Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hanging at the Rest Stop

You know, there are times when I am on the road that I just know if I take a break at a gas station or a fast food restaurant (oh, how I love Chick-Fil-A, though!!), I’m just gonna get into trouble. There are so many ways to be bad at those places...candy bars, cheeseburgers, milk-shakes, ice cream, french fries, etc. If I am feeling particularly vulnerable—and I don’t need gas— I make sure that I stop at a rest stop. Usually, they are readily available and there is less opportunity to stray from my goal, which means, I am back on the road after stretching my legs for a few minutes. There are those times, however, where all good intentions are thrown out the window, and I end up hanging out at the rest stop. Maybe there is a dog caravan stopping at the same time and I stay to watch the dogs play or maybe I just don’t feel like getting back on the road, but whatever the case, I am only extending the length of my journey.
In the big scheme of things, adding a few minutes on to an eight hour drive is not that big of a deal, so I can’t chastise myself too much if I decide to hang out for a little while. What would be bad is to decide to take up residence at the rest stop. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to do, any time you stop moving forward, your goal keeps getting pushed back and before you realize it, you’ve abandoned your plan.

In the weight loss road trip, hanging out at the rest stop basically means hitting a plateau. I’ve recently done that and it was very difficult for me to find my way off that plateau (or get back in the car, as it were). For several weeks in a row, I weighed the exact same as the week prior, making me question my ability to keep going. Taking up residency at the rest stop seemed like a pretty good option!

Then something crazy happened... I went to Vegas!! Now, since what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, I can’t share too many details here!! ;) But, I can say this: I have never felt better after walking and being on my feet 21 hours/day for three days. Upon realizing how good I felt after that trip, I was motivated off the plateau and got my butt back in gear to come out of the comfortable confines of the rest stop. At yesterday’s weigh-in, I lost almost 5 lbs, bringing my total loss to an astounding 127 lbs. So yes, plateau busted!

Even though it may seem necessary to hang at a rest stop, don’t loiter too long. Find the motivation to jump back in the car and reach your destination. At the same time, you shouldn’t let a few extra minutes dampen your spirits, since nobody but you has imposed an imaginary clock on your “drive time”, you should be allowed to reset the clock when a break is needed. Just remember you have the rest of your life to reach your destination, so take as much time as you need and enjoy the ride.