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Each journey is different

As we start 2020, literally running out of 2019 and into 2020 with a group of wonderful people from my running group, I was reminded that our destination can be the same but the road we each take can be very different.

The destination can be anything, a specific age, a job, a race or event. Whatever it is we all start at different points, have different past experiences and are in different situations.

For example weight loss.

Do we all start at the same weight? Take 2 people who start at exactly the same weight, and ask some simple questions:

  • Do/did they have the same operation?
  • Are their post op issues the same?
  • Can they handle food the same?
  • Do they go on exactly the same diets? Eating the same food and amounts for each meal?
  • Does their bodies process food the same? What is each persons nutritional needs?
  • Do they do exactly the same exercise/activities?

The questions could go on. The start of the journey is the point in which you make that decision to do something AND take the first step. You can think about something for years but not take any action.

But action can also be very passive and only move you slowly forward, like the person who decides on weight loss surgery but all they do is research online. It could take them years before they call and start the process to have surgery but the research they do moves them very slowly by adding to their knowledge.

Why is it important to remember that we all have different paths?

We compare ourselves, too much, to others. Why do I not lose weight as fast as that person, or get into shape just as fast as the other person?

Are you doing exactly the same things each minute of the day?

Does your body react the same?

NO

We can be on similar looking paths in that the destination is the same, weight loss. The surgery might be different, how well we stick with the healthy eating plan and how much we increase exercise is different.

Photo by Image by SplitShire from Pixabay

It is great to have others around us with the same destination in mind, we can learn from their successes, failures and everything in between. But because our journey is different we need to find the best path for us and pave it with the actions that will give us success.

Next week I will talk about that paving of the path.

Welcome to 2020, change is possible!

Solutions = Success!

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How Goals Helped me Succeed with Weight Loss

I am a very goal oriented person. I never used to be, I was more of a dreamer. Wishing and meandering through life. I saw some lovely places but was in a job I didn’t like and lived in a place I didn’t like either.

Goals sorted that all out.

Then when I found myself unhappy and extremely overweight I used goals to get me out of that position.

I was a size 10 in 1997 when I arrived in the UK. I wanted to be that size again.

Knowing what didn’t work for me helped. Because I had been overweight for many years I know what diets that I had only lost 5 pounds or so on. So they would not work.

When I decided to have weight loss surgery I researched the average weight loss, the length of time it would take me and calculated what my weight loss should be each month. One site mentioned that most people lose 75% of the weight they want to in a year.

2 months in I was not on track, in fact I was not even close to meeting my target. If I had not had the monthly milestone in mind I probably would not have know that I was so bad at the weight loss. Because I did not reach my goal I called my dietician and discussed what I was eating.

She helped me see what food issues I was having and put me on the right path. I slowly changed my eating and over months it changed drastically, just with the small changes I made.

Exercise had to change as well. Since my bariatric medical team insists that weight loss is sustained for life through a healthy diet and exercise it meant I needed to exercise.

I was walking 10,000 steps before my operation and tried to do that right after. That was not a good idea. My energy levels went down 2 weeks after the op and I felt I was walking through sand.

I over did it. I was not eating enough for the amount of activity I was doing at work.

Steps Stairs Up Staircase Stairway
Free-Photos / Pixabay

By dropping my daily step goal to 1,000 and taking the bus more as my diet improved I slowly increased my steps. So I set a goal to reach 10,000 steps again.

I added 250 steps to my step goal each week. It was an amount that I could add and not notice during a day, maybe an extra trip to the tea point and an extra trip to the toilet.

Some weeks I felt well enough to add another 250 steps mid week.

As my fitness increase and my diet became more nutritious I lost a lot more weight. The fat was sliding off me.

I reached my goal in 7 months, that was just over 150 pounds lost.

I now set more goals and am more conscious about making the milestones short enough that I can reach them within a couple of months, hopefully shorter.

Take a look at the 3 day course on goals if you would like to reach your goals faster.

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How goals helped me to reach my ideal size

For years I wished I was “thin”.  I would diet, exercise and never reach my goal, because it was not a real goal.  Wishes are what we want, but we do not plan out how we are going to reach them.

I stopped looking at a diet and instead looked at what tasks I needed to do each day to reach my goal. Because I had so much weight to lose I would have lost momentum if I did not have milestones to reach along the way.

Think of it as a ladder, the goal is at the top of the ladder, each rung on the ladder is a milestone.  My goal size of a size 10 was at the top and each rung or milestone was a size closer towards it. 

Steps Stairs Up Staircase Stairway
Free-Photos / Pixabay

To get to a milestone I had lots of tasks to do, changes in my diet and exercise as well as work on how I thought about things.

I also had a physical goal, a dress I had made 20 years before while I was in my 20’s.  I never thought I would be able to wear that dress again. It hung on my wardrobe door.

Every milestone was celebrated, but not with food.  I would meet up with friends, go to a museum to see an exhibit that I wanted or book an event I would not usually have done.

By reaching a milestone I was one step closer to my goal.

Me wearing my goal dress
Me wearing my goal dress

Every few months I would put my goal dress up against me and one day, Christmas eve 2017 I tried it on. It fit!  So I wore it to the Christmas eve service at church, most people had not seen me since the summer and did not recognise me.  

I glowed not just from losing weight but from reaching my goal.