The first time I had a lot of weight to lose, after Myra was born, I worked really hard. I worked out 4-6 times a week, denied myself sweets for about 2 months, and counted calories like a crazy lady. Even though this isn’t my favorite way of losing weight, I had a lot to lose! So, I knew I had to get serious. The hard work paid off as I lost around 50 pounds in 2 months.
By the end of those 2 months, I had gotten within 8 pounds of my goal weight and discovered that I was pregnant. I was thankful to have been so successful with losing weight and we were thrilled that another little one was on the way!
The problem, however, was that I had reached my destination…so I was done.
I quickly made pregnancy my excuse to skip the gym. I ended up wasting months of a gym membership because I reached the point I wanted and was too busy growing a baby. Therefore, I didn’t need to continue the healthy lifestyle I had created.
The issue wasn’t morning sickness or lack of time. The issue was completely with my mentality. I was treating fitness like a destination. Instead of deciding to have a healthy lifestyle that would carry throughout my life, I used healthy living to reach a goal. Once I was there, I didn’t need it anymore.
This is a terrible mentality that far too many people get caught thinking. We treat exercise and clean eating simply as a way to reach our “goal weight,” look good for that wedding next summer, or fit into those jeans. Whatever the reason, fitness should not stop there. Yes, it feels awesome to lose weight and look good. But maybe the issue is really in those goals.
The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Why am I choosing a healthy lifestyle?”
If you find yourself consistently fluctuating with your weight, maybe you lose 20 then gain 20, it might be time to reevaluate why you are eating clean and exercising. You may need to figure out your “why” for this healthy journey you are on.
For instance, instead of working out to look good, workout to feel confident in your skin. Instead of choosing a healthy dinner at a restaurant to keep the calories low for your diet, choose a healthy option because you want to nourish your body with the best. Instead of forcing yourself to go to the gym so you fit into those jeans from college, go to the gym so that you have energy to play with your kids.
You see, these goals make it less of a destination and more of a lifestyle. When you reach that weight loss goal, keep going because you want to feel good, be strong, stay off your medications, or take your kids on a hike.
This is a journey you will be on forever. It’s okay to have a special treat once in a while or take a break over the holidays. Just remember that fitness is not the means to an end.
Fitness is a journey and one that is certainly worth it. So, find an exercise you love and incorporate it into your day. Love the whole foods that satisfy your body and find creative ways to make them special. You will never reach a “fitness destination.” Rather, you will be making choices each day on your fitness journey to be a healthier, happier you.
Embrace the journey and love the life you live.
Have you treated fitness like a destination? What are you going to do to make it all about the journey?
P.S. This is my journey