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The Journey Should Be Fun

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I don't know if it just my choices, but blogs and articles that I have read recently all seem to center on willpower and sacrifice to achieve weight and health goals. This really turns me off.

To me the journey should be fun and enjoyable. For me at least, the journey started the end of last August when I was weighing in at around 185 pounds. I have loss a little over 33 lbs and am about 2/3's of the way to my goal weight. So I have been at this for 8 months and expect to be at it 3 or 4 more months (and that does not count maintenance). Some Sparkers have been working toward their goal weight for 1, 2, or even 3 years. That is a very long time to spend in a deprivation mode.

My approach is so much different. I track my food intake almost every day (I only missed periods during a major family crisis.). I have made a game out of it. I know what my calorie, protein, carb, and fat amounts should be each day. So it is a like a puzzle that I need to put together with various food items to fill out the picture of a balanced diet. It is a challenge, a challenge I have fun meeting by experimenting with new recipes and planning meals. I do not sacrifice to make my daily goal. I don't make it everyday, but I do win the game most days.

Exercise is also an opportunity to have fun and enjoy. I read the paper while on my stationary bike (something I rarely had time to do before) or play active Wii games, dance and participate in other challenges. I walk during my noon time break, which gives me a chance to meditate and think through problems. I use my strength exercise time to watch TV. I am always looking for new activities that might be fun. I just ordered TurboJam, which a Spark member commented was a lot of fun and online reviews agreed.

The goal is important, but the journey to the goal should be fun. Life is too short not to enjoy every minute. Enjoy your journey and make it fun!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I completely agree! It should not be about deprivation. Funny because in the beginning I DID have to deprive myself of the foods I craved so much but they were so unhealthy. Now, I don't really want them. I find myself really wanting to eat better. From time to time, I do want the other stuff and I get it but it doesn't have the same satisfying effect. I like your idea of the game and the puzzle and making it fun for you.
    2607 days ago
    SLIMTJICK2, I agree that it the weight loss journey should not be considered deprivation and to do so is a setup for failure. What I was trying to say, if perhaps inelegantly, is that if you view your journey as making sacrifices and requiring clenched-teeth willpower, you are making it a journey of deprivation rather than opening yourself to opportunity for joy. The journey should be as delightful as the end result.
    2608 days ago
    I liked your blog but I disagree with your comment about the duration of time some people spend on achieving their goal. I don't think the time spent on losing weight should be classified as "deprivation". If it's one thing I've learned from this site through it's articles and the blogs of successful sparkies is that deprivation is a negative and is not a successful approach to weight loss. It takes some people longer than others to turn their lives around when it comes to their health. It's a learning process and for a lot of folks, it's a journey that's filled with a lot of bumps on the way.
    I do love your approach about making this challenge fun, I think this positive attitude will determine how we respond to the bumps that we meet.
    All the best to you.
    2608 days ago
    Really like your attitude. I agree this journey should be fun, even though I sometimes feel lucky just to have survived to the end of the day with no time to do anything like play. I'll keep looking for ways to build in fun time. Thanks for you blog.
    2608 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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