Watch Where You Are Going

Yesterday morning, as I was walking, I got so busy looking at my own weedy yard as compared to my neighbor’s weed free lawns that I almost ran into a mailbox.

mailbox

 “Whoops!” I told myself, “Watch where you are going Diane or else you are going to hurt yourself.” I immediately realized that this was such a true statement in many areas of our lives. We must look ahead of ourselves as we are on our life’s journeys or else we may get so involved in the minutia of choices that we inadvertanetly forget to keep our end goal in sight.

Just like I lost sight of where I was going when on a walk, years ago, I often found myself losing sight of my ultimate health and wellness goal. Those ten years of obesity were filled with numerous attempts to lose weight, but because I often got so focused on all the little things I needed to do, I failed to watch where I was really going. For ten years I went up the scale and down the path towards more medical problems, extreme obesity, and diminishing self esteem. I got so involved in which diet plan to try next that I forgot to look up, look around me, and march down the path that would lead me towards health and not run me into anymore mailboxes.

For me, because I failed to clearly see the end goal, I also failed to make any forward progress. It was almost as though my life were one big step after another into quicksand. The more I tried different things the deeper I sank into inaction, until at one point I had given up. For a while, I quit trying to lose weight, instead trying to accept myself just as I was. I tried wearing more makeup (that didn’t work), having my hair cut (I felt a little better) and spent some money on nicer jumper fabric (this was depressing). But even with all that effort, I still couldn’t completely be happy where I was. I still wanted to change.

When I finally got on the path to better health and lower weight, one huge thing I did differently was keep my eyes focused on where I was going. What was the overarching goal? That goal for me was made up of several components:

♦ Better Health

♦ Improved Appearance

♦ Increased Self Esteem

Even when the hard choices had to be made along my journey I didn’t permanently falter because I finally understand that it was the hard choices that were going to make me get where I was going. I watched the small weedy little things, yes, but never looked down for so long that I forget where I was ultimately headed. Just like on my walk, those weeds caught my attention to such an extent that I almost got hurt. Don’t let the weeds in your journey make you lose focus completely.

What about you? Do you find it easy to get caught up in the weeds and lose sight of your ultimate goals?

32 thoughts on “Watch Where You Are Going

  1. vickie says:

    This posting could be about me.

    I take very slow, careful steps – but I am very much a looking forward person. I have not gotten so settled, comfortable that I got stuck in one place or back slid. Momentum is a really important part of this process.

    And I am reality based – always looking for what I am actual doing, what I mean to be doing, and the biggie – is it actually WORKING?
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..This has holiday baking in it – if you are easily set off by NON-food talk, feel free to click on today, you will not hurt my feelings. =-.

  2. Marcelle says:

    I used to get caught up in all the weeds…oh boy yes I did…but not anymore…
    NOW…am trying to find the balance between living life and enjoying it and an healthy lifestyle…struggling with this as I’m an all or nothing person.
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..Week 3 on WW new plan =-.

  3. Lola says:

    My pastor gave such a good sermon about something very simlar to this. He showed a video of himself on a path. He said that every decision we make eventually takes us to a destination. And that sometimes we can make one bad decision but then quickly correct ourselves and our end goal is not affected — maybe slowed down a bit, but we are still on track. But when we veer completely off track we end up somwhere completely different than we expected…that’s kind of when we wake up and say “how in the world did I get here???” —

    I love your posts Diane. I’m so glad my RSS is working again. I need my daily reminder dose that people really are successful and really can maintain. Thanks again.
    .-= Lola´s last blog ..Observation =-.

  4. Amy H. says:

    I get caught up in the weeds. But my grandfather, a soil conservationist, taught me how to pull weeds. Slowly and deliberately so you get the whole root. It takes time to wade through them all.
    .-= Amy H.´s last blog ..Word of Advice… =-.

  5. Sara N. says:

    This is a wonderful comparison and so true in life and weight loss. I am so easily distracted from my goals and often times never meet them.

    This time I’m really taking the opportunity to focus on the long term goals. Don’t run into the mailbox, but keep going to the end of the road is a wonderful way to remember this!

  6. Monica says:

    I am a weed watcher to be sure. In fact, I don’t know what is so appealing about them because they aren’t attractive and just ruin my yard’s appearance! Great post and all joking put aside, it really gives me something tangible to help me remember to watch the end game.

  7. Fran says:

    Love this post!

    Yes I do lose my goals out of sight sometimes, usually over the weekend which means I have to work on that on Monday and Tuesday. But I’ve decided I’m going to try really hard this last weekend before Christmas not to eat a snack on Saturday night and leave the chocolate alone on Sunday.

    Basically I’m completely focussed on my goals on weekdays but lose them out of sight during weekends or holidays. I have to work on that.
    .-= Fran´s last blog ..A day in my life: Monday December 14th 2009 =-.

  8. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    I do think it is easy to get caught up in the weeds as you said.. a lot of people probably do this. I think each person has to find what keeps them focused on that goal.. we may all have different reasons but the key if to find them & work to get there!

  9. Sunny says:

    The problem with insidious little forays into sugar, is that it messes with your mind and leads to longer forays. You have a bite or two, here or there, and before you know it, three weeks have gone by since you were truly “good.” That said, having spent 7 months being good, three weeks of only quasi ‘not bad but not losing’ didn’t do too much damage, because I DID control it, to a certain extent, and once I pulled myself out of it, it was easy to get seriously back on track. Which is a first. So yes, I totally agree with you. One must always keep one’s end goal in mind; I like to call it living responsibly, not dieting. If one eats and acts/moves responsibly, i.e., with their healthy end goal in mind, they won’t veer far from their appointed path. It’s when one totally ignores their goal that they get into trouble.
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Game On!!! =-.

  10. Sarah says:

    I definitely find myself getting caught up in the weeds, obsessing over one week’s exercise (or lack thereof) or loss on the scale (or lack thereof). It really helps me to pull back and reassure myself that these are just blips on the grander scale and that I’m still ultimately going in the right direction.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Week 34: -1.4 =-.

  11. Larkspur says:

    There was this fascinating video we had to watch for work. In it you were to count the number of ball passes between the white team members. When asked to rewatch the video and look for the gorilla, you saw that a guy in a gorilla suit was walking through and waving. I never noticed him, though I did get the right number of passes! Excellent food for thought about not losing sight of the big picture.
    .-= Larkspur´s last blog ..Mostly Good News, I Think =-.

  12. Leah says:

    “Do you find it easy to get caught up in the weeds and lose sight of your ultimate goals?”

    YES!

    In fact, this is another perfectly-timed post, because I think I lost some of the weight and then got distracted by the weeds. Now I’ve begun looking back up and see that there is a goal, and I’m going to reach it. It’s becoming more than just a dream or wish. It’s becoming something that I am knowing I can reach.

    Thank you for the reminder to stay focused. You know me, I always need to be reminded of that. 🙂
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..I Will Finish =-.

  13. Deb Willbethin says:

    This post and your last one where spot on as far as where I am. In fact just Sunday, I ate 6 cookies in rapid succession at the church dinner and followed them w/ a piece of carrot cake! And I can certainly get focused on the weeds on the scale and miss the big picture of health! I won’t even describe that… Thanks! Deb
    .-= Deb Willbethin´s last blog ..Just so ya know… =-.

  14. Diane says:

    My own goal is to help my son get to a healthy weight through being a mentor. Within the last few weeks I have realized that one of the tools that will get us there is to form a realistic, healthy relationship with food. In his case, he became extremely obese because certain food textures were a Stim to him. ( A stim is a behavior that allows an autistic to control the “noise” around them and remain present). His Stim was anything that felt like rubber- plain cooked white pasta was a big one, and he would go through POUNDS of it each and every day . Because of all of the other challenges with parenting him, food became the one thing I lost the energy to help correct.And in turn, I allowed my own relationship with food to fall into an unhealthy place. We have come a long way collectively- he has lost 80 lbs, his Autism is very managed and hubby and I have lost weight. It is finally the right time to work with my own deeper issues so that I can mentor him into the place where he will balance his own.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..How did I become this person ??? =-.

  15. Mia says:

    Diane, you made me think!!

    After a little reflection, I have decided to make some 6 week goals, just to get me moving in a better direction and with a little more momentum. The winter months here in Wisconsin are long, dark, and cold. This, however, is no reason to get lax on exercising and eating right! I have a little bit of tweaking to do so that I come into the spring months ready for some serious cycling!

    Mia

  16. Leslie says:

    I’m definitely getting caught up in the weeds right now, and it’s hard to see the forest for the trees – to string on another metaphor! How much can one person go on about something, like me and my knee – but it’s getting in the way of everything I want to do right now. Still, your post reminds me that there is a bigger picture than the woes of today. I’m still keeping my goal in mind, but it’s a struggle!
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..Tuesday Talk =-.

  17. Pam says:

    Thanks for such a timely (for me) post again! It seems like I was putting aside my focus toward a healthier me because of the busy-ness of the season, and just within the last few days, I have told myself it has to stop…not in January, but now. Its great – I have 100 pounds gone, but I have 95 more to lose, and its not going to come off until I work, even harder than I did for the first hundred. I am getting excited again!!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Busy, But Blessed to Begin Again =-.

  18. Tammy says:

    Lol, I swear Diane, your posts just kill me sometimes…the subject matter, but more importantly, the timeliness. Dude, I am so deep in the weeds right now I can barely see sunlight. Feels like I’m standing on my tippy toes trying to see my way out before it’s too late.
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Yikes =-.

  19. mackattack says:

    Does sticking my head in the sand count as losing my way? I think I was so lonely for so long that food was where my comfort was. I don’t think I even really bothered to think about it for so long!
    .-= mackattack´s last blog ..Broken phone =-.

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