I know that lots and lots of people hate the word "journey" to describe the work they are doing on changes to their lifestyle whatever they may be -- getting fit, losing weight, improving health, managing stress, any two or more of the previous items, etc. But to me, if you like the word, use it. It is, after all, YOUR work and YOUR effort. You can describe it with every words you choose. So, I am going to use journey because the past years have been a journey for me.
The truth is we are all different. What I need to do to keep moving towards my goals is very different than what you need to do. Of course, my goals are likely very different than yours too. In fact, my goals today are very different than my goals were a few years, even a few months, ago. The key is to figure out what YOU need to do to reach your goals. This doesn't mean that others and what they are doing might not help you figure out what you need to do but it does mean that we shouldn't get discouraged if what someone else is doing doesn't work for you...that it doesn't get you closer to your goals. Don't listen to the naysayers as they try to tell you that you are doing it wrong. If it is working for you and helping you find the life you want, then who are they to tell you to do something different?
It's so easy to be swayed by other stories of success. It is easy to jump from plan to plan without giving the first enough time to see if it is going to help you be successful. I've done that...I still do it but I'm learning to stick to a plan. I learning to see success in small things and not always be looking for the big signs of success. I am learning to R E L A X about perceived plateaus in some areas no matter how long they may be as long as I am seeing progress in other areas. Ok. I haven't lost as much weight as I would have liked in 2014...but the inches I lost and the strength I gained cannot be ignored.
Part of the reasons that I have not given up is that I really LOVE working out. I really LOVE being and getting stronger. I LOVE how I feel these days. I LOVE being more confident about who I am. I LOVE having the new circle of friends I have and LOVE that they keep accountable. I LOVE the group of experts that I know and provide advice and encouragement. I LOVE being an athlete...a lifter of heavy things. I LOVE that most of the time I do the best I can...it may not be better than what others can do....but it is better than I did yesterday. I LOVE that when I don't do as well as I can, I am learning to just hike up my big girl pants and move on.
The other thing I have learned is to be flexible about goals. When I first started my journey, it was all about the numbers on the scale and losing weight. I was a point in my life that I knew I couldn't go on if I didn't. Before too long, it become more about becoming healthier and getting better numbers with my blood work so that I would not have to be maintenance drugs (and partially to prove a previous doctor that she was wrong). When I finally started working out, it was about being able to do cardio and move with some sort of endurance. Then it became about being stronger. I discovered so many things at the gym that I loved...kettlebell workouts, boxing, and weight lifting. I found that I could be strong. Now, it is more about living a life that I want to live...to do things I want to do...to enjoy time with family and friends....to get to the top of 14ers...to enjoy the outdoors...to do more than simply exist.
I recently read this blog. My favorite quote in the blog is "All this to say, and I've said it before, success is about consistency, embracing imperfection, and being proud of your best, where your best is the healthiest life that you can enjoy living, not the healthiest life that you can tolerate."
This speaks volumes to me. I am still learning to embrace imperfections, to live a life that is the healthiest for where I am but the key is I am still learning and moving forward on my journey. I am learning to learn from what goes right and what goes wrong. I am learning to stick with something to see if it going to move me forward on my journey. Things may not always be perfect but I'm on this journey and committed for a lifetime.