Worried about Weight Loss? The Rx: A Big Chill Pill

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One of my favorite combo words to use is chillax – a combination of chill and relax

From time to time, my husband and I will use the phrase "chill out, Holmes."  I’m not sure how we came up with that or why we say Holmes, but the intent is certain: take a big breath and calm down.  If you feel like you’re standing at the base of an overwhelming mountain trying to figure out how to get to the fit and healthy summit, then this message is for you.

I know that the information overload can sometimes seem insurmountable.  I follow quite a few fit bloggers and professional fitness sites and see it every day.  Try this diet, no this diet, no wait this exercise format, but wait this one is the latest and greatest.  All are trying to tell you how to journey up that mountain in as few, easy steps as possible.  My experience with traveling to the summit is that it takes one step at a time and no journey is the same.  Allow yourself some space, breath, and peace to know that despite all the swirling piles of information, you can make this work.

I like to use me and my best friend as an example.  Combined we’ve lost more than 170 pounds, or as I like to refer to it, one or two Hollywood actresses.  We have met up on the mountain many times, but we both certainly travel our own path on a day-to-day basis.  Together last year we ran 5Ks and from time to time rode our bikes around a large lake, but other than that we varied in how we accomplished our goals.  Both of us included different weight routines, different forms of cardio/sports, different diets, etc.  The end result though was the same – working to maintain weight loss and improve physical fitness, all the while having fun and supporting each other wholeheartedly.

Susie shares on her SparkPage that she struggles with compulsive eating and started her journey with surgery.  I accomplished my weight loss without surgery and needed to learn portion control.  One is not better than the other – we needed different starting points to help us in our journey.  Susie pitched in a softball league this year and her team won the championship.  I can’t pitch or catch to save my life!  I ran my first half marathon, and that wasn’t on her agenda.    But like the supportive trouper that she is, she got up early to drive me to my race and took pictures.  I like yoga and Zumba, and she likes running on the treadmill and basketball.  You get my drift, I’m sure.  We are different, our bodies respond differently, and our tastes are different. 

Here are a few things we both know to be true in order to reach that summit:
  • Measuring your portions is important, and tracking your food helps you on your journey
  • Working out needs to be consistent
  • You can’t out exercise a bad diet
  • Having a support system is critical and, by the way, more fun
  • Motivational posters are just that – motivational
  • Setting SMART goals  helps you get to the top
  • Re-evaluating when you go off track can help you next time there is a pitfall
  • Being honest with yourself and with others contributes to success
  • Ignoring the quick easy-fix fads and doing the work is what it takes
  • Your journey is your own and that is just fine--we all have to learn our way up the mountain
  • We’ll spend the rest of our lives doing it
  • Stopping along the way to beat yourself up over past failures doesn’t get you any closer to the top and actually hinders your progress.
  • If you’re on a plateau, you are not a failure.  You’re still on your journey.
  • Tiny steps still get you up the big mountain.  No one climbs in leaps and bounds.
  • All the hard work is worth the effort.
So in the end, chillax.     Remember it’s your life, so live it healthy.  It feels better and will improve your quality of life in ways that I can’t even begin to share. 

If you use Twitter, send me a message @michelenecleary and share your #HealthyLife thoughts with me.  Celebrate your accomplishments that are important steps on your climb up that mountain.  Trust the process and work your plan, and don’t follow after the easy fix.  Make this a lifelong lifestyle that works for you.
In closing I’d like to share a poem I wrote for this blog:

I am me…that’s clear to see
No one else it could be
From my wild hair, to my foot sole…
No other one could make my whole.
I’m me. I’m me.  That is key
Can’t be you, just couldn’t be
So don’t judge me now or cause my frown
By saying things that put me down.
I can’t fit in that box you hold
Won’t put my soul inside your mold
I’m running now wild and free
Happy to just be me.
Come join along in fun and song
Enjoying life all day long
Together we can make this be,
If you’ll be you, and I’ll be me.
--Michelene Cleary, 2012
Do you feel pressure to make your journey fast, easy, and just like someone else you know?  What steps can you take to release that pressure, and make your journey a fun one to be on?