have lost 2 pounds. It feels like the weight is not coming off. I often read that with exercise and calorie counting i should lose atleast 1 pound per week. I also dont see any iches coming off any suggestions on what i should do. :- ) - 8/9/2010   12:50:58 PM
    • 132
      Fantastic blog... with somer eminders i needed that yes, it is worth it.

      Thank you for posting this, i thoroughly enjoyed reading. - 8/2/2010   8:33:10 AM
    • 131
      Very nice blog so helpful,Keep up the good work! - 8/1/2010   3:57:33 PM
    • 130
      It is definitely worth it- 20lbs lost and my husband can pick me up easily. Another 10lbs and he'll have to do it more often :) - 7/29/2010   12:16:36 PM
    • 129
      "When you do feel good about yourself, the counting, tracking, and workouts will become easier." I agree! Very inspiring blog - thank you. - 7/26/2010   11:56:58 PM
    • 128
      The fact that The Spark promotes a well-rounded lifestyle, as you describe, is one of the keys to the program. The other thing I find is that when you see that scale shift or you see the clothing fit again it makes it all worthwhile. - 7/10/2010   10:17:07 AM
    • 127
      Thank you so much for the inspiration. So very good points.

      "Yes!!!!" - 6/23/2010   11:37:57 AM
    • 126
      How inspiring. Thank you.

      And to answer the question..."YES!!!" - 6/17/2010   2:27:54 AM
    • 125
      Thanks, some important insights in this blog for me. - 6/16/2010   9:12:11 PM
    • 124
      Thank you! I needed to be reminded to keep it simple and take it slow. Funny how we forget that and slide back to an 'all or nothing' attitude, thus sabotaging ourselves. Lately it's been 'nothing' for me, and I'm feelin' it! Thanks for guiding me back on track. :-) - 6/16/2010   12:10:25 AM
    • NJ_HOU
      123
      Thank you I needed to hear that one today and remember why i'm on this journey
      - 6/13/2010   8:25:55 PM
    • 122
      Loved your blog! I love that you say the scale isn't everything. I haven't lost much weight yet but I can already feel clothes fitting better. Looking forward to seeing what you write next! - 6/9/2010   12:41:48 PM
    • KING3248
      121
      Thanks for the great blog. You are very inspiring. I have just started the sparkpeople and I am enjoying reading and learning more and more. Your blog was the best I have read yet!!! Good luck and keep up the great work that you are doing. IT IS WORTH IT!!!!! - 6/9/2010   10:29:02 AM
    • 120
      Thanks so much for this blog. I am at the beginning of introducing necessary lifestyle changes into my life and the information was helpful and motivating. - 6/8/2010   11:22:46 AM
    • 119
      wow...girl...you just really inspired me....good job keep up the great work - 6/7/2010   7:01:50 PM
    • JANDREWS390
      118
      i just came out of one of those spirals.....i indugled for a week or two, so i did an overhaul and "started over" by buying new work out equpiment, ridding my cupboards of junk, getting all the fruit and veggies from the grocery store that have been missing for the last week....
      it's only the 2nd day of "getting back on track" but i have faith i can do it - 6/7/2010   12:02:12 PM
    • 117
      Great blog! Thanks for thanks for the thoughts! - 6/7/2010   6:08:57 AM
    • 116
      Great blog Thank you! - 6/6/2010   10:37:17 PM
    • SOLDIER2006
      115
      Exellent blog! I had to read it twice. It is very inspirational and a great source of encouragement to others. - 6/6/2010   7:09:50 PM
    • 114
      Thank you for being you and putting your words to paper. I cannot express to you how much this post means to me. - 6/6/2010   5:34:08 PM
    • 113
      This article is very inspirational. I have been working very hard to lose weight and have thought of losing weight by being obsessed by the scale. Now I realize that there are so many things that I am able to do and have been doing that I was not able to do before. Thank you so much for such an inspirational article. - 6/6/2010   4:03:40 PM
    • 112
      I am just about a fourth of the way of my total goal...but almost half of the way of my first goal. I already feel so much better. My friends keep encouraging me with...just think what it's going to be like in September, or December. I keep working hard and look forward to those months ahead.

      Another tip about eating out,,,bring home half for another meal. No one ever said you have to eat the whole thing at the restaurant.

      Thanks Indygirl. I have been watching you for quite a while and I have been motivated by you more than you know. - 6/6/2010   11:27:23 AM
    • VONNIE17
      111
      It is will worth I have been working at but had some meical problems that have waylayed me.now I am meating better agaain andgoing to therapy for my back .doing more exercise that they want me to do for my back.So hopefull I will be getting back on treack again.I have been here ready sparks people motivation andd your blog has kept me motivate too.Thanks for shareing this. - 6/6/2010   9:23:19 AM
    • 110
      Yes! indeed it is worth it. I hadn't really missed the donuts untill I read your first paragraph.... thanks. lol - 6/6/2010   8:18:20 AM
    • 109
      One of the best blogs I have read!!!!! - 6/6/2010   7:58:42 AM
    • 108
      What a great blog. You helped me to realize the only person I am cheating by not entering everything I eat is myself. I am fairly new to SP and it is a learning process. Tahnks so much
      - 6/5/2010   10:20:49 PM
    • 107
      Thank you for the wonderful blog, because this is exactly how I feel sometimes. I think back to the times when I ate what I wanted and didn't care. I miss being able to just eat and not care, but I do love how I look now and how physically active I am. I wouldn't change that at all. Thanks again:) - 6/5/2010   10:11:43 PM
    • 106
      We are all worth it. Every pound is a victory. Better health is the ultimate payoff. - 6/5/2010   8:06:53 PM
    • 105
      I just loved this blog!!! I had lost weight before on sparkpeople and decided to come back again for some more toning up and losing a few more pounds. At first I felt deprived when tracking, but I found the quicktrack to be better since I was rusty at all this tracking. Thanks for the tip of using one streak at a time until I get comfortable with it again. One thing that is new this time is that I love strength fitness. - 6/5/2010   5:43:29 PM
    • 104
      Sweetie, it's definitely worth it. You've accomplished incredible things and you look amazing! (You were always pretty, but now you really do look great!) Personally, I would say that the most significant thing that weight loss has done for you (aside from really improving your health situation) is that your husband can put his arms around you again. That would make me feel so great if I were in your shoes. So give yourself a really big hug for me and ALWAYS remember that it's worth it. - 6/5/2010   5:33:19 PM
    • 103
      I have questioned the effort and 'deprivation' required to change my life, but like you, I always come back to "yes it is worth it." I'm so happy to NOT be the largest person in every group, to feel some hard muscle in my thighs and abs, and to have to buy new clothes to fit my ever-shrinking body - I never will go back to treating my body poorly. It deserves at least the same care I give my car - the right fuel, the proper handling and maintenance, and the loving affection for how it gets me where I want to go! Great blog! - 6/5/2010   5:11:45 PM
    • 102
      Love this blog and will be passing it on to my family. I have been up and down with my weight my entire life. Sparkpeople has brought about a change in me how I think about food and exercise. I still mess up and eat badly but I know that I will have those days and I just have to start a new when those days occur. - 6/5/2010   5:08:09 PM
    • 101
      Yes, it is worth it. I now feel so much better and can do so much more. The tracking rally helps me stay in track. Could not do it without them. It is too easy to slip into bad habits. - 6/5/2010   3:35:34 PM
    • 100
      I have definitely questioned it in the past, but I always came up with YES as well. I would never have lost over 90 pounds without making some serious changes and realizing how much better I feel when I stick to them. - 6/5/2010   11:14:10 AM
    • 99
      Well, the workout has become part of my lifestyle. In the beginning, it was a matter of worth; in efforts of reaching for the "beloved" body transformation. Now, it has become MY extreme addiction! Something I crave which completes my mind, my body and my spirit. Cardio is needed, but I am sort of a strength training junkie. I lo...ve the music (plugged in my little ole' ears), the rush between sets and how I feel when the endorphines are released into my brain. The addiction is what keeps me focused and coming back for more. The worth of (a beautifully sculpted body) is now a secondary perque... Eating changes; I've learned the more fit you become, the less your body craves those sugary sweets. It's hard, I understand; but self-love has engaged me to eat the things my body needs and not surrender to the desires of my palate. And yes, on a few rare occasions I will "sometimes" indulge in perhaps 1/4th of one single donut : D - 6/5/2010   8:53:21 AM
    • 98
      Well, the workout has become part of my lifestyle. In the beginning, it was a matter of worth; in efforts of reaching for the "beloved" body transformation. Now, it has become MY extreme addiction! Something I crave which completes my mind, my body and my spirit. Cardio is needed, but I am sort of a strength training junkie. I lo...ve the music (plugged in my little ole' ears), the rush between sets and how I feel when the endorphines are released into my brain. The addiction is what keeps me focused and coming back for more. The worth of (a beautifully sculpted body) is now a secondary perque... Eating changes; I've learned the more fit you become, the less your body craves those sugary sweets. It's hard, I understand; but self-love has engaged me to eat the things my body needs and not surrender to the desires of my palate. And yes, on a few rare occasions I will "sometimes" indulge in perhaps 1/4th of one single donut : D - 6/5/2010   8:39:09 AM
    • JAY75REY
      97
      "If I must indulge, and there are those times, I have to enter it into my tracker. Sometimes I go over, and that is my choice... I donít starve myself to make up for my indulgence. See the reality and plan ahead or around it."

      Great rule! I use this one too and find it really helps me. I don't expect myself to be perfect or to turn down every temptation. But tracking it helps me see the reality and keep it from getting out of hand.

      Keep the faith! Yes, it is worth it. And so are you, Indygirl!




      - 6/5/2010   1:34:01 AM
    • 96
      I cant thank you enough for this blog today.. I think it was wrote so I would find it. I have been so overwhelmed with all this tracking and after you broke it down to doing a little at a time and it being ok, then adding when im ready made me really think and realize that I was trying to do to much for me to quick. thanks again - 6/4/2010   10:48:15 PM
    • 95
      Thank you for the reminder. For the last couple of months, I really wasn't thinking about how worth it it really is, and got way off track and gained back the few pounds I had lost. For the last few days I've felt really disgusted at my lack of progress, and today I finally got back into tracking and exercising, and reevaluating my goals. Your blog came at just the right time for me. Thank you for the inspiration. - 6/4/2010   10:38:33 PM
    • GAARAMA
      94
      Yes it is worth it and thank you for this blog - 6/4/2010   9:41:32 PM
    • ILENEJ
      93
      What a great inspiration for us. I needed this to reinforce what I have been trying to concentrate on doing this year. - 6/4/2010   9:18:25 PM
    • ETHELMERZ
      92
      Yes, it is all worth it. And yes, it's good to get out of the old fashioned "good" or "bad" behavior labels too, a person is not "good" or "bad", depending on if they over indulged or not. This lifestyle change takes time, and the longer it takes, the more likely it will "stick", so you don't have to keep going back to step 1. - 6/4/2010   9:09:47 PM
    • 91
      Timing is everything and this blog was such an appropriate one for me after being on holidays and having trouble getting back on the "Spark wagon" again. I really like the advice to use the Nutrition Quick Tracker - I've found that I don't have time to enter everything I eat, but this would encourage me to focus on the most important part of a good diet, which would automatically influence my other food choices in a positive way. - 6/4/2010   8:45:21 PM
    • 90
      What an awesome person you are! Thanks for inspiring me to continue changing my lifestyle! - 6/4/2010   8:28:12 PM
    • 89
      I tell myself: you've been down that road and you know where it leads. Then I simply reaffirm all the pros of my new, healthy approach to life. - 6/4/2010   8:08:15 PM
    • 88
      In my old life I would ask that question all the time. My answer was much like yours. I hated failure and I failed at all my "diets". In fact Beth I thought maybe you were reading my mail! LOL
      Keep up the good work Beth and I love reading your blogs! - 6/4/2010   5:04:17 PM
    • 87
      Amazing blog, and great advice for people new to this site, and well, even old-timer Sparkies like me. :) - 6/4/2010   4:13:02 PM
    • 86
      Thank you so much!! Right before reading this I "cheated" and had half a donut. It's not cheating on my caloric intake, because it doesn't put me over my range, BUT I wasn't going to track it. After reading this entry I realized that I DO need to track it and it will help me in the long run. So thanks again. I'm going to go track my donut now... - 6/4/2010   3:34:42 PM
    • 85
      Beth, once again you have reminded me why I love SP, and you are just so inspiring! Thank you so much, and yes, it IS worth it! Thanks friend! - 6/4/2010   3:23:11 PM

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