{on a health journey}

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jennifer wagner


Ahhh weightloss. It’s that one thing that is constantly badgering us, but we can never seem to arrive at the final destination! 

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no final destination. 



​I truly believe that it is an ongoing journey. For me, the journey has changed over time. It started out as a complete and utter desperation. From there it turned into a sprint-like excursion to a definitive finish line. But the closer I get to the “goal” the more I realize that even then I will not be finished.

Yeah, that stinks doesn’t it?! We’d rather just do it, check it off the list, and throw the list further into the wind than the eye can possibly see. And just.. be done! Never having to think about this nagging topic again. 

I truly believe that it is an ongoing journey. For me, the journey has changed over time. It started out as a complete and utter desperation. From there it turned into a sprint-like excursion to a definitive finish line. But the closer I get to the “goal” the more I realize that even then I will not be finished.

Yeah, that stinks doesn’t it?! We’d rather just do it, check it off the list, and throw the list further into the wind than the eye can possibly see. And just.. be done! Never having to think about this nagging topic again. 

When they tell you (whomever “they” might be) that it’s a mental thing, they are totally correct. I personally believe that it is also a physical thing, as our bodies respond to different foods as well. But maybe this mix of physical and mental madness is the thing that makes it so very difficult! I mean we have to eat! We can’t just say, “ok. That’s it. I’m giving up food.” and never look back. We still have to eat. Daily. Multiple times per day. No matter how strong our will is, ain’t nuthin keepin us from a good old slice of super-cheesy, enormously sliced pizza at a friend’s get-together. 

So we’re faced with this constant decision-making craziness. We are constantly deciding what we “should” eat. Go with healthy? Maybe a cheat? How about a kinda healthy meal? We are always deciding. So there we have it. The battle that seems so overwhelming. And usually even the most focused individual gives up after a while. 

That’s where the yo-yo comes into play. We muster up our will power, decide that this is IT, and we go full-force ahead. No bread, no sugar, no soda. Period. And when that doesn’t last, we’re right back where we started. Until we feel so miserable that we muster up every ounce of willpower we have yet again. We try to do well, but we make a big “splurge” of a mistake along the way, and it’s a downward spiral from there. So goes the yo-yo. 

If we ever want to make long term progress that actually lasts, we’re going to have to realize that it’s all about balance. It’s not only getting “right back at it” after we’ve “messed up” but realizing that “messing up” is all part of it. We are going to eat crappy sometimes. We should enjoy food (and exercise for that matter). It is so important to NOT beat ourselves up over the small stuff. Even if you eat less-than-healthy at some point in the day, the day is not done or wasted.



To take a closer look at my journey (including a crazy before picture) you can read a previous blog post here. In that post I talk about the awful moment that I decided enough was enough and I needed a change, as well as the different plans I’ve tried and how long I’ve been on this journey of weight loss. 

{You  may have noticed this post is part of a series. In this post I’ve included some tips on getting started. In an upcoming post I will give you some awesome, detailed tips that I’ve learned along the way, as well as what actual plan I am currently following (which I LOVE!!!) and plan to follow forever. }

So here goes, friend!

Ok.

 Ya’ Gotta Start Somewhere

Honestly… When I first began my journey, it began with seeing if I could get through one day on the plan. I could not even think about going full force and losing massive amounts of weight. It felt too overwhelming. 



Take a look at where you are, and find very small changes that you can make and keep doing. My biggest piece of advice for this is to make changes that are tried and true, and that you know will eventually lend themselves to results. For example, you know that if you start walking every day, you’re going to see change eventually. Whereas, if you decide to start stretching every day, you’ll feel better! But you won’t necessarily notice any visible changes (unless you’re doing a tried and true plan of course, like yoga or something). And don’t get me wrong, stretching is super great for you, and you should do it. Regularly. 

You want to see change. Change is what motivates you to keep going. You’re not going to keep going if you eventually feel like you’re doing it for nothing. Focus on changes like eating more nonstachy veggies, or replacing soda with water or tea, and other examples which I will include in my upcoming post!

Get Rid of The Scale

People used to tell me to do this all the time. I was like, “um, if I do that, I will gain all my weight back and probably then some.” Until I finally realized that I was in complete bondage to that stupid scale. I’d step onto it morning, noon, and night, and my entire mood would completely change depending on what that dawgone number was! I’d have a GREAT day if my number was low, and a HORRIBLE day if it was high. 

I finally realized that our bodies are made to fluctuate a little no matter what. In reality the biggest change I wanted was a change in how I felt in general, a change in how my clothes fit, and a change in how my body felt doing simple tasks like cleaning the house or running around after my kids at the park. 

Yes, I care about the number. And I do have a goal number in mind. But I couldn’t handle going crazy every single day over a number on a scale. There are so many factors that go into that number (such as water weight and muscle gain), but I couldn’t seem to factor those things into the equation. 

Believe it or not, I was way happier, and started slimming down a lot more when I got rid of the scale. (P.S. my scale is in my closet. Every once in a great while (maybe once a month or so) I will break it out just for kicks, but only when I’ve determined in my mind that no matter the number, the joy of my day will not be hindered.)



The Tortoise Wins the Race

​Ya know that saying “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is…?” Some people swear by the quick fixes like pills or wraps. {And no judgement to ya for that! #judgementfreezone (hehe!)}. But for me, the absolute most effective weightloss plans I have done (and I’ve done my share of quick-fix tactics as well) have been in the form of a gradual progress on a plan that actualy focuses on both enjoying my food and exercise, and also making changes that I can stick with long term. REALLY long term. Like, for life.

I used to literally have a huge meltdown any time I slipped up on my diet plan. I’d eat an unhealthy lunch and afterwards I would have a complete, tearful, sobbing and blobbering meltdown about thirty minutes later. (I don’t think blobbering is a word). 

I finally realized that this is all part of it. It’s not about being perfect and never eating good stuff that I love. It’s about knowing that progress takes time, and just because I ate an unhealthy lunch doesn’t mean I’m living an unhealthy life. 

Embrace the PROCESS

It is so very important to embrace the process when it comes to weight loss. I get it. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We want to lose weight and lose it quick! Especially those of us who look in the mirror and just feel awful. 

But the process is good because in the meantime you can work on loving yourself. 

Trust me, just “getting skinny” will not make you love yourself. You’ll be so excited and feel awesome for a while, and then you’ll just decide another thing you need in order to love yourself. Now, I don’t mean to sound too mushy, but you should definitely decide to embrace the time involved in losing weight in a healthy way, and start looking at your “imperfections” as “beautiful uniqueness.” 

Embracing the process does not mean being so nonchalant that you are constantly making poor decisions. It definitely does not mean throwing the whole thing out the window and going cray. It just means utilizing tactics that can help you maintain consistency in your journey, knowing that the journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and that in the end you will be so glad you did it.



Guess what? You, yes YOU, can do it. 

You may have 10 pounds to lose, or you may have 200 pounds to lose. Whatever your goal is, your journey will look differently than mine does. My husband, who has lost a ton of weight, has a completely different story than I do. We all have a different methods that work for us. Get started by taking a deep breath, embracing the journey, and making small but effective changes that will make a difference that lasts. 

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  • Yvie
    June 21, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    This was beautiful, encouraging, and true! You know I ran to you when I saw your post.. I just wanted to say, thank u. It’s true. So easy to stay looking at scales and dress sizes..and stay there.. it’s a movement at a time..a change at a time.. I’m on that journey as well.. but I realized you only know how strong you are until you have been the weakest! This reminded me that the journey is one step at a time. I can’t wait to see the results! Thank u for your love and sharing your healthy living.
    Yvie

  • Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood
    June 23, 2016 at 8:08 AM

    I love this! As someone who lost 60 pounds after a life of being overweight, this really reminded me of some important things to remember. (Especially as I now have baby weight to lose!) The scale is the hardest for me.