Because I have made the drive to Atlanta so many times, I have just about every nook and cranny of Interstate 75 memorized. Along the way, I always look for my personal landmarks so that I know how far I’ve gone and how much of my trip remains. Some of my favorites include: a land bridge over 75 just south of Ocala, Exit 5 (just over the Georgia-Florida border) and finally, the south loop of 285. Once I hit that south side of 285, I know downtown Atlanta is not far off and I will be on the north side of the city and headed to my old stompin’ grounds in a relatively short period of time!
I bring up all these little landmarks, because they help put my road trip in perspective. I also have little landmarks for my weight-loss road trip. If I had come into the first meeting told everyone in the room, including myself, that I was planning on losing at least 100 pounds (actually, I am at 120 lbs. as of this writing), I’m pretty sure I would have sabotaged my agenda. To put that kind of pressure on myself would be silly, stupid and counterproductive. So, as is the way with the WW plan, my first goal was a manageable five pounds. And you know what, I hit that after my first full week! Next! The second challenge was to lose 5% of my body weight. It took me a few weeks, but I did that, too. So within the first two months of being on this program, I had already achieved multiple milestones. Starting in September means that I would have a tough road ahead with the holidays right around the corner. However, by the time January rolled around, I realized that I hadn’t gained any weight and I was on the verge of my next landmark: 10% of my starting weight gone! Eventually, the 25 lb., 50 lb., 75 lb. and 100 lb. landmarks were not far behind.
I have said this before, and I will continue to say it: this is a long journey, not a quick trip to the store. There are no easy fixes and no shortcuts, believe me, I have looked! I would much rather have Samantha or Jeanie blink and make me thin than have to stay on this course the rest of my life, but I have also learned that I appreciate the things in life that I work hard to achieve, while the stuff that is handed to me often times gets tossed aside. These landmarks along the way are tangible reminders as to how tough this road trip really is and the sacrifices and changes I have made in order to achieve my current success.
So, what are your landmarks? How will you learn to appreciate the journey you are taking? Will you take the time to reflect on your successes? It’s not bragging, you know. It simply letting people know that you have come a long way and you want to share your excitement with them.