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!