Taking the Long View

You all probably get tired of hearing me say ‘Be Patient’. It’s hard! We want to see the results of our hard work! We need to know we’re on the right path, and sometimes waiting for what seems like forever to see those results can be discouraging. I’ve been there. I cried real tears many times in the beginning when I felt like all my hard work was getting me exactly nowhere. But somehow I found the motivation to stick with it (mostly by focusing on things other than the scale and my appearance), and now I can look back at pictures and see the dramatic changes unfold. Take a look. (You can see pics of how I looked before I changed my lifestyle here).

12 months in, 170 pounds:

15 months in, 160 pounds:

18 months in, 152 pounds:

2 years in, 155 pounds:

3 years in, 160 pounds:

Notice how little my weight changes from one picture to the next. If the scale had been my focus, I would have given up long ago. As you can see, once I lost the weight, I regained some over the course of a year, but it was lean mass, not fat. I look leaner at 160 pounds 3 years in than I did at 152 18 months in. Don’t focus on the scale! It is not the be all and end all. And keep going, even when it feels like your progress has stalled. Chances are that when you look back a year from now, you will see loud and clear that you were making progress all along.

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20 thoughts on “Taking the Long View

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I needed this today, I’m getting all frustrated for not seeing changes on the scale, but after reading and seeing the pictures, you gave me hope .. I will be patient!

    • I’m so glad it came at the right time for you, Mariela! Sometimes the changes happen at a snail’s pace, other times they happen quicker, the key is to just slow down and enjoy the process, let it happen at it’s own pace. Good luck!

      • 'Be Patient' that is what I need to remember. This post comes at a perfect time for me. You Rock!

  2. I appreciate the encouragement and words of wisdom. I tried the quick fix method for years. My husband has taken my hand and we have made a long term lifestyle change. The weight loss has been minimal but unlike before I am not discouraged! I feel great and am pumped!

    • That’s awesome, Jody. Lifestyle change really is the only path to success, been there done that! you’re on your way now!

  3. Your kick-ass attitude and ‘real’ approach to life & fitness is Such an inspiration. Thanks for showing your amazing transformation and congrats!

  4. Your transformation is such a motivator! You should feel SO proud of all your hard work – and I just want to thank you for continually offering such inspiration and encouragement to everyone who follows you on fb and your blog!!

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  7. Love it!

    I have often talked to the run group I hang with (mostly women looking to “loose weight”,) about my Fembot theory. Remember the Fembots from The $6m man? They were these distractingly hot, but mostly evil female robots who passed just fine but where given away by stepping on a pencil and crushing it… They were supper strong and supper fast not to mention supper hot! But they weighed 600# or something. Now I understand the whole joint/structure/BMI thing, but really, it isn’t the scale. It’s how you feel, and can preform! Realistically, how you look matters too… But who ever weighs you? Weight is just a number.

  8. At the beginning of this year, after the worst year of my life last year, I set goals and made promises to myself that I WOULD eat real food, move more and become more fit. Recently I became obsessed with the numbers on the scale and lost sight of the original goals I had set. About two weeks ago I was able to refocus. This is EXACTLY what I needed to see. THANK YOU!!!

  9. This is great! I started running in March by following the C25K program. I completed my first every 5K a couple of weeks ago and it felt great! I’ve only lost about 8 pounds on the scale, but I feel better in my body. I’ve now got my sights set on a Half-Marathon goal. My focus has been on following my running program and eating healthy. I figure the weight will take care of itself.

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  12. Patience is a beautiful thing. And I agree, focusing on the scale has only gotten me to my “goal” (but not really the physique I wanted), only to see me regain fat because I let my commitment waver after theoretically achieving that goal. I’m finally in it for many reasons, not including the scale, and that will allow me to get to my real goal, physique AND strength/performance/fitness/endurance wise…. AND to continue striving for new goals so that I don’t let go of my commitment to myself.

  13. Time, consistency and patience are the key aspects to weight loss (along with a lifestyle change),

    Your body changed quite a bit from 1.5 years in until now. What are the differences in what you were you doing to get to that point compared to what you did to get to your current composition?

    • I didn’t do anything different. I do the same things now that I did 4 years ago. The progression you see is how my body responded (and continues to respond) to the way that I eat, exercise and live. First it shed the excess fat, and then began to build muscle. :)

  14. This is a great post. For me I had to stop counting and start focusing on performance. My coach is always harping on the value of consistency (wise man) and that has become my highest priority, reflected in my training and dietary habits (nothing with a name, author, publisher, etc- just good, whole foods and lots of greenery). When I first started working with him, he made me get rid of the scale. When I got back on it, I had broken through my lifelong plateau and lost another 25 (now 30 lbs). More importantly, my performance was taking off and I had gone from a size 10/12 to a size 4/6. By making it a lifestyle and channeling my love of competitive situations, I shifted the focus away from the scale. I hadn’t for years considered how much I had lost total because with all the fluctuation it becomes easy to fixate on the current numbers. When I went past what I had all my life believed to be the best I could hope for, I did the math… 90 lbs. I am a little ways away from my goal but I have come to realize that I am seeking a performance based goal, not a number. I no longer define it by the number but rather the volume of excess weight I am carrying through the swim, bike, and run. I suspect the final number is about 20 lbs out, maybe 25, and I think the most humbling, astonishing part of it all is the fact that I never even recognized myself as someone who was more than 110 lbs overweight. The health issues I was already dealing with, along with the mental disconnect, confirmed that I was firmly on the road to becoming another statistic. NOT what I want out of this life.

    I apologize for being so long winded but I wanted to tell you this. Your posts focus on the bigger picture, in this case “the long view”, and I find that to be so helpful and spot on. You do a great job of putting common sense ideas into words. Thanks for that.

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