There is No Wagon

Wagon

Digital art by Katza

How many times have we said it, “I really need to get back on the wagon.”  Or, perhaps, “I’ve fallen off the wagon again.”  I know I’ve been guilty of doing it all the time more times than I care to admit.  I’ll be doing really well for a while, and then I’ll let some life event like a party, vacation, etc. derail all of my hard work and good efforts.  Once that happens, I just seem to go on a free-for-all for a bit before eventually making my way back on track.

What’s so bad about this all or nothing thinking?  Well, it leads to the inevitable yo-yo effect of weight loss and weight gain.  It’s long been thought that there was a danger of wrecking one’s metabolism (how you burn calories) if they fell into the habit of yo-yo dieting, but a recent study says that actually might not be the case.

Even though there may not be the metabolic effect once thought, who really wants to be on that yo-yo cycle?  I don’t know about you, but I hate having those “fat clothes” in my closet for those days when I’m on an upswing on the yo-yo.  I don’t want to need those clothes anymore.  I want to just keep focusing on moving down in sizes rather than worrying about whether or not I have something in my closet to wear when I’ve been “off the wagon” for a while.

What prompted this whole thought process was a sign I came across recently.  Sadly, I don’t remember exactly where I saw it, but the words written on it have stuck with me like glue.

There is no wagon.  There’s only life.

Take a moment.  Ponder that for yourself.  I’ll wait.

Back?  So, yeah, that’s pretty deep, huh?  It made me realize just how much I need to get rid of the all or nothing thinking when it comes to my weight loss.  There is no magic weight loss wagon for me to either be on or from which to have fallen.  There’s just my life.

I’ve often said the old adage that my weight loss journey “isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.”  However, I don’t think that really resonated with me until I stumbled across that sign.  This truly isn’t about being on some diet that I’ll be able to go off of when I reach my goal weight.  This is something I’ll do for the rest of my life.  Since that’s the case, I’d better start figuring out now, while I’m still losing, just how to truly make this a part of my lifestyle or maintenance is going to be a bitch extremely difficult.

This all kind of ties in with Thea’s post from yesterday about just rolling with it.  By coming to terms with the fact that there is no wagon and learning to roll with the healthy lifestyle punches that come our way, we truly can make this a lifestyle.  Will there be times we make less than optimal food choices?  Yes, but that’s what life is about.  We just need to make sure that the times when we’re practicing all the healthy traits we’re trying to make into habits outweigh the times when we relax a little and enjoy life.

I guess my point with all of this is that we should never get so wrapped up in our healthy lifestyle and weight loss efforts that we miss out on little moments that last a lifetime.  I would rather consume a couple of hundred extra calories having a small piece of birthday cake with one of my nieces or my nephew whom I haven’t seen in ages than spend the whole party worrying about whether or not it’s going to blow my weigh-in for the week.  We just need to make sure we aren’t finding an excuse to have birthday cake every day. ;-)

This isn’t a dress rehearsal.  There is no wagon.  This is your life.

Go.

Do.

Live.

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  • haze

    Wow! Always amazes me how the simplest words can be the most profound! Excellent post Mel!

    • http://www.thedailymel.com/ Melissa (@TheDailyMel)

      Thanks, Haze!

  • http://christy.shrinkingjeans.net Christy_TheSistherhood

    Goosebumps and teary eyes, Mel. I was just feeling bad this morning because it seems like the weight it coming off so slowly, but you’re right, and thanks for the reminder. I needed it. xoxo

    • http://www.thedailymel.com/ Melissa (@TheDailyMel)

      Glad my post could encourage you, Christy! Hang in there! xoxo

  • http://www.whereverimaywander.com LissaJoy

    LOVE this, Mel. You are so right.

    • http://www.thedailymel.com/ Melissa (@TheDailyMel)

      Thanks! Oh, and thanks for spreading the word about my post, too. :) xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/TrishB Trish

    Oh wow! I was reading and you were talking to me. Thank you, Mel! I simply adore this & you! What a beautiful reminder!

    • http://www.thedailymel.com/ Melissa (@TheDailyMel)

      You are so welcome, Trish! Love you, too!! xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/KuhnGregory Gregory Kuhn

    Mel, you are awesome. Thank you for this post.

    One of the ways I practice this concept is to never try to “make up” for past exercise I didn’t do, nor for past “bad” eating. This is truly a “just for today” lifestyle and today (this moment, to be exact) is actually the only thing that’s real.

    Kudos to you for bringing this to our attention.

    • http://www.thedailymel.com/ Melissa (@TheDailyMel)

      Thanks, Greg!

  • ItsMeVsMe

    And the people said, AMEN!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/MommyMo Mommy Mo

    I freaking love this post. xoxoxoxo

  • Dee

    Well said!!

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  • Anna

    love it!!! Loved it so much I’ve shared it with a bunch of my friends and on my blog. Thanks!!