Have you ever been on a journey that didn’t quite go to plan? Maybe you were travelling somewhere by car and there was an accident or some road works that meant you had to take a detour. Perhaps, your detour meant you temporarily got further away from your destination and the journey took more time than you planned. Well, a weight loss journey, or a journey to reclaim your health can sometimes be similar.
When people look at before and after pictures and hear about someone losing weight, it can be easy to assume it was a direct journey from the start point to the destination, but that is rarely the case.
If you’d been with me at the start of my own journey in 2009, you would’ve witnessed me shedding 4 stone (56 pounds) in just a few short months. But, if you’d stuck around you might have been surprised by what you saw next.
See, as I dropped from XXL to L, I felt like I arrived at my destination.
When we travel by car or plane, we rarely stay in a single destination for long before we plan our next trip. Often we simply return home, where we carry on with life as normal.
Again, this is an all too familiar echo with weight loss.
Did you ever move house, but then one day find yourself driving towards the old one out of habit?
By the end of 2010 I was on a journey back towards home. In other words, my weight was creeping up again. In fact, I got about half way home, before realising what I was doing and that actually I no longer wanted to live there.
Old habits crept back into my life and my body had been heading back towards its old obese ‘home’.
Fortunately I saw enough signs on the way to realise I was headed in the wrong direction and change my route so that I reached my new ‘home’. In fact, I travelled further than I’d originally expected, eventually reaching a point where I shed 5.5 stone (approx 75 pounds).
So why have I decided to write this now?
Well, the truth is that I have once again taken a small step backwards. It is only a small step this time, but I’ve gained about 10 pounds (and no, its not muscle).
But here’s the thing, I know why.
That is what I really want to share with you, because I think it is a mistake any of us could make.
I achieved the goals I set for my body and fitness. My mistake is I failed to set new ones.
“In Life There are No Limits, Only Plateaus.”
If you don’t have clear goals to pull you in the direction you want to go, there is a strong possibility you will go backwards. Why? Because everything we do is motivated by pleasure or pain.
If you do not have goals offering enough pleasure to pull you forward, and all you do is focus on ‘not going back’ you will likely slip until you experience sufficient pain to push you. With weight loss and health, the pain comes by regaining weight or having the symptoms of past illness start to show up.
Fortunately there is no sign of any of my past illnesses and I still have enough residual fitness to run a marathon on minimal training.
But, the important lesson is this. None of us is ever the finished article.
Sure, I’ve helped many people lose weight and improve their health through my website and the coaching and teaching I do, but all of us (including me) need to remember to keep setting goals that pull us forward.
I’m now getting clear on my next goal (more on that soon).
How about you? I would love to hear your health goals in the comments section below.
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