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Ultimate Weight Loss--It's Not What You Think

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/1/2012 2:00 PM   :  64 comments   :  12,196 Views

For me, this is so much more than simply losing weight. I didn’t get to be 170 pounds overweight because all was right in my world. What pushed me to the point where I woke up one day and found a 385-pound man staring back in the mirror?
 
I sometimes think that the continued popularity of fad diets, quick-fix weight solutions in spite of their dismal track record is simply because it focuses on the symptoms rather than the root cause. These quick-fix, knee-jerk solutions exploit the panic that people feel when they are confronted by their condition.  Dealing with the root causes requires digging deep and peeling back painful layers of truth until an answer is unearthed. Unraveling knots is a tedious process.
 
I believe the path to ultimate success for me isn’t in some mystic root or berry found in a remote part of the world or some new fad fitness routine that will magically melt off pounds. How about the latest gizmo that will flatten your problem areas with just a few minutes a day? If the diet and gizmo industry had the solution, why would obesity still be such an issue?
 
Before I continue, let's focus on the word ultimate, which I used when describing success. Let me define. The word ultimate can be used in a sense that states that the success that you experience will be unparalleled in its greatness, but that is not the application here. ‘Ultimate’ defined in my statement “ultimate success” is the sum total of all your efforts, the final outcome, where you will finally wind up. In my journey I have lost a lot of skirmishes with my eating addictions yet I have managed to lose more than 100 pounds and keep it off in spite of my failings. My success was ultimately determined by my overall commitment to the ultimate end of reclaiming my life, not in day to day perfection in routine.
 
So where does the path to ultimate success lie? For me, I found it in identifying the hotspots in my life. Like a firefighter, I have put out a wildfire that threatened to consume my very existence. I have endured, fought and continued to fight the good fight; however, underneath the ashes lie hotspots. Hotspots that threaten to re-ignite with a vengeance. The fire could burn again and all my hard work would be lost.
 
I have found that if I do not address the forces that influenced me to get to such an unhealthy place, I will soon find myself back there again.
 
My hotspot. 
 
I am an emotional eater. I have issues that stem far back into my formative years. Issues that linger like a bad dream, ever present, always haunting. The process of uncovering what drives me has been liberating. The first rule of combat is to know thy enemy. The low self-esteem that I struggle with can be crippling at times. However, by setting and keeping small goals as promoted on SparkPeople, I believe in myself, that I am capable, that there is a strong man underneath the weakness.
 
In making and keeping small goals, faith builds. One thing that seems so common with so many of us is that our minds, over time, have been pre-programmed for failure. We have been tossed around by the yo-yo so many times that we no longer believe it is possible to change things. Yet something still is never extinguished, hope against hope, yearning for change, refusing to believe that the yo-yo is all there is. Our rational mind needs evidence to support belief. If the only thing that we can relate to is the never-ending cycle of failure, then it is difficult to believe that one more try is going to produce results. When we make and keep small commitments, a little here, a little there, slowly each small success builds upon another. Eventually faith and momentum begin to build and success is the ultimate result.
 
It has been a slow process, but each goal reached brings about a little more healing. I will always have to work to control emotional eating, but now I know that there is more to life than plunking down on the couch after work and eating my cares away. Every mile I run replaces defeat with a sense of personal accomplishment.  This journey is going to last this time. No more stop-and-start, just small, consistent steps leading to a better life.
 
Which definition of "ultimate" do you embrace in your healthy living journey?


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Comments

  • 14
    Thank you for putting this so eloquently. I have been feeling the momentum build as the little victories add up, but I had not yet been able to put into words what the feeling was, and why it seemed to be so different for me this time. I have tried many times to get on the right path, but as you said, in the past I became crippled by the failures instead of focusing on the small triumphs. And my hotspots were largely ignored--which, of course, does not make them go away. They would lie in wait for me, for any moment of weakness, waiting to drag me back down again.

    This time, I am tracking it on sparkpeople--where I can track the small goals, and feel a little pride every time I drink enough water for the day or write in my stress journal, etc. When I look back on my day, it is clear that even if there were a few less than perfect moments, the successes GREATLY outweigh the "failures," and that my goals ARE attainable if I just keep taking it one babystep at a time. - 2/1/2012   5:11:33 PM
  • 13
    Such great words of wisdom - 2/1/2012   4:23:24 PM
  • 12
    Well said, sir! And I absolutely agree with, "In making and keeping small goals, faith builds." You are absolutely right to remind us all that sometimes we need to dig a little deeper in an emotional and mental sense to discover what's really holding us back. Thank you! - 2/1/2012   4:14:26 PM
  • MICKI25
    11
    I completely understand! I don't have the confidence I can do this again (lose weight which has been lost before, but now have more to lose) because of my past failures. Thanks for reminding me it is not about being perfect day to day but winning the journey! - 2/1/2012   4:05:53 PM
  • 10
    I really needed to read this article today. This hit home in so many ways. Thank you for saying this and saying it so well. I am finally at the place in my life I am willing to dig deep to find the reason(s) I am fat and have always been fat. I am on a journey -- day-by-day -- to make a change. Thanks for the encouragement! - 2/1/2012   4:01:59 PM
  • KAIZENLADY
    9
    Thank you so much for sharing! I find your blog inspiring and helpful. Thank you! - 2/1/2012   3:54:05 PM
  • 8
    What a great blog thanks for sharing! Such true words. - 2/1/2012   3:53:29 PM
  • 7
    This is a well written very poignant article. I am in total agreement with the writer - each day is a journey and I may not be perfect day to day but it is teh consistency that matters and where I have failed in times past. I refuse to be that way any longer small changes over a course of time is my motto. Thank you for the inspiration and the spark! - 2/1/2012   3:41:03 PM
  • DONNA088
    6
    Well said! - 2/1/2012   3:09:43 PM
  • DULCIA
    5
    This was a beautifully written article. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there so others can benefit.
    - 2/1/2012   3:09:23 PM
  • 4
    Very well written. Congrats on your weightloss, and also on your maintenance. As a fellow maintainer, I know how much work that is so thumbs up for that. - 2/1/2012   3:04:32 PM
  • SEPTLEFTY
    3
    I really lke this - 2/1/2012   2:24:47 PM
  • 2
    Thank you so much for posting this! I can really identify with your hot spot analogy. That's exactly what it feels like for me! I feel like I keep putting out the same fires - over and over again. But each time I do, they become smaller and a little less likely to come back. Congratulations on your success! It has inspired me! - 2/1/2012   2:23:47 PM
  • 1
    The words written here are so true for me. You are awesome and inspiring and make me want to work even harder. Thank you! - 2/1/2012   2:10:00 PM

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