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Slow and steady.

Monday, August 01, 2011

I've been losing weight since 2007...sloooowwwwwly. So slowly. It seems that about once a year, I have a small gain and then there is a few months a year that I have some really consistent weight loss, and the rest of each year seems to be a balancing act of practicing the right habits and meeting exercise goals.

In 2009, I started following a sparkfriend who really inspired me. Boy, we need those success stories, especially when we're struggling. It was just amazing to me to see someone lose 80 pounds in a year. She got down to 125 pounds from almost 200 pounds. I started at 181 pounds and my goal is 115 pounds (I'm short), so I was keen to see how she achieved similar goals. Even though I was uber impressed with what she accomplished, a part of me was wondering why I couldn't just focus intensively for a short period of time and get to maintenance.

I was particularly impressed with this sparkfriend's running successes as a result of getting in shape. Exercise has been a major component of my weightloss journey, and running has helped me set and stick to goals along the way. Her running 10K times were so impressive and she seemed to be doing more and better all the time.

I recently caught up on her blogs for 2010, and this is where my heart breaks. She got a running injury, then another, then surgery...twice. No exercise at all. 80 pounds re-gained in less than a year. I could just feel her frustration and I was so discouraged for her!!

What's great is that she's still here and still focused. Now, that's determination. But man, what a tough journey!!

So, I thought to myself, yep, I still need to lose 30 pounds. Yep, I'm on year 4. Nope, haven't yet tasted goal. But, no major gains, no major set-backs. I've had an over-training injury but caught it in time to listen to my body and plan for a full recovery while I scaled back my running and focused on cross-training. I've never stopped exercising or doing a lot of other "right" habits, even though I still struggle with bad habits. I've adjusted calorie intake where calorie output wasn't as high and made lots of incremental shifts aong the way.

So, here's what I've accomplished at 40 pounds of losing weight over 4 years. I've stuck out this journey of life change through 4 years of Christmas celebrations (we all know how hard that time of year can be), I've finished a very stressful full-time university degree and started a full-time career path during that time, I've seen my girls grow from infants to school-age bundles of energy, our home has added a cat and a dog, money issues have gone up and down and up and down in the roller coaster of raising a young family, me and dh are consistently taking the time for each other that we need, I've run a couple half-marathons, a full marathon, and most importantly, I've been able to finish training for these events and adjust my calories back to a "normal" range. And finally, even with the little gains that seem to show up once a year, I've consistently lost more than I've gained, and I continue to increase my overall fitness that challenges me to keep moving forward.

My goal right now is to really enjoy the journey. Embrace it. Today is mine. Every choice I make at this weight is the only day I have. Every step toward a healthier me doesn't take away from the success of today. The last 4 years have been so enjoyable and successful. Just because I haven't reached goal is surprisingly beside the point. So, I don't intend to regret where I'm not yet when I have so much to celebrate today.
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  • no profile photo CD6811824
    Great recap of your journey. Thank you for sharing
    3457 days ago
    I love this blog. I kind of understand where your friend is coming from. Last year when I started with Spark I was needing to loose weight bad. I was 270 pounds and as I got into running I maybe pushed too hard too often. That's when I had 2 seizures on different runs and had to take some time off to figure out my body and re-plan things with my neurologist. Came back this spring with a new plan and a redefine attitude. So I have gone from 270 to 188 in just over a year even with a 6 month time frame that I didn't workout!

    Thank you for sharing this, it is always a great support system to know there are people who may understand your path and the things you are ealing with!
    3459 days ago
    Your blog literally caugt me at the right time...I was having a pity party today after some recent gains on the scale and was lamenting that I am not a quick loser when it comes to pounds. Over a year and a half and I am down 50 pounds with 30 or so to go...I love your attitude that however long it takes we need to be thankful for TODAY...for our health, our accomplishments, our love ones and all of the wonderful things to come. Thank you!!! emoticon
    3459 days ago
    emoticon blog! This one is a keeper for those days when the "you are a failure, you can't even lose weight" devil tries to get to my mind!
    emoticon attitude! You are so right, we so often tend to focus on the end goal that we fail to recognise the little successes along the way without which we will not get to the end goal that we are so focussed on! You are doing great. Keep it going.
    3459 days ago
    I love your attitude! It really is all about the journey and what you learn along the way. I will copy and save your blog to read on the days I get discouraged because it isn't going fast enough. Many thanks for sharing!
    3459 days ago
    Love, love, LOVE this blog!! I too am a VERY slow loser. I seem to have maintenance down even though I still have about 20 to lose. You have accomplished and have had so many successes on your journey and it's great that you recognize that. You are doing amazing! I can't wait until I can say I've done half and full marathons. Keep up the great work!!! emoticon
    3459 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.