My Journey of Self-Discovery

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Merriam-Webster defines a journey as an act or instance of traveling from place to another; the passage from one place to another. This is precisely how I describe my life--it is a passage from one place to another.

Six years ago I took one of the most important steps in changing my life. A journey that would take me to places I never imagined I would find myself. After all, it's hard to see what lies ahead of us when we can only see the past and where we are today. It is difficult to see the place where we have yet to travel because seldom in our life does everything goes as planned.

When I was well into my journey I was talking with a dear friend who had noticed the changes I was undergoing. Now mind you, I had just started running and I was still actively trying to lose those last twenty pounds, but being 60 pounds lighter, there were changes. She asked me how this time was different. For me, a lot had to do with where I was in my life. I was no longer fighting to stay in a 'normal' size, I was literally fighting for my life. High blood pressure, pre-diabetes, gall bladder issues, aching feet and knees when I stood too long were becoming a daily battle. On February 9, 2005 I began my incredible journey and this is my analogy of the journey the way I see it.

Most of us don't just get in the car one day and decide to go on a trip. It takes planning, a destination, a means to get us to our destination, a map to follow and determination.

We plan our destination (our goal), begin the journey with direction (goal setting). We then map out our trip (SparkPeople is our map). We pack the items we needed to take with us (stocking a healthy pantry, joining a gym) and then we begin the journey. The enthusiasm is high. All we can think about is reaching our destination.

We drive along the way and everything is going as planned. We are heading toward our destination, but oh no, we come across some road construction and we are forced to make a detour. Do we continue on or do we turn around and go back home? Most of us will follow the new direction, it may not have been the way we planned when we left, but nothing in life ever is. We are learning to roll with the punches.

We find our way back on the road and oh no, we have a flat tire (plateau). We can sit there, complain and wait for someone to rescue us OR we can get out of the car and figure a way to change the tire ourselves. It won't be easy, but with the right tools (message boards and teams) we can get that tire changed so we can continue on the journey.

We continue on our way and we find ourselves heading through a beautiful passage through the mountains, but instead of appreciating the scenery, we race through to get to our destination as fast as we can not realizing that we needed to stop for gas along the way (not eating enough and spending hours exercising). The sad reality the journey is not so much about the destination, but enjoying the changes we are forced to make as we travel through to get to that destination.

After days on the road, we finally make it to our destination. Not once did we turn the car around and go back home. Not once did we let the obstacles stand in our way to reach our goal. We can even stop and enjoy the beauty and appreciate how far we have come. We can celebrate overcoming the challenges, therefore once we make it to our destination, we know anything is possible.

What lesson have you learned in your own journey of self-discovery? Do you find that we focus too much on the goal and not enough on the changes we make that will ultimately get us to our goal?

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Its amazing I have really found out who I am in the last two years. Report
Thank you for sharing,
It gives me motivation, and while reading this I was thinking of a roadmap and rethinking about my own course. Report
Thanks for this Great Blog! Report
Loved the blog, makes me more movitated to keep on keeping on. Thanks Report
Very well put...the way you describe it is how I did "it" this time. I have been on my journey for almost 2 years now, and I am still enjoying it.
Thanks!! Report
I read it twice.......thank you for putting it on here Report
Love the Blog .......Thank you so much for sharing and helping us on our Road Trip! ......Hugs Report
Excellent Analogy!!! I will keep this description in the front of my mind from now on! Thank you so much for giving all of us inspiration, motivation and a smile! Report
Loved the blog. It gives me hope! Report
Great blog! Report
GREAT analogy! Report
Wow what a great analogy! I will use it for others AND for myself! Report
Love this analogy. Thanks! Report
Wow!!! Thanks - I'm going to enjoy my journey!!! Report
Perfect. Thanks for posting! Report
What a great analogy! Thanks, Nancy! Report
As always, Nancy, a remarkable blog! Report
Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! Report
What a great blog! A must read for Spark people!
Thank you! Report
I tend to not see the destination because of the trees. I sure wish I could be my mind in a better place and stick to my plan. I have had too many bumps lately and need to find a smoother road to travel....and make better choices. Report
What a great blog and this makes so much sense. Thank you! Report

This is the PERFECT reminder...not only for the NEW SPARKER leaving on their first trip...but for those mid journey or already at their inital destination!

I talk to team members all the time about speedbumps on the journey...taking the wrong exit...taking the road less traveled...the blowouts...broken THIS one...REALLY HIT HOME!

For me...I think I have pulled off in to the LAND OF THE SUPERHERO UNTOUCHABLES...where the rules don't apply to me...and I could NOT lose those inital last 20 and BE FINE!

Darn you...for reminding me to STOP being a the map...get to the inital destination and THEN explore more!

Thank you...I guess that's why YOU ARE THE COACH!!!

Traveling on and continuing to inspire all along the way!!! Report
Wow Nancy, your blog says almost exactly what I told my 9 year old son yesterday as we were traveling along the road to Hana in Maui while on vacation here. I told him life is like the road to Hana, it's about the journey, not the destination. I don't think he really got it, but he did enjoy the side trips. Thanks for the blog. Report
I love it!
Loved your blog, Nancy!!!!! :o) It is so, so true! Report
Loved the way this explains the travel.............. Report
Great Way of Looking at this quest of ours! Thanx!! Report
What a wonderful way to share your experiences with everyone - thank you for taking the time and thought to put this together Report
This is a interesting blog. I enjoyed reading your story. Keep up the good work. Eventually we will get to our goals, then we will need to stick at stay at our goals.
I hope you get to feeling better. May God Bless You. Fatburner5
Great article. This journey will last a lifetime for all of us--neverending experiences!
Great analogy!. I too reached that point where I was just fed up with being overweight and decided it was now or never for me. I am .5 pounds under goal weight and only 2.5 pounds from going from Obese through Overweight and into Normal range. I am going on 63 years old, and with the help of SP and truly changing the way I am eating, I feel I have finally arrived at my destination and plan to move in here on a permanent basis. I like the neighborhood and the folks who live here! Report
Good analogy for our "trips" we're taking. Spark People can be compared to a GPS, helping us to "recalculate" when we run into obstacles and deadends. Report
Thanks for the comments! Report
Definitely it is the journey and i like to think of the momentos we carry with us are the small heathier choice we choose in our new lifestyle.:-) Report
Another great blog coach! I couldn't have made a better analogy! Perfect. Today is the 2 month anniversary of joining spark. For the first time, in 16 years of struggling to lose weight I see it as a journey with a destination I will reach. Yay that! I just joined the 5k your way team for rookie runners. I look forward to the day I can run races like you and so many of the amazing people I have made on spark! Report
I've learned that I can do this if I really want to ... I don't have to be an observer in life ... I can participate! Report
The real truth I have learned is that you never really get to your destination, the trip goes on and on, and has to keep on going, at least until assisted living or very old age...................a truth many eating plans don't acknowledge! Report
Great analogy! Job well done Nancy! Report
Beautifully said. Motivating :) Thank you! Report
Wonderful blog entry and so true. I have only just got out the driveway on my journey [week one] and my car hit ice. It skidded but I eventually got on the road in the right direction. But I doubted the way and performance of my exit from the drive even though I traveled in the right direction a few feet. My weight loss of 5lbs was not through starting any exercise or counting calories but probably due to a little stress and under eating while my daughter was vomiting for days with a stomach flu. My goal was met but it wasn't the designated route. Does that matter? No. Next week I will see how much I can loose traveling on a clear and de-iced road. Thank you for the inspiration. Report
I enjoyed reading this and it makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing! Report
This is so great. Having planned this journey it is far more successful and sustainable than any other I have ever taken. Thanks for the blog! Report
I made the journey with a few stubbles along the way. I reached my destination and after a few months I let obstacles get in my path of remembering "Me First". That is exactly why and back on a journey again. Thanks for re-enforcing that it is the correct path to take. Report
Thanks for the blog-came at a time when i had semi-fallen of the path and am now getting back on the path in my journey.your analogy to a car trip is so true-i just had a flat tire and have fixed it and am getting back on the trip!Thank you so much! Report
Agreed, a fantastic analogy.....I get it! Report
Good analogy! I really liked this :D Report
Very Good !!! I loved the road trip Report
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for such an awesom blog. It is just what I needed this week Report
The journey yes! Had my plans, but they are not what I am living now. So I have had a few bumps in the road well actually some rather large bumps in the road. But I was able to find myself after all that transpired and to find a new path to follow. I got laid off from my job of 12 years and it turned out to be a good thing, although I would rather that it wasn't financially challenging. I decided that I could not sit in front of a computer day after day, as I had been going up and down flights of stairs at my job. Sitting all day would not be good for my health. Came home and got my husband out walking with me an hour every morning. My legs are much more trim and my husband has lost over 25 lbs and is feeling a lot better. His health has definitely improved. Mentally I feel stronger and rejuvenated. What appears to be a problem can turn out to be a blessing. Report
Awesome blog, Nancy ! I hate to sound cliche, but some times we really do need to stop and smell the flowers. While it's important to have a goal to strive for, we shouldn't have blinders on our eyes to keep us too focused. If we're on a journey, our final destination will still be there. It might take longer to get to where we want to go, but the side trips are worth an occasional detour.

What have I learned on my own journey ? That I don't have to be perfect to be healthy. I can't tell you how long it took to learn that lesson. Like many other people... I was way too focused on the goal and neglected the real lessons on the way.