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    TINAJANE76   65,286
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A Past, Present and Future in Balance


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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas, SparkWorld. I hope that everyone is having a wonderful day and that you've had a few moments of calm to relax and reflect. In addition to being filled with religious and traditional celebrations, this time of year is an opportunity for us to look back over the ups and downs of the past year and ahead to the promise of the new one.

Looking back over 2013, I see that it was a year that presented quite a few challenges for me--probably the most I've faced in quite some time. Nearly every area of my life was upset in one way or another and it's certainly been quite a roller coaster ride. In spite of everything, it's also been an amazing and wonderful year filled with many learning opportunities, triumphs and opportunities for growth. Dealing with stressful situations had often been a big problem area for me in the past and was typically when I reached for food to soothe my worries. But as I now know, falling into that pattern only led to greater unhappiness and an increasingly lower sense of self worth.

When I set out to lose weight in early 2010, I had little reason to think that this time would be any different from my past experiences of weight loss and regain. I was a master at both, but was never able to keep my motivation up in the longer term to do what it takes to keep the weight off. And like many people, when I started off, I focused on changing my eating habits, getting more exercise and making myself accountable, which worked like a charm and helped me lose more than 90 pounds. But for me, the real work began after I reached my weight-loss goal. I knew that I never wanted to go back down that path to obesity again and that I'd have to dig deeper if I wanted to prevent that from happening. So, as uncomfortable and uncertain as it was, I had to go searching for the underlying reasons why I had never been successful at managing my weight.

For me, it was less about what I was eating and how much I was exercising and more about why I was making the choices I was. I realize now that I didn't value myself enough to make the consistently good choices that would ensure my good health over the long haul--that, in essence, I allowed my mentality of doing what made me feel good at the moment to dictate the course of my life without looking ahead to the future consequences of those actions. And, in my case, what made me feel good in the present and what made me feel good the next day and in the days to come were not the same. My sense of the past, present and future were totally out of sync with each other and I desperately needed to get myself in balance. My biggest breakthrough in the past two years has been that I haven't always turned to food as a source of comfort to deal with stress. And seeing how I've coped in the face of some pretty big life events is immensely encouraging, but it's taken work, experimentation, patience and resilience. Because even now, with all the progress I've made, I'm far from perfect and still very much a work in progress.

And perhaps on a certain level, having my Ebenezer Scrooge moment of having my future flashed before me has made my sense of immediacy in looking after my own health even stronger. When I was younger and would joke with my dad about his various (minor) ailments, he'd always say, "Don't laugh. Whatever I have, you're gonna get." Both still being fairly young ourselves, I never took it as anything more than good humor at the time. But seeing my dad go through the pain of a heart attack, multiple surgeries related to complications from both his heart condition and his poorly managed diabetes, including a recent procedure that he described as the most painful thing he's ever experienced in his life, all before the age of 65, makes me understand that I don't wanna get what my father's got and that I need to take action now if I want to make sure my future health doesn't follow in his footsteps. I had already felt and experienced the negative health consequences of being obese when I was in my 20s and early 30s and I know that things only would have got worse if I had allowed myself to continue that way.

So, while having some vanity moments here and there and accomplishing personal short-term goals is great motivation for me in the present, knowing that I'm doing what's in my power to steer my future good health is the best long-term motivation I can imagine. I plan to continue keeping that in mind as I forge ahead so that I'll continue to make better choices most of the time and continue to improve my ability to recover when I inevitably slip. I believe that by being able to learn from my past while looking ahead to my future will help guide me to do what's best in the present and finally give me the sense of true balance I've been searching for. And I think that's the best Christmas present I could give myself and the people I love.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
GRAMPIAN 3/11/2014 7:16AM

  Well done. emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 1/1/2014 4:27PM

    emoticon

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JERICHO1991 1/1/2014 10:16AM

    Continuing to make better choices. Thanks for sharing.

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SUPERDAD55 12/28/2013 10:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
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SUNNYSIDEUPMARY 12/28/2013 3:03PM

    Thank you for sharing! I want to be where you are at - in my own journey of course. I've been sensing lately where the real work is - the why's, long term health, valuing myself.

Best wishes as you continue on your journey!

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THEIS58 12/28/2013 8:14AM

    Nice blog!

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MSROZZIE 12/28/2013 1:00AM

    emoticon Enjoyed your blog. Stay focused on your goals and happy holidays! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 12/28/2013 12:41AM

    This has been really helpful. Thanks for posting!

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RISAMEANSLAUGH 12/27/2013 7:48PM

    Dear Tina,
Thanks for this blog. It's helping me get motivated and do the hard work of weight loss again. Many thanks!
sincerely,
Riisa emoticon

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SUSIEMT 12/27/2013 5:38PM

    Well said Tina! Happy New Year!

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MJEFFERSON23 12/27/2013 4:14PM

  A lot of good wisdom and insight. Happy New Year!

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MRSRIGS1 12/27/2013 2:02PM

    emoticon Your blogs are always very helpful and filled with encouraging words - thank you!

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MARTHAWILL 12/27/2013 1:00PM

    Well written. I can identify with a lot of what you said. Thanks for sharing.
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JRRING 12/27/2013 10:28AM

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JUNETTA2002 12/27/2013 8:38AM

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TUPELO_HONEY 12/27/2013 6:11AM

    Thank you for a good, thought provoking blog. I have a bad habit of relying too much on motivation instead of learning better coping techniques and when life gets too stressful, no amount of motivation will save me. My present and future selves are worth more than what I'm doing to them, though.

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BLUEJEAN99 12/27/2013 1:49AM

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ROXYCARIN 12/27/2013 1:29AM

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CORNERKICK 12/27/2013 12:38AM

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JAMER123 12/27/2013 12:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for sharing your yr. with us!

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SCRAPBECCA 12/26/2013 11:41PM

    emoticon

Onward to 2014!

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JSEATTLE 12/26/2013 10:10PM

  Absolutely! How great for you, it was a good year. Onward to 2014!

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ROCKYCPA 12/26/2013 9:43PM

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CLAYARTIST 12/26/2013 9:11PM

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BKNOCK 12/26/2013 6:54PM

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GOOSIEMOON 12/26/2013 6:25PM

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LIVELYGIRL2 12/26/2013 5:15PM

  That's extremely positive and I'm proud of you! Very impressive! emoticon emoticon

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JOANNHUNT 12/26/2013 4:05PM

    AWESOME BLOG. THANK YOU FOR SHARING.

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JUSGETTENBY42 12/26/2013 3:30PM

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NEWTINK 12/26/2013 2:48PM

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CICELY360 12/26/2013 2:00PM

  Well written

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NONNAOF2 12/26/2013 1:38PM

  2014 will be awesome for you, I'm sure of that! :-)

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KKLENNERT809 12/26/2013 12:35PM

    Wow, you have the drive and the knowledge to accomplish great things! Wishing you a happy, healthy 2014

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SIMONEKP 12/26/2013 12:22PM

    Nice progress

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WORKNPROGRESS49 12/26/2013 11:48AM

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LCRUMLEY81 12/26/2013 11:03AM

  What a great blog

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 12/26/2013 10:49AM

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MARYJEANSL 12/26/2013 10:43AM

  Thoughtful, well expressed post. Finding that balance is tough, but for any continued success, I think we all have to find it.

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PATRICIAANN46 12/26/2013 10:43AM

  What a great blog!!! emoticon for your honesty and good advice.

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WATERMELLEN 12/26/2013 10:00AM

    I'm so sorry that your father's situation has given you such worry. It's a tough way for us to reinforce a lesson that we've already learned but which requires continuous relearning: what's appealing "right now" isn't going to work for the future, and will plunge us back into a past that we're not willing to repeat.

Thanks for the poignant reminder and the renewed commitment.

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KANOE10 12/26/2013 9:55AM

    That was well written. We need to focus on the present so the future will be a healthy one. I am glad you are developing ways to handle stress without food. You are doing a great job of learning about yourself and staying committed to maintenance.
2014 will have your 2 year maintenance celebration.



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SHOAPIE 12/26/2013 9:39AM

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SHANNONY84 12/26/2013 8:42AM

    Great blog! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

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PENOWOK 12/26/2013 8:20AM

    You are a terrific role model! Thank you!!

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TRYINGHARD54 12/26/2013 8:09AM

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WATERDIAMONDS 12/26/2013 8:05AM

    '...knowing that I'm doing what's in my power to steer my future good health is the best long-term motivation I can imagine." "so that I'll continue to make better choices most of the time and continue to improve my ability to recover when I inevitably slip."

I so agree with these two concepts. Very well said.

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CARRIELYN56 12/26/2013 8:02AM

    emoticon

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SHERYLP461 12/26/2013 7:30AM

    Life is all about balance, keeping yourself in tuned with nature, need, and love

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JIBBIE49 12/26/2013 5:52AM

    Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.

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KONRAD695 12/25/2013 8:22PM

    I think you wrote the introduction page to the Greatest health book ever. Somewhere down the line your story will be written and published. I think you will help more than you could ever know.

You really are that remarkable.

Bunches, Konrad

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