It’s the Journey, Not the Destination

journey

Or is it?

It’s a common phrase and it’s something that I try to remind myself. Too often I get wrapped up in whatever goal I’m trying to achieve and forget to stop and smell the roses. Living in the moment is not easy for me.

So which is the truth? Is it the journey or the destination?

When it comes to weight loss, it’s often the destination. Everyone’s journey is different, and for some of us it can be a very very long journey! It took me almost 2 years to lose 100 pounds. There were a lot of roadblocks in my way and it was extremely frustrating when I wouldn’t see a loss on the scale for the week.

Journey

I kind of wish I had enjoyed my “journey” to lose 100 pounds a little more than I did. In the beginning I did not have faith in myself. I didn’t think I would lose the weight. I could never lose weight in the past, why would this time be any different?

When I started to see actual progress, I gradually grew to have faith in myself that I could reach my goal and lose 100 pounds. Once the weight loss was steady each week (2-6 pounds a week), I enjoyed the process in a few ways:

Feeling Deprived – I never really felt like I was depriving myself of anything. Once I got over the first few weeks of the dramatic lifestyle change, it got easier. I didn’t feel the intense hunger pains, I got used to eating less, and I didn’t usually feel like I was starving myself! Now trust me, those first few weeks were hard. I wasn’t sure I’d make it. But the body adapts and I felt okay.

Attention – I mentioned in the post, What Happens After You Lose the Weight, I started getting a lot of attention from everyone. I got attention from men who were suddenly interested in me; I got attention from family and friends and coworkers telling me how great I was doing. That definitely made the journey fun!

So in what way did I not enjoy the journey? I didn’t like how SLOWLY I was losing weight. It seemed to take forever. The plateaus were so hard to work through. And those last 15 pounds seemed to never melt away.

selfimprovement

Destination

What happened once I reached goal weight? I reached my destination. I crossed the finish line. I MADE IT. Holy crap, I did it! It was so much fun reaching my goal. I felt strong, I felt happy, I felt fulfilled, I felt accomplished. I’d set my mind to something and I didn’t fail. That is such a cool feeling.

So did I enjoy the destination more than the journey? I kinda did! While I still count my calories and eat in moderation, I didn’t have to be quite as strict as I did when I wanted to lose weight. I also got distracted with fitness related goals that made me feel amazing. I was finally able to enjoy my life without weight loss being the #1 thing on my mind at all times.

What didn’t I like about the destination? Well, I no longer get that “high” of “oh my god I lost a bunch of weight!” because this is just ME now. Also, sometimes I feel a little un-achored because I don’t have a massive, all-consuming goal to focus on. I’m a goal-oriented person and not having something big makes me feel a little lost sometimes.

oldpants

So Which Is It?

I really don’t know. I experienced positives and negatives in both stages of the process. I see the joys and frustrations in both.

When I think of this question, I think about YOU. You, dear reader, who are perhaps in the beginning of your own journey. Maybe you can’t imagine what you’ll look like at your goal weight (I never could). Maybe you don’t think you will actually lose the weight (I wondered that too). Maybe you are frustrated that it’s taking longer than it should (been there). Or maybe you are zipping along and feeling great. Either

What do you think? Is it the journey or the destination?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

20 thoughts on “It’s the Journey, Not the Destination”

  1. I think it’s easier to frustrated by setbacks if you just focus on the destination. If you accept that any big change or journey will include ups and downs, it’s easier to understand the process as a whole. That said, when you reach the end and meet your goal, it’s one heck of an awesome feeling. 🙂
    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted..Lazy Tuesday

    1. That’s very true and I think that’s why it was so frustrating when I got stuck in plateaus. I was so focused on reaching my goal, getting to that number, that I didn’t always enjoy the journey.

  2. It’s all about the journey. But if you’re never getting any nearer to your destination then you’re just lost. And while getting lost is often just part of the journey, you must eventually find your way back — or you’ll likely stumble upon a house made of candy and end up getting baked in the oven.

    Hmmm . . . I seemed to have lost the point I was trying to make. Got candy on the brain.

    Oh well.

    Love that picture Lisa . . . it really does tell a tale of effort, struggle, and persistence. Please write a book. More people could do with a little inspiration.

    Cheers!
    Trevor recently posted..A Decade of Baking — and the 12 Lessons it Taught Me About Living with Extraordinary Passion.

    1. I think you are right, that’s why it’s important to be specific in your goals. Not just “I want to lose weight” but “I want to lose 50 pounds.” Something tangible, real, specific. It makes it easier (at least it did for me) having a specific goal to work towards.

      As for my book…it’s written, I have an agent, now I just need a publisher to take a chance on me!

        1. Vague goals never work. Specific! Specific! I tell people all the time. Then I make the same mistake. I say, “my goal is to go to yoga more often.” Vague! I should say “I will go to yoga once a week.”

      1. Holy crap! I can’t believe I missed this. You wrote a book? That’s freakin’ awesome! Let me know when it’s published. I can’t wait to read it.

        Have you heard of “A Life Unburdened” by Richard Morris? It’s about his journey in losing 150 pounds (or some impressive number like that). I found it powerful and moving. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it.

        I expect your book will be one helluva tale as well.

        Cheers!

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