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Understanding the Journey

Saturday, April 19, 2014

This is not my first time taking a journey toward weight loss and the fact that I am here again is a signal that I need to really figure out how to make changes last. I've noticed that there is a general 'template' for being successful the Spark People way. That makes sense, because there is much to be learned from the experts and from all the success that members have had. For me, though, it's time to go beyond the general formula and make this journey my own.

In this post, I share some of what I think will work best for me. My strength has always been a strong start. Religious about logging in, tracking water, food, and exercise. Racking up Spark Points was a fun challenge, initially, and I attacked that with gusto. It's never a problem for me to use new patterns of healthy shopping, food prep, and portion control for the first 6 weeks or so. But after that, I quickly make less healthy decisions.

Part of it, I think, is that the intensity of the strong start wears me down. In our incredibly busy lives, the time spent thinking about and staying accountable for healthy choices takes its toll. This time around, I've made some adjustments to the 'template' that I think will make the changes less of a short-term fitness/diet program, and take me more in the direction of sustainable, healthy living.

Food tracking is one of the key elements to the template, and that's understandable. For me, though, it is counter-productive. Too much of a focus on what goes into my mouth makes me obsessive and tracking my food makes me feel deprived. This time around, I'm passing on that aspect. I know how to eat well and where my trouble spots are. My focus is healthy shopping, healthy food prep, portion control, and better snack choices. So far, it is working beautifully.

For the first time, I'm not feeling 'punished' by food limitations. I'm not 100% sure that this will work for the whole journey, but for now, this approach is keeping me energized. It's allowing me to focus more on exercise, my Achilles heel, so that I have a more well-rounded approach to healthy living.

I know it isn't for everyone, but, for me, making the decision to not track calories is working. The pounds are slowly coming off. I'm exercising consistently. I feel fine about the food options. I'm participating in the community. I'm holding myself accountable, but in a gentle way. When I slip up, I've been stepping back into line pretty quickly. I fully understand that it may not work for everyone, but customizing the journey in this way seems to be paying off for me.

Have a great day, everyone!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD12377244
    I religously tracked while in the weight loss phase. Now in maintenance for 25 weeks, I no longer track but employ the concepts I learned. It's working! Blessings and emoticon
    2415 days ago
  • AJR2013AJR
    Yeah! Great blog! I think you are 100% right. I have gained and lost weight many times, and I decided to do it differently this time. I have permanently given up sugar and limit my alcohol consumption to one beer or glass of wine a week. I do try to make healthy choices, but I do not measure food or count calories. I make no effort to limit fat and protein, although I know I will need to do that at some point if I want to continue to lose weight. I plan my days around exercise, which is so much better than planning them around food! I am always happy to hear about others who have decided against counting calories and logging food. Of course, I know I would lose weight much faster if I did that, but I don't think I will ever learn what is right for me and be able to maintain it that way. Take care!
    2416 days ago
    So happy to hear you've found a formula that works for you! It certainly isn't a "one size fits" journey! Knowing your individual strengths and weaknesses, being open to exploring options and placing focus where needed is a recipe for success for every individual! Once you've found your pattern the community becomes your accountability partner in helping cheer you on!

    Best of luck with much success!
    2416 days ago
  • JAROL7
    You are so right. Measuring, calculating, and writing down every calorie is a winning combination. It works every time. Estimating does NOT work for me. When I quit being accurate with the Tracker ... the weight comes back on. DECIDING is 90% of the process, then just following through on the plan is the rest.
    2416 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.