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WILLOWBROOK5
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A destination AND a journey

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I think many of us seek a balance when we are working to lose or maintain weight. On the one hand, we have a goal, or often several goals in mind. We want to get to a certain weight, figure out how to maintain that weight, get into a certain size, improve our health, increase our fitness, etc. While working towards these goals, we can become very single minded and driven. We might ask ourselves, when do we get a chance to smell the roses? Sometimes, we might think that we’ll just need to smell them later, once we have accomplished what we set out to do. However, I firmly believe we can both smell the roses AND work towards a healthier life.

We can get very caught up in the “destination” of reaching a certain weight or type of appearance. When that destination is a long way off, we may easily get frustrated or feel like we are deprived. For me, it was very important during all those months and months of losing weight to concentrate mainly on the journey (smelling the roses) and less on the destination (weight or how my body looks).

One thing I know. I can smell a whole lot more roses with improved health and fitness. My profile photo? That is big time rose smelling right there. When I started taking my dog to the beach in 2010, I never walked far. Between my worse knee (they are both bad) acting up and being so out of shape, walking in the sand for any length of time was an ordeal, never mind that dune I had to climb up on the way to the parking lot. This past summer, I got to the beach every week and enjoyed long walks beach combing and drinking in the serenity. The dune I once dreaded and climbed up gasping and needing to pause for breath, doesn't phase me any more. I enjoy doing so many things that two years ago I wouldn't even try.

What I can't do is eat the way I used to, but that is ok. I had decades to misuse food and mistreat my body. I still enjoy food. That is just part of my makeup, but I can't afford to use food as a drug to numb and comfort myself any more. Those days are over. I don't want to die early because food was more important to me than my health. I don't want to become incapacitated by illness and pain because of misusing food and not taking care of myself. I literally would never treat my dogs the way I have treated myself in the past. Those days need to be over. I am worth at least as much as my dogs!

It was important for me to let go of trying to find a perfect weight or a perfect body. Because that doesn't exist. Trying to achieve perfection is a trap so many of us can fall into. It usually leads to disappointment, frustration, a sense of failure and hopelessness. And those feelings pave the way to giving up and going back to old, destructive patterns. My body is way, way far from perfect, especially after years of how I took care of it, but it is doing so much better than it was two years ago. It is doing better than it was even 2 months ago and that is very exciting to me.

I could catalog all my body's faults and short-comings, of which there are many. However, I've come to love my body because I need it to get around in this world. It is all I have while I'm here. So instead, I concentrate on all my body's strengths and good points, of which there are many. My body and mind may not always talk the same language (the whole Intuitive Eating thing is not something I would tackle at this stage), but we are a team and need to work together.

To me, weight loss and maintenance are complicated, many faceted, sometimes challenging, and sometimes exciting. Maybe it really is simple (calories in, calories out), but simple doesn't necessarily equate to easy. Still, for me the journey and destination are so worth the long haul, the extra effort, and the commitment. Our life is a gift. Our body is a gift. In this season of gift giving, I say we should treasure these gifts and take great care of them. Let's enjoy and value both our journeys and our destinations, smelling the roses all along the way.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SADWHITEWOLF
    Balance has been on my mind alor lately. Thank you for sharing your insights on the subject!
    1381 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    What an insightful blog! I think once we get to LOVE our bodies, the whole journey takes on new meaning and you will experience more success. Simply for the reason you stated, because we're not chasing perfection, but rather learning to treat our body healthfully!

    HUGS and thank you for sharing your insights.
    1382 days ago
  • LJR4HEALTH
    Great post Thanks for the reminder to enjoy ourselves along the way and not get caught up with the "Are we there yet?" thinking
    1382 days ago
  • MKELLY72
    Nicely written blog. It's so important to internalize the concepts that you have discussed in order to reach the destination and to maintain it too. Enjoying the journey was something that I had never done on any other attempt toward a healthy weight until my most recent leg of my journey, and voila...this time, successful. That cannot be coincidence when so many other successful maintainers (many of which have lost a great deal of weight) have similar stories to tell.
    Michelle
    1382 days ago
  • TINAJANE76
    Love this and the idea of maintenance being both a destination and a continuation of our journeys. I'm with 'ya for the ride!
    1383 days ago
  • STHOMAS1009
    You really are such an inspiration!
    1383 days ago
  • LIVINGLOVINLIFE
    Another well written article and so true. My main goal is to be healthy that entails losing weight, eatting healthy and being able to physically do the things I want. I do believe in smelling the roses along the way because that is what life is about. Every day is ours for the taking to do with as we wish. We must make the decision on what we will do with our body and our life.
    1383 days ago
  • MOM_VICKI
    Once again, as I read your blog, I can so relate! Thanks for putting in the time to share your thoughts.
    1383 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Great blog. We need to enjoy our bodies and our lives. They are both gifts. emoticon
    1383 days ago
  • NUOVAELLE
    Lots of great points made in your blog! I definitely agree that we can both focus on the destination and enjoy the journey at the same time. As with everything in life, weight loss or weight maintenance doesn't have to be one or the other. There are many in-between stages and I think that's where we can find the most beautiful roses to smell!
    Thank you for your words of wisdom!
    emoticon
    1384 days ago
  • SUSIESLIM62
    emoticon
    1384 days ago
  • BRAVELUTE
    Weight loss may simply be calories in and calories used up for the most of us. There's always an exception to any generalization.

    But health is another matter. Surely we're in this, we're doing this to be healthy. At least that is my goal. And once I admit that weight loss is a step in my action plan to be healthy, I MUST look at what I'm putting or NOT putting in my mouth as an important aspect of my health.
    1384 days ago
  • ONMYMEDS
    Nicely said.
    1384 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Blog. I'm in agreement with You. Our Body is a Gift. And Our Life is a Gift from God. Let's all remember the Twenty Six Victims and their Famliies and Love Ones of the School Tragedy in Newtown, Ct. May God Bless Them and Keep Them in His Loving Caring Arms in the Months and Years to Come. God Bless Everyone. Have a Enjoyable Day. Take Care.
    1384 days ago
  • BIGPAWSUP
    I agree with a lot of what you've written here. It is well thought out and presented. Thanks for putting the problems of maintenance v/s weight loss v/s quitting into perspective.
    1384 days ago
  • BEBOP4ME
    I agree. This isnt suppose to take over our lives, it is to help us live our lives better.
    1384 days ago
  • MANDELOVICH
    Lovely Liz. It's about dispelling the myth of arrival. Geneen Roth talks about that a lot, that the journey is what it's all about. We have to enjoy every step of the way! I love this. And you have so much to enjoy all along the way. Bravo.
    1384 days ago
  • WATERMELLEN
    Simple but not easy.

    And: smelling the roses along the way . . . better able to smell the roses.

    Amen sister!!
    1384 days ago
  • SLSALKIL
    Great points. Balance is a hard thing to find in any area. But especially during this journey!!
    1384 days ago
  • MJZHERE
    Great blog - well said. God sure has given us wonderful gifts - bodies and roses along with our life - and He wants us to enjoy them all.
    1384 days ago
  • LACT8RN
    I totally agree with you. W allstrive for perfection, but we also need to enjoy our gains and improvements and not just focus on 'the goal'. Words of wisdom! emoticon
    1384 days ago
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