Many people do not like to hear the word “journey” when discussing weight loss plans. This word implies long term, maybe even endless. To some, it is a mountain they would never wish to climb. “Journeys” are about stopping and visiting places along the way and learning and being in the moments. It is travel to some other place not as comfortable as our own.

As a health coach, I hesitate to use the word “journey” with potential clients as they may run the other way! Nonetheless, I work with people who have a lot of weight to lose and more importantly, a mindset to change, and neither happen overnight. So, yes, it is a “journey,” and there are a few preparational mindsets that help in the start of the trip.

  • Conditions in your life will never be perfect for you to start your health journey.

We, especially women, often want everything to be perfect before we begin something new. But this is the surest way to procrastinate starting anything. I would venture to say that it is even a self-sabotage to avoid starting at all.

Here’s the deal. The dishes will always be there. Your kids will always demand your time. Your husband or wife may always suck in some way. Half of your bills may be late. You may still have to go to a job you do not want to be at anymore. Are any of these things going to get better or change if you do not start your health focus and journey? I doubt it. They can be your reasons forever for not beginning, or you can begin.

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The truth that I found, also confirmed by many people who have taken their health back in their lives, is that when you go on a health journey, other things in your life start to get better along with your health. Relationships, joy, family, fun, sex, and even finances get better because all of these things can be driven by self-worth and self-love, both derivatives of caring for your own health.

Just get in it. Let it be messy with your dishes and your kids!

  • What we do for our health and for weight loss today and right now is only good for this week (except for the purposes of the long-term benefits of nutrition – that’s another blog).

What I mean by this is that anyone “in the weight loss world” could stop eating healthy foods tomorrow and never go to the gym or work out again, and that person would likely take a negative turn in their health and/or their weight. In a week, they would start to see symptoms of the decision to be unhealthy. So it is not as if you go “into the weight loss world” and you are in it from there on out. You are not joining Joe in the volcano here. It’s a decision you make every day that you want to focus on it. You go back each time you choose to go back. There is no “in it” or “out of it”.

What I do today and in the next few days are going to give me results for this weekend. I will have more energy, be in a better mood, maybe be a pound or two down by then, and be a little stronger for having killed it this week in the gym. However, Friday through Sunday are my soft spot days for cravings of all kinds. If I make a wrong decision for my own goals, next week’s results will be very different.

Do not make the line that you are crossing to start your journey so big that it feels impossible to step over because you could be right back over it next week. In fact, if you are putting in the work for long term sustainable weight loss, you will likely cross over that line a few times, going back and forth, until you figure out how to keep making the decision every single day. Your lines will be all over the place.

  • Connect with the process!

Fall in love with it. See the ball. Be the ball. Slam the ball when you get mad. As one of my favorite doctors said in the most basic human terms to me once, “I know it is hard. But it is life.”

Many people do not want to sit in the middle. Our minds want to shift quickly from the starting line, maybe find a halfway point, get excited at the more-than-halfway point, and then race to the finish line. It is a survival technique for us to know that something is going to be over soon. We buy ourselves patience when we see a finish line.

I had to chuck my search for the finish line a long time ago. I still have not reached it after five years of focusing on my health. I have learned the coolest thing, though, that makes my quitting not feel so quitter-like!

There is no finish line!

I just keep going and going and going and going. I thought I was waiting for me at the finish line, but all the while I was in the process! Be in the middle where the change happens. These are the stops along the way in the journey and the moments when we learn and grow. I hope it is all an endless journey actually; it is life!