Small Steps That Made a Difference

When a baby grows up he doesn’t just take off running as soon as he is able to stand up. No – instead he stands, wobbles around and then often falls right on his bottom.

My weight loss journey was similar. I didn’t just stand up one day and declare that I was done being obese. Instead, I stood up, declared that I wasgoing on a diet and then promptly fell off the wagon onto my bottom. As I fell off the wagon, I inevitably picked up a few extra pounds. Thus I got bigger and bigger.

Time after time I took some baby steps and fell down. But just like a baby, I didn’t give up.

Eventually those baby steps got more coordinated until I was able to finally take small steps that led to really big changes in my life.

Some people say to just go cold turkey and turn your back on all foods fattening. Other people say to take small steps towards meeting your goals.

I have to admit that although I took a lot of small steps along the way, when I finally had success it was when I really turned around and took decisive steps in the right direction. Some of the small, decisive steps I took were getting rid of all the junk I had in my house, forgoing chocolate and reducing the number of restaurant meals I ate. I also exercised for the first time in my life and stopped wearing jumpers.

When I write that I took those small steps to change my life, I realize that in reality they weren’t so small at all. Those seemingly small steps were decisions that I made to begin the lifestyle change that must occur if you are going to have long-term success.

Lifestyle changes aren’t always easy to make, as many of us know. But a positive lifestyle change is one that although challenging, has so many positive benefits it makes the hard work and effort worth it.

Are the small steps you have taken really “small” or are they life changing?  Diane

35 thoughts on “Small Steps That Made a Difference

  1. Amy says:

    My 39 pound weight loss over ten years was exactly the same, with small steps, but I’m sure it was totally different, too, as my steps probably differed from yours. I think it is so important to keep working on improving my lifestyle little by little. In my mind, I’ve never done anything drastic, it all seemed doable at the time and even running the first half marathon was approached with baby steps! Ultimately we all have to find our own unique path to a healthy weight.

  2. Miz says:

    for me nothing was small.
    beyond the fact my journey of life has been one “healthy’ habit layered upon another—it was also the realization of the fact that CHOICES WE MAKE DICTATE THE LIVES WE LEAD (Shakespeare? is that right?)

    even the seemingly insignificant ones.

    theres no such thing as insignificant huh?

  3. Marcelle says:

    As I am only maintaining for a year I am still taking baby steps toward my long term goal…
    I still struggle with portion size, not eating the bad stuff, feel I have come such a far way yet those old ways still haunt me!!

  4. MrsFatass says:

    Oh, I think there has been some of both. Some small steps that are just that – things like making a cleaning schedule for my house to try to get past the mess (which still isn’t working because we’re not adhering to it! lol) to small steps that are big. Things like making changes to my shopping list, giving up soda even though I didn’t drink a whole lot of it, or making a new years resolution to do more cardio.

    But they are all steps, no matter the size. That makes them all important.

  5. Michelle @Eatingjourney says:

    I think it’s so true, that every single day it’s about the small little changes. The one meal when you stop when you’re full. Taking a 20 minute walk instead of eating those oreos. I have noticed that it’s not about lofty goals..rather daily reminders of what you want out of life…to be healthy and balanced.

  6. Fran says:

    When I started running again last year I took baby steps. I started with a schedule for a 5K and my first time I only ran 5 minutes or so. After that I went for a 10k and now for a half marathon. I use a schedule of 28 weeks which is a lot more than most people train with for a half but I like the baby steps to reach my goal.

    My weight loss always goes in small steps because I just don’t lose weight fast, no matter how hard I try. It’s just who I am and I’ve accepted it.

    Tomorrow I’m going to take a big step and commit myself to a healthy diet day after day till the end of the year. I’ve never done this before and I’ve never hold on to it longer than about 4 weeks so this is big for me. But if I don’t try I definitely know I can’t do it.

  7. vickie says:

    Those darned, pesky jumpers!

    I think the guestion of cold turkey or baby steps

    (I was a baby step person myself, big time, many people don’t realize that because they see me NOW, working on my 6th year, but I started very small in the beginning)

    is what actually works.

    Something might be good in theory, but if it doesn’t actually work, then it is not a good fit.

    To this day, I fall back on my 3 questions:
    what do I mean to be doing?
    what am I actually doing?
    Is it working?

  8. Diane says:

    When you get right down to it, there is no such thing as a small change ! Every action facilitates a different action, and through the combined momentum big changes occur.

  9. mamajuliana says:

    Baby steps is how I have to do everything! My process of correcting my relationship with food has been a long-slow one.

    I added exercise little by little, and our family is learning to eat healthier…little by little.

    We’ll get there!

    PS I threw out my last jumper a few weeks ago, because my son told me to get rid of it! IT was a denim jumper with red/white and blue trim. It has not fit for a while, but I still kept it…I guess as a reminder of the bad old days. But it is trashed now!

  10. Marsial2010 says:

    I love that you are suggesting that people make decisions about how they want their lives, looks, etc. to progress instead of just suffering in self-victimization. Last year I was doing very well on my weight loss/fitness program when a huge family crisis occurred that required hundreds of hours of my time over several months. I was exhausted, I was angry, I let my own needs fall apart so I could handle this other thing. I had to start all over this year – (have lost 15-1/2 pounds so far and exercise nearly every day). In retrospect, last year I should have made the decision to give myself the first two hours of each day to exercise and plan my eating for the day.

  11. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    GREAT Diane! When I lost my weight way back when I just decided one day to do it & that was it. No baby steps. I started eating totally different. I did have to learn later the proper way to eat & I did add in the “formal” exercise later but each time, I just went inot it & never turned back….. I think we all have our own way & that is was is important.. do what you can do & that will keep you there long term.

  12. Julie Lost and Found says:

    Baby steps here. Although, what really got me started and I attribute to my not giving up, was a totally drastic initial change just before the holidays. Since then, it has been small steps. Choice by choice. Fall down, get back up.

    All I know is there is no going back and no quitting for me!

  13. Emergefit says:

    And I genuinely believe this; the best “small step” one can take is accepting that, if I fail, I’m still a good person. I genuinely believe that liking who your are — not matter what, lends itself to success.

    Diane, I would like to know your thoughts on that….

  14. Jules - Big Girl Bombshell says:

    WOW Great question. I have to say that what is changing my life is the small steps that are HUGE! When I took those big leaps, is when I faltered the most. When I took on the small steps is when the biggest changes occurred.

    Stepping outside myself, stepping out of my comfort zone with the tiniest of baby steps are the BIGGEST steps I ever could have taken. Sharing my story in my writing has done more for me than any diet could have.

    Now, my baby steps are going to be the COMMITTED steps.

  15. Desert Agave says:

    My small steps felt huge this time around. Changing my relationship with exercise and my body, changing the way I eat, all seemed monumental. I’m still processing all these changes, honestly.

  16. Shawnee says:

    I’m working on the baby step of concentrating on my food when I eat. I usually sit in front of the TV during dinner. It sounds like a baby step, but it’s a huge one for me. Not only will it have an impact on how much I eat, but will also impact my family life. If I refuse to watch TV with my husband, he’ll eventually eat at the table with me. My goal is to have dinner around the table, especially when we have kids!!

  17. Shira says:

    Diane – what a great analogy with a baby learning to walk! When I started losing weight, the only changes were no caffeine or chocolate and adding exercise. All of this time later, I still keep taking baby steps to continuous improvement. Right now it is about trying to add something fresh and colorful to every meal, like blueberries to my oatmeal or spinach to a leftover fish and rice dish from last night’s takeout dinner.

  18. Dr. J says:

    Great!! When I was working with adolescents in the psychiatry hospital I realized if we could just change the direction they were heading by 1 degree, over time that would make a huge difference in where they ended up!

  19. Tish says:

    Baby steps–but I call the Incremental Improvements. The premise is that what I have/am is good, but if I can make incremental improvements, it/I will be that much better.

  20. fittingbackin says:

    They all seemed big at the time… but over time and looking back, definitely life changing! I’m SO GLAD I didn’t do too much at once, whether it be cooking, running or anything. I feel like working my way into it has made me enjoy it more, not burn out, and celebrate the small successes. Mini goals are awesome!

  21. Tami says:

    Some things have been small changes and others have been huge!

    Exercise is huge but it started with small steps like just going for a walk. Then walking farther and faster. Then adding bike riding, swimming and so forth.

    It all adds up to success even the little things like only eating one serving of something instead of two!

  22. Sandi says:

    I needed the changes to feel simple. I was overwhelmed so many times by diets like the zone. They might have been great for other people, but they were too intimidating for me. I did things like the frozen low calorie meals for lunches, the same breakfast every day, and a few easy dinners that I could throw in the crock pot. That felt like smaller, easier changes. Exercise was just the treadmill, nothing intimidating. I’ve made adjustments over time, my diet is much healthier now, I’m running outside. It felt like the changes were easy, not overwhelming, but looking back they were huge.

  23. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    At the time things like stopping diet soda seemed so small. It doesn’t have any calories after all. But now I realize it was huge in showing me that I can enjoy food and not just have to look for the diet stuff.

  24. Pam says:

    Right now, as annoying that the small steps seem right now, I know that they are crucial. I have slid backward so far but I was still able to hold on before I had to truly start over, and that is huge for me.

  25. 'Drea says:

    One of the *smallest* steps that I took when I first started out was to take a look at what I was eating and eliminated stuff like mayo, potato chips etc. which made a huge difference for me so I would have to say that my small steps were life changing…

  26. She-Fit says:

    The baby steps are what have gotten me here. Each little step has build upon one another to get me to where I am today. Although it made the journey that much longer, it has made it possible to stick and no go backwards.

  27. Leah says:

    The small changes I made at first really were small I think, but they lead me to lose a little bit and see that I can do this.

    Lately I’m making some more, as you put it, decisive changes and I know they are going to have a bigger impact on my weight loss journey.

  28. Hope says:

    I think that the steps that I took were small, but they really lead me to change my life. It’s a good thing, and the good decisions that you make really do add up.:)

  29. MB says:

    I’ve been taking pretty small steps along the way but those small steps add up to bring me to a life changing destination it’s just taking me a long time to get there.

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