Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Getting There is Not the End, but the Beginning

You know how, at the end of a long road trip, after you've finally made it to your destination, you tell yourself that you will never get in a car again? Then, maybe after you've had a short nap, you find yourself in the car going to dinner or out with the Girls or after a few days, you could be looking at the long drive home you have ahead of you.  In any case, you realize that you will forever be on a road trip, and that you will continually have destinations which you will always be attempting to reach.

I hadn't really given much thought to what happens when I finally reach my goal, and then the other day, Margie the Magnificent (my incredible WW leader) mentioned to me that the journey will not end once I get to “Canton”, but it will merely shift. Shift to maintaining rather than losing, shift to living rather than struggling, shift to being self-confident rather than self-conscious. 

As I have often said in the posts here, the “Road Trip” is symbolic for the journey through life. Now I see that life is not one big road trip, but rather like a series of road trips along a perpetual winding road. So, when this journey ends, another one will begin. Another thing I may have mentioned— a time or two— is that Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” has always inspired me, both as a writer and as a person, and that has made all the difference in this adventure. Many times in life, there will be the option to choose one of two roads. And while there may not necessarily be a wrong choice, there is a right choice for the right time. Each choice will lead us to the next fork in the road, and so on. The journey never ends, the destination and purpose only changes. 

While I am not currently standing at the divergence of two roads, I’m sure there are some of you out there who are. Don’t fret about your choice, embrace it. If you land on a path that is not taking you where you want to go, then look for the next fork. If you aren't sure where you are on your path, get our your compass, map, GPS or phone a friend! That’s the beauty of not taking the road trip alone!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Are We There, Yet?

Ahh, the age old question, especially if you have little ones along for the ride! But it’s not just the kids who are anxiously awaiting the end of the road trip. I, too, am excited about the prospect of finally being able to get out of the car and stretch my legs.  But sometimes I have to question if I really need to keep going. I mean, I’m almost there, so why can’t I just be happy with almost making it? In the grand scheme of things, isn’t Woodstock the same as Canton? Well, no, it’s not. They may be in the same county, and I may be happy staying in Woodstock, but the very reason for driving to Georgia is to go to Canton so that I can hang out with my BFF. 

I am facing a similar dilemma in my weight loss journey. To date, I have lost 132.4 lbs, and only have 23.3 lbs to go until I hit my goal. I am fighting the urge to be satisfied with my current accomplishment.  But then I think, hmmm, I haven’t come this far to be merely satisfied, I have come this far to reach a goal. And while I can’t take anything away from what I have already achieved, I also can’t sit back and rest on my laurels and expect to not have some pangs of guilt or the feeling of unfinished business hanging in the air like a dense fog. So, I must resist the urge to stay where I am and get back on the road and make it to that goal that is off in the not too distant future.   

Something else that I have to realize is that while the drive from Woodstock to Canton may seem like a hop, skip and a jump, it is going to take me awhile to complete it. In fact, I’m pretty sure it feels like I actually abandoned the car and am now travelling by foot the rest of the way. Things have definitely slowed down, but they haven’t stopped. And as long as I continue to see forward progress, there is no reason to be satisfied with only making it “most of the way”. 

So, for those of you who have joined me on this journey, I ask that you help keep me focused and I will do the same for you. When we can finally answer “are we there, yet?” with" “yes!”, then we can celebrate with a pitcher of Margaritas!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tuning Out the Road Rage

As anyone who has ever driven a car knows, there can be some serious road raging drivers on the mean streets. I know I am guilty of a road rage temper tantrum or two (or three or four); however, I also know that it is really in my best interest if I just pay attention to what I am doing rather than listening to the angry shouts of my fellow road warriors. The weight-loss journey (or any of life’s journeys) is no exception. Lately, I have been letting other “bloggers”, whom I have never met (nor will I ever meet) cloud the view of my success. For instance, the story about the Oklahoma City cheerleader who was called “chunky” by some random ink slinger just got me all riled up. I know that it is not healthy (mentally or physically) to compare myself to others, but sometimes I just can’t help it! The way society has distorted and warped what is considered to be “beautiful” is not fair to anyone. As long as there are people out there with poison pens (or should I say cantankerous keyboards) directing their bile at unsuspecting targets, the distortion will only continue. I understand that there are health concerns associated with being overweight, but usually when “chubby” people are attacked publically it’s not by someone who is expressing concern for the health of the person, but rather it’s because the person doesn’t meet society’s idea of Hollywood aesthetics.
Back in the day when Marilyn Monroe was the standard by which women would measure themselves, life was indeed simpler. Social media, eating disorders and Sensa were not part of everyday life.  But, much like ignoring the vulgar ramblings of road ragers, I just have to keep my eye on the road and listen to my heart, music or the humming of my own engine rather than the negative voices out there trying to tear others down. I figure by writing about my experiences in a fun and light-hearted way, I can help people tune out the cynicism that permeates the blogosphere! 

I’m reminded of an anecdote about a frog: There were a bunch of frogs who were to race to the top of a mountain. The crowd that gathered to watch the frogs kept chanting that it couldn’t be done, it was too steep, too long and too hard for the frogs to complete. So, one by one, the frogs— listening to the crowd— began to drop out of the race. Except one. One lone frog kept hopping and hopping until finally he reached the top. The crowd couldn’t believe he made it to the top, they were all surprised because of the difficulty of the task. When they asked him how he did it, they realized he was deaf. It was this deafness that allowed him to keep going when all the other frogs had listened to the crowd and thrown in the towel. So, I have to be like the deaf frog: tune out the naysayers and keep on hopping! Really, isn’t that what we should all do? Even when the negative voice we hear the loudest is our own, we just have to keep on hopping!