Friday, November 21, 2014

You Don’t Have to Remain in the Fast Lane

So, way back when, as one of my earliest blog posts, I discussed how speeding isn't necessary. I remember that I wrote that, but so much has happened in the nearly 2 years since that post, that I had to go back and re-read it to ensure that I didn't repeat myself. While revisiting that stop along the Road Trip, it occurred to me that I really should go back and revisit my entire journey. Especially right now, with the holidays looming and end-of-year reminiscing, it just made sense that now is the time to look back. As the old saying goes, “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

I started this blog as a means of chronicling my struggles and successes, my trials and triumphs as I embarked on the (seemingly) overwhelming task of losing half my body weight. Now that I've achieved that goal, I continue to find little things along the way that inspire something down deep inside that I feel I should share. One such tidbit came from an unexpected source. As some of you know, my story was featured on CNN, and since then, I have been blessed with many opportunities, including being interviewed by and even appearing on a segment of “The Doctors.” As it turns out, the unexpected source of inspiration came when someone from CNN reached out and asked if I would be interested in doing a follow up “Where Are They Now?” type story for January. It would coincide with people making New Year’s Resolutions. I sent back a quick response indicating that I would love to be a part of the New Year’s Resolution story and jotted down a quick piece of advice that I would offer someone making such a resolution: It’s not a resolution for a New Year, it’s a resolution for a New You. As soon as those words were staring back at me, I knew I had to translate that idea into a stop along my Road Trip.

 As you are driving along the interstate, it is tempting to want to hang out in the far left lane– the fast lane, as it were– in order to get where you’re going as fast as you can. It seems like a logical thought, but you can go too fast. When I talk about a New You Resolution, what I really mean is that thinking about the diet as a temporary activity will more than likely end in disappointment. For someone to get the desired results, it takes more than a casual “it’s a new year, I should lose some weight” passing thought. It takes a core desire to change what you've done your entire life and try something new. After all, if you want to be something you've never been, you have to do something you've never done. Overhauling your mind and body is not something to speed through. It took me 2 ½ years to hit goal and I learned a lot about myself during that time. If I had stayed in the left lane, pedal to the metal, there is no doubt I would have lost the weight faster, but I also may have gotten distracted and lost focus of the final goal. I’m not saying I wouldn't have been successful, but slowing down and appreciating the changes that I made helped me change old habits and create new ones. No one is timing you on your progress, so there is no need to rush through it. People often want instant gratification, but proper and healthy weight loss is not something that can be, nor should be, done overnight. It’s a long slow journey, but it is worth every mile!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Frustrated with a Traffic Jam

OK, so you know when you’re cruising along, hitting traffic lights with ease, there are minimal cars on the road and your road trip seems to be going along swimmingly. And then, all of the sudden, a traffic jam of biblical proportions halts you in your tracks. Yeah, that happens, trust me.

As much as I’d like to believe it, this journey can’t all be about sunshine and rainbows. At some point, the storm clouds are going to roll in and there is going to be a serious traffic delay that causes me to rethink whether or not I should stay the course. Now, depending on when this stall takes place will dictate how much of an introspective conversation I will need to have. If the delay is merely miles outside of my destination, I think it’s a no-brainer that a few extra minutes sitting in traffic is no big deal. However, if there is a major road closure right as I’m starting out? Well, then it’s time for me to seriously analyze what I want to accomplish.

Throughout this journey, I really don’t know if I have made it clear that this task is not easy. That was the impetus behind this blog. Knowing it’s not easy, knowing that it takes a little something extra to achieve was why I wanted to write everything down and put my story out there. There were plenty of times I wanted to quit and maybe plenty of times that I almost did, but I realized that the quitting behavior is what I’d always done. And isn't the clinical definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result? If you want something you've never had, you must choose to do something you've never done. To me, that is the polar opposite of insanity.

Deciding to quit is nothing new for people. Deciding to succeed, there’s where we tread into unexplored territory. So, when you come up on your traffic jam, decide if you will take the same, tired way back home or venture on the road less travelled. The fork in the road is before you, and it is up to you to decide which way is going to take you to your ultimate destination.