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    TINAJANE76   65,282
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Knowing When It's Time to Stop Chasing That Carrot


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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Continual improvement. It's what many of us strive for in our quest to lose weight, be healthier and feel better. Finally able to run a mile without stopping? Why not go for two? Five? How about a half marathon? Heck, why not go for the full 26? What then? Got to goal? Why not try for another five pounds? Ten? How about testing the waters and seeing how low you can go? Finally got your body fat in a healthy zone? How about going for the "fitness" zone? Hmm, entering a figure competition sounds like an intriguing goal. Now how do I keep this up forever?

Please don't misunderstand where I'm going with this. While I think that just about all of these goals are admirable, I believe we sometimes need to accept that where we are, and continuing to maintain where we are, is good enough. And although it's wonderful to continually set new goals for ourselves to stay fresh and motivated, there sometimes comes a point when striving for those goals becomes counterproductive, even potentially damaging. So, how do we know when we've crossed that line?

I think it's when reaching those goals begins to consume our lives in a way that they become more important than other things that should take priority. Is training for that marathon causing you to miss your kid's school play--again? Does reaching your weight loss or body fat goal mean that you avoid nearly all social events, even with close friends and family? If your answer is "yes" to any of those questions, maybe it's time to reevaluate your goals and why they're important to you. After all, many of us set out to lose weight so we could feel better and more fully participate in our lives--not to avoid living them. Weight loss and successful maintenance take a lot of effort for many of us and that means making some sacrifices. But at what cost?

In my case, struggling to find that balance, and really understanding when I have, hasn't been an easy process. I've been able to get down to very low weights in the past and was "thrilled". Knowing you have the discipline to reach a difficult goal is a great feeling. But I was never able to maintain there because the way I needed to eat was not something I could keep up for life--at least not happily. I've also pushed myself to the limits in terms of fitness, for example, with my summertime boot camps. The results are phenomenal and they always make me think, "What could I look like if I kept this up year-round?" But two to three hours of exercise a day and following a pristine diet ALL the time are not realistic goals for me at this point in my life and would mean I'd have to make extreme personal sacrifices that I'm not prepared to make.

So where does that leave me? Realizing and finally understanding that what I've achieved and have managed to maintain is enough. Getting down to a healthy weight and managing to keep it off for nearly two years is a wonderful accomplishment. Making fitness a regular part of my routine is great not only for my weight management efforts, but also for my sense of wellbeing. Making good choices when it comes to food the vast majority of the time and developing the resilience to get myself back on track when I slip is helping to ensure that I won't end up obese or overweight ever again.

I may not ever be able to squeeze myself into a size 2 and I probably won't ever have a BMI of 20 or body fat that's less than 20%. And that's okay. I'm done chasing those kind of carrots. I've caught mine and am happy to munch away on it. I've earned it and, boy, does it taste good.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
TERRIJ7 5/7/2014 10:58AM

    Everything you've said here makes perfect sense. We do need to be more than a little obsessive on the way to our goals, but then we will also need to learn how to just BE. I'm a long way from there but can see that it would be a problem for me.

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LORIVIOLA 4/19/2014 11:41PM

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GRAMPIAN 2/18/2014 6:24AM

  Full of good sense. emoticon

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AJDOVER1 1/15/2014 6:18PM

    Great blog! I'm maintaining my weight and living my life!

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MCJULIEO 1/10/2014 10:22AM

    "Enough" is a hard concept to grasp sometimes.....

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JERICHO1991 12/24/2013 9:29PM

    Enjoy your carrot.

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/22/2013 10:55AM

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LISA_FRAME 12/20/2013 5:09PM

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LEANMEAN2 12/20/2013 6:19AM

    Well said. Thanks for sharing.

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MISSB8604 12/17/2013 5:06PM

    Just what I needed to read, thank you.

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KIMBALLITE 12/16/2013 7:05PM

  Well put and very true. It is hard to enjoy and live today when you are always focusing on what could be.

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LOVINGLIFE43 12/14/2013 5:54PM

    Thank you for this post. I needed to read this. emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 12/13/2013 10:12PM

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LIVIN2LOVE1 12/13/2013 3:00PM

    Yes. I needed to read this today. Thank you!

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CORNERKICK 12/13/2013 2:50PM

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SBARGANZ 12/13/2013 10:53AM

    Thanks for putting your thoughts down for us to read!

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BRADMILL2922 12/12/2013 3:18AM

    There is definitely a fine line on these journey's. How hard to push? How far to push? When is enough, really enough? I have often wondered when going along my journey, what would be enough for me. When would I be satisfied with what I had done? Would I ever be satisfied or would I keep striving for more, trying to make up for time lost?

So many questions that we have to confront. Like I have believed all along, the scale isn't the end all be all. This is a process that is continually changing as we go and makes us learn along the way. We learn what we can and can't do and go from there. You have learned those lessons through your success and now you can impart that knowledge to the rest of us. Thank you for always being open and honest about the process and being able to share it as eloquently as you do Tina!

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SLIMLEAF 12/11/2013 6:57PM

    Thanks for sharing that - a very wise and helpful blog.

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MARYJEANSL 12/11/2013 6:48PM

  Very well said (though not something I was ever in any danger of, I can see where it could be a huge issue for many people here)!

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JAIMESIZED 12/11/2013 3:53PM

    Amazing blog, and well said at that!

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TANGYTANGERINE 12/11/2013 1:54PM

    Thanks for this post!! I've been so stressed lately with work and have been in a constant mode of over-eating and self-loathing about being so off track - I really needed this. emoticon

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JENRAQTAY87 12/11/2013 12:50PM

    Great post! Excellent perspective!

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FITFAIRYQUEEN 12/11/2013 7:02AM

    This is what I needed to hear. I'm at a healthy weight right now and of course I can always improve. But it's as if I need "permission" to stop stressing over the next goal. Is it alright if I don't strive to look like a Victoria's Secret model? When can it all stop? I think this means I'm ready to maintain and stay healthy, what a relief this can be! I want to be happy as I am.

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MILLEDGE2 12/11/2013 6:04AM

    Needed that! emoticon

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PURPLEPEONY 12/11/2013 12:30AM

    emoticon emoticon It`s all about balance.

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ROXYCARIN 12/11/2013 12:26AM

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RENATA144 12/10/2013 11:24PM

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KAB7801 12/10/2013 9:26PM

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JOANNHUNT 12/10/2013 9:15PM

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SPARKFRAN514 12/10/2013 8:33PM

    it seems we all set the goal the insurance company says we should see roll up on the scales thank you for telling us some times that is just not going to happen and we need to stop and think things out just as you did thank you for reminding me of the things i know in my head but some times forget and get stressed out when thinks don't go as i planned thank you again for sharing.

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YMI0625 12/10/2013 8:31PM

    emoticon
Thank you

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MICHIGANLORI 12/10/2013 5:05PM

    Love this blog! It was just what I needed to read. Yep, at what point do you cross the line...

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Comment edited on: 12/10/2013 5:05:31 PM

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CAROLINAKIWI 12/10/2013 3:57PM

    Inspiring blog!!!

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MRSRIGS1 12/10/2013 2:48PM

    EXACTO MUNDO!!! You made a fine point and thank you for writing your thoughts down and sharing them with us. emoticon

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GUINSMITH 12/10/2013 1:59PM

    This is a great way to look at it. find a good point that you can maintain should really be all our goals

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FITFOODIE806 12/10/2013 1:46PM

    You've done it again! Your blogs so often speak right to me. Sometimes I get frustrated/jealous when I read about all the races they do or multiple marathons a year. I want to do it! I can do it! Train more! Run more! Go for it! And then I pause and remember my priorities. I love racing and I will do another marathon. But not now. And that's OK. I just need the reminder sometimes. Thank you!

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MALLY89 12/10/2013 1:28PM

    You are inspiring! Thank you!

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50PLUSBABY 12/10/2013 12:27PM

  Well said. I guess when people start to do things they were never able to do they wonder what else they are capable of doing and keep pushing for that dangling carrot. At one point we have to be content with how far we have come and maintain.

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KDYLOSE 12/10/2013 11:49AM

    Looks like you've gained a lot of something else - wisdom! Great that you figured this out.

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MSANITAL 12/10/2013 11:18AM

    Great Blog.. Thank you.. for putting it in prospective

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LIVELYLULU37 12/10/2013 11:16AM

    Wow, that's a lot to chew on.... I may just try a little harder to get the ball rolling. Haven't had to have those thoughts yet, but hopefully I will get there someday!!

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STAY39 12/10/2013 11:10AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MJEFFERSON23 12/10/2013 11:09AM

  Very good advice

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CHERYLHURT 12/10/2013 10:50AM

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NHES220 12/10/2013 10:31AM

    Well said! I want to get to a healthy BMI and be fit! I want to keep running and working out, but not at the sacrifice of everything else. I also do not want to be one of those people who overtrain and have chronic injuries. I'll keep going to get to a comfortable weight for my height, keep running my 5ks - the occasional 10k and maybe a half marathon. But I'll go bike riding with my husband and I will make the niece's and nephew's games and school plays when I can. Great blog and it is all about balance and keeping this up for life!
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2WHEELER 12/10/2013 10:11AM

    Great blog! Everything in moderation. There is so much more to life than being a particular size or weight or getting in a certain amount of exercise. The whole point, at least for me, is to exercise and eat healthfully so I can enjoy all life has to offer.

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DONNELDA22 12/10/2013 9:19AM

    I like the way you think. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. emoticon

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FIRECOM 12/10/2013 8:46AM

    You have hit this one out of the park. I, too, have yo-yo dieted my self to success only to fall into the old "comfortable" ways. SP is my salvation in this dastardly weight game.

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ISHIIGIRL 12/10/2013 7:57AM

    This is so so true and something I have struggled with. When did living a healthy lifestyle become a quest to have a perfect body or to not be satisfied with all I have accomplished? After several years pursuing that carrot, I am finally coming to grips with what balance looks like for me. Great blog and said so well!

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CHOOSEYOURHARDD 12/10/2013 7:52AM

    I love your message. I am constantly chasing the carrot, unfortunately I am chasing it on a treadmill, which means that I never seem to get anywhere. If I am not very strict with my diet and exercise, I fall off the wagon. If I want to lose, or maintain, I'm back on that treadmill. Worrying about dinners out, what I am going to eat at the school potluck, how I say no when my co-workers leave a donut on my desk, and not hurt their feelings. I'm not very good at balancing, but you made me want to try harder!

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