Ultimate Weight Loss--It's Not What You Think

By , SparkPeople Blogger
For me, this is so much more than simply losing weight. I didn’t get to be 170 pounds overweight because all was right in my world. What pushed me to the point where I woke up one day and found a 385-pound man staring back in the mirror?
I sometimes think that the continued popularity of fad diets, quick-fix weight solutions in spite of their dismal track record is simply because it focuses on the symptoms rather than the root cause. These quick-fix, knee-jerk solutions exploit the panic that people feel when they are confronted by their condition.  Dealing with the root causes requires digging deep and peeling back painful layers of truth until an answer is unearthed. Unraveling knots is a tedious process.
I believe the path to ultimate success for me isn’t in some mystic root or berry found in a remote part of the world or some new fad fitness routine that will magically melt off pounds. How about the latest gizmo that will flatten your problem areas with just a few minutes a day? If the diet and gizmo industry had the solution, why would obesity still be such an issue?
Before I continue, let's focus on the word ultimate, which I used when describing success. Let me define. The word ultimate can be used in a sense that states that the success that you experience will be unparalleled in its greatness, but that is not the application here. ‘Ultimate’ defined in my statement “ultimate success” is the sum total of all your efforts, the final outcome, where you will finally wind up. In my journey I have lost a lot of skirmishes with my eating addictions yet I have managed to lose more than 100 pounds and keep it off in spite of my failings. My success was ultimately determined by my overall commitment to the ultimate end of reclaiming my life, not in day to day perfection in routine.
So where does the path to ultimate success lie? For me, I found it in identifying the hotspots in my life. Like a firefighter, I have put out a wildfire that threatened to consume my very existence. I have endured, fought and continued to fight the good fight; however, underneath the ashes lie hotspots. Hotspots that threaten to re-ignite with a vengeance. The fire could burn again and all my hard work would be lost.
I have found that if I do not address the forces that influenced me to get to such an unhealthy place, I will soon find myself back there again.
My hotspot. 
I am an emotional eater. I have issues that stem far back into my formative years. Issues that linger like a bad dream, ever present, always haunting. The process of uncovering what drives me has been liberating. The first rule of combat is to know thy enemy. The low self-esteem that I struggle with can be crippling at times. However, by setting and keeping small goals as promoted on SparkPeople, I believe in myself, that I am capable, that there is a strong man underneath the weakness.
In making and keeping small goals, faith builds. One thing that seems so common with so many of us is that our minds, over time, have been pre-programmed for failure. We have been tossed around by the yo-yo so many times that we no longer believe it is possible to change things. Yet something still is never extinguished, hope against hope, yearning for change, refusing to believe that the yo-yo is all there is. Our rational mind needs evidence to support belief. If the only thing that we can relate to is the never-ending cycle of failure, then it is difficult to believe that one more try is going to produce results. When we make and keep small commitments, a little here, a little there, slowly each small success builds upon another. Eventually faith and momentum begin to build and success is the ultimate result.
It has been a slow process, but each goal reached brings about a little more healing. I will always have to work to control emotional eating, but now I know that there is more to life than plunking down on the couch after work and eating my cares away. Every mile I run replaces defeat with a sense of personal accomplishment.  This journey is going to last this time. No more stop-and-start, just small, consistent steps leading to a better life.
Which definition of "ultimate" do you embrace in your healthy living journey?