"You have been traveling around this mountain country long enough. Turn northward..." This quote is from Deuteronomy 2:3. It is referring to the Israelites who had been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and rebellion against God. The time had finally come for them to move forward and make their final entrance into the land God had promised to give them. That's basically where I feel I am right now.
I joined SP in July of 2007. I had just lost 10 pounds. This was just the beginning of my journey and I knew that I would need help and support to continue towards the 40 more I needed to lose. When I found SP I knew it was an answer to my prayer for a supportive community. The teams I have joined and friends I have made have been extremely encouraging and supportive over the years.
The end of May 2009 I was within six pounds of reaching my goal weight. I began to waiver so that my weight fluctuated rather than steadily going down as before. By the end of that year I was down again needing to loss only another 7 pounds. Since that time I have gone back and forth, up and down, not attaining the consistent decline I had when I started, yet never giving up.
I have learned a lot in my years of wandering. I know how to make better eating choices. I know how to balance my eating so that my body benefits and receives the nutrition it needs. I improved my workouts and can actually say that I have become a runner. I have completed several 5Ks, 10Ks, and two half-marathons. This past year I have become consistent with including strength training in my weekly workouts.
Having learned so much and applied so many new and good habits, why am I still "wandering"? Because I still enjoy eating. Like the Israelites who often grumbled and wished that they were back in Egypt where the "good tasting" food was, there are still many times I wish for the greasy, fatty, "good tasting" food. To go back to Egypt would have meant going back to a very hard life of slavery for Israel. For me to go back to the greasy, fatty, "good tasting" food would take away the physical freedoms and strengths my body has gained and the things I can achieve because of those freedoms. I do not want to go back to being enslaved because of being overweight. And actually, those types of food simply do not taste as good as I remember them tasting.
I am weary of "traveling around this mountain country long enough." It's time to declare the end of my wanderings and make a steady path to "turn northward". It's time to get focused on reaching the maintenance goal I have dreamed about for so long. It's time to return to the basics that helped me as I started this journey. This time I also have the knowledge I have gained over the past several years along with the new habits I have begun putting into practice.
Basics for me includes water, nutrition, and fitness. I carry my water bottle around with me all of the time so that I usually get 6-8 glasses a day. Fitness is part of my regular schedule 4-6 days a week. Eating is my weakness. To "turn northward" I need to plan my meals ahead and journal any changes that I may make throughout the day so that my tracking is accurate.
Instead of watching my scale during the process, for me it is best to watch my calorie deficit report. This tells me if I am staying true to my plan. Typically, to reach a total of -3500 calorie deficit means the loss of one pound. So my first goal is to reach the -3500 total by July 12. To attain that number by then will tell me that I have been staying with my plan and I am successful, no matter what the scale may say. Then I will set my sights on the next -3500 calorie deficit date. Each time I reach that deficit will get me one step closer to reaching my goal.
I'm not sure how long the rest of this journey is for me. My focus for now is to stay with the plan one step, one day at a time. I know that this will not be easy and that there will be challenging moments ahead. There always is. That's just part of the process, part of learning, part of strengthen new habits.
There were battles for Israel to fight as they made their final entrance into Canaan and there are still battles ahead for me as I head towards my final goal. By God's grace, with His strength and help, I will finish my wandering, face those battles, and "turn northward".
"In conclusion, strengthen yourselves in the Lord and in the power which His supreme might imparts." Ephesians 6: 10.
Ever pressing on to be consistently persistent/persistently consistent