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A Journey, Not a Finish Line

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When I was on the Weight Watchers program, my reasoning for losing weight was to be within my BMI to participate in a special program. When that special program opportunity fell through, I lost my motivation to continue and fell off the weight loss/health bandwagon - and got up to 268 pounds.

This time as I lose weight, I keep coming back to this one thing: weight loss alone canNOT be my final goal. I cannot just say, "I will lose X pounds" or "I will be X pounds" or even "I will wear size X". Sure, I might see some initial success - like I did when I was on WW - but when my motivation fails and I begin to lose steam, I need to fall back on something stronger than "I want to weigh X amount".

Losing weight, while a great thing, cannot be the final goal. If it were, I could just go in for surgery or go on one of those crash diets or stop eating all together. I'd probably lose all the weight I needed - and much faster too! The problem is, once I get to that weight - what is really there to ensure I keep at that weight? I know I'm going to meet temptations - living in this world, where everyone is trying to sell you the latest food item, it's impossible not to. Sure, wanting to stay a certain size or be a certain weight may help keep me on track - but I'm sure one day I'll go, "Oh, eating out with the guys and having a fatty burger is no biggie!" It happened the last time.

This time I realize something bigger - I need to be HEALTHY. I need to be supplying my body with the necessary nutrients it needs to work efficiently, so that I can do what I want. And sugar, fat, and lots of strange man-made chemicals are NOT "necessary nutrients". I need to drink my 64oz of water daily - not coffee and sodas. I need to keep my body in motion - instead of mindlessly watching rerun YouTube videos.

Life is a journey; why would living a healthy lifestyle be any different? When you make being healthy a journey, you may lose weight (if you are overweight and need to lose, you most likely will) or you may just have a better quality of life. But at least you are moving constantly to a goal.

And that's ultimately what I need. I need to be constantly moving to a goal. If I reach my goal of losing X pounds, what can keep me going? "Keep the weight off X years"? That's nice - but how do I do that? What's to keep me from sneaking in cookies and chips into my diet?

But if I refocus on "Living a Healthy Lifestyle" - how could I NOT be constantly aspiring to a goal? Every meal, every action, every sip of water or bite of greens is a step to my goal. I'll always have something to drive to when my motivation flags.

Losing weight is a great thing - it's made me life much, much better. But what has made my life even greater is my choice to focus on the quality of life - what I eat, how much I sleep, what I drink. Healthy living isn't as tangible as the size of your jeans or the numbers on the scale, but it gives you a fulfillment you carry with you for the rest of your life.
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