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12/15/13 2:37 A

Stay committed. I think that if I had stayed on track with a healthy lifestyle and exercised and eaten healthy for its own sake, I wouldn't be in this position now where I regained all the weight I lost.

THEVOW2013 SparkPoints: (75,656)
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12/14/13 3:25 P

I have slowly changed my life thru persistent change and no fail mindset
I am willing to learn new things to that end and learn from others!

JENJENN7 Posts: 377
12/14/13 2:18 P

This is a great thread. It is so good to read how others stay on track! I think I will reread this from time to time, especially in low moments!

For right now I am focused on exercise and tracking, and reading motivational/success stories to keep me on track!

WWREFUGEE1942 SparkPoints: (77,353)
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12/13/13 11:58 P

I agree that this is a gradual building up of health, surpassing what I have ever enjoyed. Along the journey I meet and overcome obstacles that have been limiting me since childhood. I use more and more support systems to help me. Recently a doctor prescribed physical therapy for my shoulder (calcific tendonitis." The therpist is correcting a lifetime of slouching. I sure hope I can come up to the challenge and start standing up straight and strong.

MAKBABE SparkPoints: (48,309)
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12/13/13 11:30 P

This for me is a journey of becoming healthier, not so some sprint to a finish line. Each small change is putting on foot in front of the other, and soon those changes add up to a healthier me!

12/13/13 9:10 A

I loved this analogy from Lcervera "If you are making a cake and you accidentally drop one egg on the floor, do you then purposely drop the rest of the dozen?" I had just been thinking about the same issue except my analogy was about holes and continuing to dig when you find yourself in one!

One thing that has really helped me is going through my tracked food and noticing patterns and just exactly what the benefits are with each food item. I've been giving myself mini-challenges to improve my eating habits whenever I find something I want to work on. For example I noticed that when I first started tracking I wasn't eating enough protein, so that was my first challenge upping my protein intake.

Then I added fibre to my tracker and that day I had oatmeal for breakfast and quinoa something for lunch and I wasn't nearly half way to how much I should have been, but that helped me rethink my understanding of fibre as whole grains and bran and figure out small ways I could add a bit here and there. The next thing was magnesium when I just happened to look at a do you have a magnesium deficiency checklist and realized wait a minute I have all of those things! Suddenly all of these little things that were making me miserable coalesced into something I could recognize and fight. And at the moment I'm working on upping my veggie intake.

I think for me really using the food tracker beyond just for the calorie range and in terms of carbs/fats/proteins has really helped me to see what foods are helping me and what foods aren't. It has helped me learn how to have a balanced diet of delicious and filling foods rather than eating junky type foods with little value or trying to get all of my nutrients from one thing.

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
12/13/13 3:28 A

One of the issues, I believe is that you are changing the habits of a life time. A habit is just repetitive actions. Once those actions have formed into a habit it can be very difficult to break. So long haul losing so to speak is re-learning a habit.. The conflict arises when an old behaviour occurs and the two conflict. So for me as an example, eating candy when stressed conflict with the watching my calories and exercise. If a conscious effort is not made to not repeat, the more ingrained habit wins over. So long haul losing is truly important because it retrains the behaviour and it becomes easier to choose healthy over not healthy.

RESCU82 SparkPoints: (37,217)
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12/12/13 10:50 A

I gained the extra fifty pounds over 10 years. If it takes me 2 or 3 to get it off I'm ok with that cause it will probably stay gone. I'd love to just drop it and be done with it but I'm sure I'd get lazy and it'd return. Laziness is how I let myself get to this point and slow steady activity/habit changes is how I'm going back to my smaller healthier self. I want to get my BP under control and avoid the strokes/diabetes/heart attacks of my grandparents. I'd also like to be the "hot blonde" that my husband already sees. I love that he can see the "old me" (one he has not even met) in the "current me". Does that make sense? I'm slowly returning to the me I know and love, the one I buried years ago when life threw me a curve ball that knocked me on my butt.

ACACIA21 SparkPoints: (83,448)
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12/12/13 7:51 A

everyone talks about it not being a DIET, but rather a lifestyle change. It is really true. It may take years to totally change old habits and develop new ones, and I have done my share of backsliding. With all I have learned about my body, there is much more to be discovered. It is a slow forever process that has its ups and downs. I know that WHEN I DON'T GET ON THE SCALE THAT I AM IN DENIAL. Sometimes this I can ignore for a time, but then my clothes get too tight and I cant ignore it any longer. Feeling better is its own motivation. ♥

IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 19,577
12/11/13 2:47 A

I just read all the way through this tread and found so much wonderful I usually do here on SP!! I agree with almost all of it and have copied some to post around the house for added motivation. I've been here for 6 months and the tracking is the most important part for me...also the Mindful Eating Challenge really helped me figure out how to cut out the junk and the eat the whole bag habits. The food and fitness trackers keep me honest with myself and that's the only person I have to blame or praise for each day!! Ultimately I AM RESPONSIBLE!! And I'm also in it for the long haul!!

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
12/10/13 11:38 A

You are so correct.

YESICAN150 SparkPoints: (12,626)
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12/10/13 10:52 A

That thought is really helpful. I let the scale number effect my spirits, when I am on plan. When I am off plan I avoid the scale for about 30 pounds before pulling myself together and being what I am called to be..healthy happy and sharing!

HHUGHES71 SparkPoints: (104,324)
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12/10/13 10:44 A

Getting healthy is a marathon and not a sprint. The weight didn't come on over night and it won't come off over night. When the number on the scale doesn't look like I want it to, I remind myself that I look and feel better and that my clothes are getting to be too big.

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
12/10/13 10:22 A

How often we forget to "Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added", we try to do it on our own. This is why I like Sparks because we get reminded where our strength truly comes from.

PDAN04 SparkPoints: (21,346)
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12/10/13 9:58 A

The all or nothing attitude is definitely a killer. What happened to me was the realization that on my own I couldn't make any lasting changes even though I knew what to do. I asked God to help me and it made all the difference!

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
12/10/13 9:01 A

I enjoyed reading all the threads but for me, it is a one day at the time mentality. There are days when my mood says, "you can do this" and I am so okay and then there are days when I take on the attitude of "why am I trying so hard?" and may fall off the wagon for a day. One of the members said it best when she used the analogy of the breaking of one egg. We cannot throw the baby out with the wash, so you made a mistake, keep a strong attitude and move forward. Sparks is a great place to go for motivation from the members.

HEIDI777 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/9/13 11:55 A

Wow, what a great thread!! I sat here with a cup of coffee and read every message and there was not one reply that did not remind me of why Spark People has to become a part of our lives. I started here years ago and never got involved, then fell off the cliff...stayed away months..years.. Recently when I needed help and was ready to go on my journey to find a healthier lifestyle I knew where to go and I think that is important. Knowing that Spark People is here 24/7 for anyone and that it is free! I know we all hear that those that get involved in the site are 50% more likely to reach your goals. I know with me sometime life gets in the way and I don't make time to get involved. Then I stop and think what is my has to be taking care of me first and I am working at getting involved...I am still slow at it but I try to take a baby step each day and hopefully with the support of wonderful Spark Friends we can all can make baby steps towards are goals!!

12/9/13 8:19 A

Great points made here! Thanks!
I would say for me, the difference this time and why I've been able to maintain is that A. I found a plan on which I am not hungry and B. I finally lost my "all or nothing" mentality. A friend put it well the other day. If you are making a cake and you accidentally drop one egg on the floor, do you then purposely drop the rest of the dozen? No! So if I go off track in my eating at one point in the day, that doesn't mean I should say "What the heck, the day is ruined so I might as well just start over tomorrow (and thus pig out the rest of today!)
Have a great day, everyone!

ANDROMEDA1967 Posts: 4,585
12/8/13 7:01 A

lots of great ideas that I intend to help me get back on track! Thanks everyone!

BRENDAB49 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/7/13 9:47 P

I am going to jump in and say that everything that is said are good sounding boards for those of us that want to keep the pounds off. I agree with them all and I am going to follow thiem. These things are in my head and these are things that I know.

Just remember to stay true to yourself and if you make a mistake don't dwell on it, correct it and move forward. Life is too short. Go for the gusto because it can be done. Continue on is my phrase because I don't want to stop.

I.M.MAGIC Posts: 13,165
12/7/13 10:25 A

LOVEXAVIE, I love the little list of tips you made--well said!

I've copied it for a personal reminder... emoticon

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/6/13 12:44 A

Biggest thing that I have learned from my own experience: Every day is a fresh start. If you have a bad day, focus your efforts on doing well the next day.

Biggest thing that I have learned from other people on this site: If you are not willing to change and be open to new ideas, then you will never see any change on the scale.

Edited by: AZULVIOLETA6 at: 12/6/2013 (00:45)
TLB1630 SparkPoints: (44,671)
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12/5/13 11:31 P

WOW - JUNKDRAWER - emoticon great post & great ideas. So good I printed them for a reminder for myself emoticon emoticon emoticon

GENRE009 SparkPoints: (33,687)
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12/5/13 11:08 P

load up on low carbs vegetables when you need to bing.

JUNKDRAWER Posts: 1,253
12/5/13 12:30 P

Such great responses!
Learning to cope with anxiety and stress through journaling or activity instead of running to the fridge has made a huge difference.

Learning to stop eating when I feel full, which is happening at smaller amounts of food than I am used to. Mentally adjusting to new habits of smaller portions being enough instead of the portions and second helpings I used to eat all the time.

Knowing that a couple bites of something is enough. I don't have to eat the whole serving or whole container of something.

When I'm getting down, go back and look at where I used to be. Re-read journal entries, look at what weights I used to be. Compare clothing fits and pictures of the "was" and the "now".

Doing something I can do every day. Not relying on a fad diet, medication, pre-made plans, but adjusting my own lifestyle and choices to something that both my family and I can do on a daily basis.

If I want something normally 'off limits' to make space for it.

Making something forbidden makes the temptation so much worse. Better to adjust the feelings of need and my approach to it than to ban it all together.

When I fall of the train, it doesn't have to be all or nothing, it can be backing off a little and then deciding to kick it back up a notch. Just don't give up all together.

Remind myself that I could give up and go back to all that, but I really don't want to be "that" again.

SIMPLYME80 Posts: 406
12/5/13 9:54 A

For the long haul, start small. Jumping in headfirst will get you in trouble from the start! If you are like I was, you simply eat to much food including junk. Your body is used to this so food comsumption will need to be Gradually reduced, no doing so will leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied, setting you up for failure from the beginning. As you gradually reduce the amount of food you eat, your body will become used to eating less, then reduce amount of food again by a small amount. Yes, you can eat everything, although not as much. Small steps, eating about the same time everyday and scheduled snack time -not just picking something to put in your mouth for whatever reason. You don't need any special "diet foods, " fadish, promotional food promising good health/weight loss, or herbal supplements-or weigh/measure your food unless you are on a doctors plan for medical reasons. This become boring fast during the long haul everyday, but it is good temporarly to be made aware of portion size. Portion size is Not One Size Fits All-depending on your height, activity level, lifestyle. and job some people require more or less calories per day-not getting enough will leave you feeling tired and drained. Your body will need at time to adjust to a lower weight, so Never be discouraged if the scale don't budge for a week or so. Stay on track. Even if your not big on exercise or limited, do some type of physical activity every day, gradually add more as time goes by, Start small if your not used to exercise. This one is a little difficult, Stay Motivated! Be proud of every lb lost! The long haul will be full of ups and downs. Never Fall for advertisments for weight loss pills-if they worked for real, why is there Always a new one making the same promise every few months?! Eating healthier does Not mean you have to eat a salad everyday, or eat foods your not used to, its about regular unsupersized meals! Yes you can have a burger, NOT a triple with extra sauce and cheese- Pizza delivery is fine, stay with thin crust and veggies in place of high fat meats, extra cheese, or go easy on the pepperoni. Denying yourself or over restricting can lead to failure or binge. Everything you choose, in moderation. This is what been working for me, but everyone is different.

Edited by: SIMPLYME80 at: 12/5/2013 (09:59)
DPRYER SparkPoints: (3,565)
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12/5/13 9:37 A

loved everything you had to say! Especially this

Losing weight is more about what you eat vs exercise. Exercise keeps us fit and is important on so many levels, but you cannot - repeat, cannot - out exercise a poor diet. Accept that and things will go smoother for you.

ELORA101 Posts: 427
12/5/13 8:19 A

I love this topic! For me, it is all about changing my relationship with food and not "dieting." When dieting, I used to think "when I lose enough, I will eat that big ole piece of cake." Now, I eat a small piece of cake when I want it, so long as I have enough calories left.

And, people used to tell me all the time that it was about health, not appearance. That never meant anything to me until I had a major health scare. It woke me up. Even if I didn't feel badly at 85 pounds overweight, I was heading towards problems later in life that I just don't want to have.

So food is my delicious fuel, and I take delight in making healthy taste awesome. It makes the effort to lose so much more enjoyable!

SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (535,067)
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12/4/13 10:58 P

One of the major keys to success is to keep moving forward on the journey, making the best of the detours and interruptions, turning adversity into advantage. emoticon emoticon

SAMMI-SAM SparkPoints: (26,311)
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12/4/13 9:08 P

great post. I get inspired reading the reply's-

EARTH-ANGEL Posts: 310
12/4/13 7:40 P

To make a long story short...patience!

SHOOPETTE SparkPoints: (0)
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12/4/13 11:26 A

I had to loose the all or nothing attitude, it's the only way to go!

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,809)
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12/4/13 11:05 A

1. Never "diet" ever again! I now "get" what everyone means when they say "lifestyle." That word, "lifestyle" used to irk me, as I thought people meant I had to endure a "lifestyle" of deprivation.
Oh SO not true!!!
If it's truly a lifestyle, nothing is off limits!

2. Weigh your food. Hey - if I was so great at portion control, I wouldn't be here in the first place! Weighing food allows me to accurately count calories and stay on track.

3. Eat 7-9 servings of veggies and fruit a DAY. This has, without a doubt, been the best thing that has lead to the most weight lost and the easiest time doing it. Even if I am having a day where I'm not counting calories, I get in that bag of veggies even if I have nothing else in terms of fruits & veggies that day. As long as I eat that bag, I've got 5-7 servings of veggies done & crossed off my list. It has enabled me to eat over my calorie range with little effect.
I'm telling you, they are magic! Who knew??

4. Losing weight is more about what you eat vs exercise. Exercise keeps us fit and is important on so many levels, but you cannot - repeat, cannot - out exercise a poor diet. Accept that and things will go smoother for you.

5. Don't do anything you can't keep up for the long haul. I walk /jog 2.4mi every AM. That's doable. I work out at the gym, lifting hard, about once a week. Doable. I don't kill myself w/ a routine I can't envision doing long term.

6. If you're miserable, you're doing it wrong. Things will just flow better when you are at this correctly. Losing weight is simply a by product of living healthfully.

7. Progress, not perfection. There IS no such thing as perfection, so don't even try! We are human; we will have better days and not-so-better days. Say, "Oh well!" and move on. Stat. Don't beat yourself up - it does zero to help you.
How freeing is that??

Edited by: LOVEXAVIE at: 12/4/2013 (23:59)
12/4/13 10:19 A

Such a great topic! Although I haven't been successful lately with weight loss, I'm still making healthier choices. I think the most important thing is to make it a lifestyle change and put health first, weight loss second. That way every all change is a success and keeps you more motivated.

TRAVELGIRL80 SparkPoints: (3,948)
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12/3/13 8:31 P

This is a fantastic topic and I so appreciate people's thoughtful responses so far!

I am also trying to make a slower, but more committed change in my lifestyle and loved hearing the strong support for that method. Particularly to the comment about re-learning hunger signals! So true!

I'd add that there's a lot of self-acceptance involved too and self-acknowledgement. It's hard sometimes to read about people who lose really quickly because that's so appealing. So I often have to take a moment to reflect on what I need to make this work for the long haul for me/not for them. Where I really am, and where I want to be going.

MAMAJAHMAI Posts: 1,310
12/3/13 7:07 P

Consistency is KEY-That means don't over process it, just DO it. Get into the habit of seeing yourself successful and powerful. Dig in HARD, dig in prepared for the winds of life to come at you -but never forget you are worth your own fight.

I 've been going to the gym steady for the last 3 years. Some days, I'm tired, kids are sick, husband busy ....I have (by the Grace of God) built my own furnace of motivation, and to keep the fires hot and bright by any and all means- I sing aloud at the gym, pat my own back,I've cried, laughed, I dream of smaller clothing sizes, I ask God to keep me, --I have learned to fight for my life. Because honestly it is a fight. NOBODY can fight for you, but everybody gets to enjoy the victories you will accomplish.

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
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12/3/13 4:20 P

It's not gaining it back that's the key. I go for months without losing, and I am ok with that, because it's just practice at maintenance. I don't really care how long it takes me to lose, because I know that I am making permanent, sustainable changes in my life. I refuse to do anything to lose weight that I am not willing to commit to as a lifestyle choice, so no cutting out whole groups of food, no fad diets, nothing I cannot live with forever.

KDYLOSE Posts: 1,626
12/3/13 2:03 P

This is a good topic. I've learned that over a long period of time my motivation is going to come and go, and I can't always count on it to be there. But when it's not there, that doesn't mean I have to gain back what I've worked so hard to lose. I can go into maintenance mode and tell myself it's okay to stay at the weight I'm at until I'm ready to really work at it again.

FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (28,931)
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12/3/13 1:29 P

For me it was relearning hunger signals. I don't count anything and I lose rather slowly but I'm finding myself able to keep it off. I've lost 8lbs so far and kept it off through Thanksgiving (and trust me I did not restrict myself on that day at all). It may take me ten years to lose all fifty pounds but it took me about that long to put them on so I'm OK with that.

HOLALOLA SparkPoints: (32,919)
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12/3/13 12:08 P

I've been on SP for four and a half years. I'm maintaining but there are always ups (it stays off easily when I eat whole foods and avoid dessert) and downs (birthdays--so much cake!) and you just have to keep at it. Now I have an injury and can't exercise much and I'm worried about the holidays. I don't usually track food when I'm in maintenance but I'm going back to it now to make sure I don't gain too much until my injury is healed.

12/3/13 11:44 A

Your in this for the long haul there's gonna b mistakes made. Dont give up this is life don't let one bad day ruin months of hard work just forget about it n move on.lessons learbed r good just don't BBC let one slip up lead to weeks of bad decisions I almost did that n its not worth it.

RESCU82 SparkPoints: (37,217)
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12/3/13 10:05 A

For me it's portion control and 15 min (at least....almost always becomes an hour) of good effort exercise a day. I'm 29 pounds down and very happy about it It's taken me 7 months to do it (but had emergency surgery in August, so I got off track a bit but didn't gain).

MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (228,267)
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12/3/13 9:56 A

Portion control. You really CAN eat everything....but some things, only one bite. I eat one or two ounces of ice cream every day...with a BABY SPOON! It feels like a whole portion, but it's NOT. I cut a pie into 16 slices. Love the flavor, lose the calories!

SHEDEVIL6464 Posts: 199
12/3/13 9:44 A

I am just getting started on my journey(AGAIN) and all of these posts were helpful to me. I know that I have a very long road ahead, but I will take all of your wise words with me. I wish all of you the best on your journey.

SUSAN727 Posts: 1,880
12/3/13 8:55 A

I have a long way to go but I try not to focus on the long haul by chopping my weight loss into increments, mostly in 10 pound increments. I don't really deny myself but I'm trying to focus on fitness more than anything. I'm trying to change 1 or 2 things in my life, to get good at those things then I attempt to change something else.

Best wishes to everyone on this journey!


STARDUST2K4 Posts: 1,376
12/3/13 2:58 A

It has been four years since I changed my lifestyle. Weight loss wise, it's been a slow process, The thing that I've learned is that if you can't see yourself living with changes for the rest of your life, then it's not worth doing.

If you eat over calorie range, or stop exercising for a period of time, GET BACK ON IT the following day! Don't wait! The longer you wait, the harder it will be.

Most importantly, love yourself! Appreciate yourself and let that be the motivation to keep going.
Do this for yourself, and no one else.
I too go through cycles where I'm not motivated, usually I tend to lose steam when I stop tracking.

Even though my weight has fluctuated, my "highest weight" is always less than what it used to be. I haven't been over 300 pounds since 2010 (my starting weight was 330 pounds).

Even through times when I wasn't motivated, the one thing I have been consistent with is exercise. Even when I'm eating poorly, and not tracking, I still exercise. That's probably why I haven't gained back all the weight in spite of poor eating habits during times of stress (and addiction x.x). Fitness has become my life.
Find something-anything! Drinking 8 cups of water, or going for a walk, that you can do consistently for the rest of your life.

You can do it!

CANADIANHEATHER SparkPoints: (9,541)
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12/2/13 11:24 P

Next week will be the three month mark for me, and almost 30 lbs down. It's the longest consistent effort I have ever made.

Tracking has just become a habit - I feel lost if I don't have my Spark handy to do my tracking, and I think it is the magic key for me. When I see it in front of me, good or bad, I can't pretend it didn't happen. At the same time, it also makes me remember that I have good days and bad days, and as long as the good outweigh the bad, I am headed in the right direction!

It took me 30 years to gain it, so I can't expect to lose it overnight!

JENJENN7 Posts: 377
12/2/13 10:43 P

For the long haul I've learned that I can manage 10 minutes of exercise psychologically when I feel like I don't want to do anything. Usually I am able to do more, but if not, I can still manage 10 minutes.
With food, I make myself weigh and measure and chart even if I am going to eat something totally sweet or off the chart. It makes me accountable.
It's taking small steps consistently.

FEDGIRL4 Posts: 2,180
12/2/13 2:23 P

For long haul losing, I've learned:

1. It is a life style change
2. It is noone else's fault and noone else's victory
3. Each victory is important, no matter how small or insignificant it seems
4. If you eat something bad or don't exercise, pick yourself up and keep going

JUNKDRAWER Posts: 1,253
12/1/13 10:03 P

I've been at this for 6 months and know that I have at least that long if not longer to go to reach my goals. This is the longest and the most I've accomplished losing in my life and I know this battle is far from over.

I've learned that I go through cycles of hard core efforts and times where emotionally and physically I back off for a while. Through it all I've learned that I need to keep finding ways to dig in and keep going.

What lessons have you learned over the process of your long haul journey of progress toward your goals?

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