Small Steps, Big Mountains

12 Feb
mountain climb

While climbing, stop every once in a while to appreciate how far you’ve come.

I think everyone has a bucket list. My list contains travel destinations. Most of my travel has been right here in these United States. But I got my passport for a reason, and it has only one stamp in it. Right now my top five destinations are Venice, Capetown, Fiji, Paris and Rio.

In a couple of weeks, I’m going to cross out Rio because I’m going…for Carnival! I’m super excited. Rio and Carnival have been on my bucket list for years, and now I’m finally reaching my goal.

Sometimes I wish I had been more focused on achieving some of my goals, other times I think complacency has worked for me. Complacency allowed me to appreciate what I have and the work I’d done so far. No, I hadn’t gone to Rio yet, but I had some awesome trips to Cancun and Puerto Rico. The same thing can happen on your weight-loss journey. You may not have lost all 50 of those pounds, but 30 is an amazing achievement. What I’ve found is that you can’t have blinders on as you go on this adventure; you’ll miss out on a lot.

At first, my goal was to lose an undetermined amount of weight before Puerto Rico. I lost about 20 before I got on the plane and my travel buddy saw me. She was more excited by appearance than I was. While I hadn’t set a firm goal for myself, the progress I was making showed me that I could do more than what I had so far. I couldn’t appreciate the little victory because it was, in my mind, a small step up a big mountain.  What I didn’t realize then was that it was still a step.

I’ve written before on this blog about perception vs. reality in terms of how others see you. One of the obstacles you’re going to have to overcome on your journey is facing your own perception. You may not be able to see all of the progress you’ve made, but you can feel it. You can feel how easily you breathe when climbing a flight of steps. You can feel your muscles working to curl the 8-pound weights when you started with the 3-pounders.

Along your journey you’ll have to learn to appreciate the small victories. One of the first for me came from a Facebook photo.  A couple of summers ago, I’d made some friends who were commenting on old photos on my page. When I replied that I didn’t look the same, I was asked to post some new pics. Jump to that weekend while out celebrating a friend’s birthday, I posted a club photo. It was posted in the middle of the night, the photo was slightly grainy and I was posed a little awkward (my days of “Top Model” viewing did not come in handy at two in the morning). The next day I awoke to dozens of likes and comments, all praising my “new” look. I didn’t know what to make of it, because I had grown used to the slimmed-down frame that was still 10 pounds away from goal weight.

What happened to me happens to a lot of people trying to lose weight. It’s the whole “a watched pot doesn’t boil” thing. You’re too wrapped up in the big goal, that you can’t appreciate the little victories you’ve achieved along the way.

Hard work is key to achieving your goal, and I don’t knock anyone who accepts that. My advice is to occasionally take a break, sit back and think about how far you’ve come. With determination, you’ll get to the top of your mountain and still appreciate the minor victories along the way.

photo credit: TroyMason via photopin cc

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4 Responses to “Small Steps, Big Mountains”

  1. Wilfred dyson February 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    I want to go

  2. Gede Prama February 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    thank you, the article and the true happiness rays began to warm hearts, when we share it with sincerity. Greetings from Gede Prama 🙂

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