lessons learned: not a straight line

This post is part of the discussion series titled The Path to Healthy Living Through the Great Outdoors. The point of these topics is not for just me to just share them and move on, but rather to foster some discussion on these ideas and how they apply in "your" life. We're not sitting around the same table, but we can still have a discussion. Just leave your own thoughts in the comments below, or send them to me privately if you prefer. You'll find a complete list of all the topics at the end of this post.

Reaching that summit is not a “straight line”.

Weight loss doesn’t happen in a straight line. Even when maintaining, your weight can tend to fluctuate up and down. And when it comes to climbing a hill, it’s not always as simple as straight up or straight down.

It can be frustrating when you think you’re coasting along and you come to a plateau… or suddenly there’s stretch that’s going uphill. And not just talking about the numbers on the scale… it can apply to anything, your exercise routine or how you feel you’re doing in maintaining a healthy diet.

Something you soon come to realize is the need to learn to appreciate the journey and realize that up or down, each step of the path will bring it’s own challenges as well as rewards.

elevation profile

This is an elevation chart of a hike a group of did at Deception Pass, it follows a couple of islands in the Puget Sound… and as you can see it’s a lot of ups and downs. The elevation changes aren’t terrible, but it did seem like every time we get up somewhere, we’re suddenly just heading back down again.

You need to learn to appreciate the journey and realize that up or down, each step of the path will bring it’s own challenges as well as rewards. Hiking up a hill has it’s obvious challenges, and while hiking down a hill may seem like a breeze, it can be much tougher on your knees and even your toes as your feet are pushed forward in your boots.

On this hike, every step along the way, no matter the challenge, did bring it’s own rewards. From blooming wild flowers, to glimpes of seals out in the water or eagles up in the sky, to beautifully sweeping views such as this…

Deception Pass

or this one of the bridge crossing the pass between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands.

Deception Pass Bridge

When it comes to losing or maintaining your weight, those ups and downs will present challenges. They will challenge your motivation, your will power, and more. But there can also be so many rewards along the way.

Dropping medications, fitting into a carnival ride with your kids, flying without seat belt extenders. Even a slight increase in what the number on a scale says can potentially be positive.. it’s not always fat that is gained, maybe you’re gaining muscle mass? Many refer to these as “non-scale victories”, or NSVs, because they focus on things beyond a simple number. Those numbers only tell you about where you are right now, they don’t measure, they can’t measure the things you experience along the way.

This following is the complete list of topics that make up The Path to Healthy Living Through the Great Outdoors discussion topics. While these topics are listed as a sort of progression, they can be viewed/discussed in any order. Titles will get an active link as they are posted.

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