Two days a week I commute back and forth from my home in Arcadia to work in Alexandria, so I’m behind the wheel of my car a good two and half hours early Monday mornings and on Friday afternoons. I have a lot of time to think and sort through whatever might be on my mind. Sometime I pray, sometime I sing at the top of my lungs, sometime I brush up on my conversational Spanish; and sometime I just talk to myself. The radio is usually on for part of those commutes too. I listen to the news for a bit then I turn it off when it starts to repeat.
One morning there was a report about these folks preparing to climb the mountains of the Himalayas and how difficult it was to keep motivated during the trek and how the experience helped them afterward in their daily life. That got me thinking; this weight loss journey of mine is a lot like climbing up to the summit of a mountain.
When you start out, you are excited and full of energy; you are prepared for any and every thing! You have lots of people who are cheering you on. They give you lots of advice and all the tools and equipment that you’ll need on your climb. Now you’re ready to go!
At first it’s sort of easy – you have clearly marked road signs pointing the way to your mountain. Others have passed this way before you and you know exactly what to expect and are confident. Then you get to a point where you look up and you can see your mountain towering above you and then it becomes lost in the clouds. That’s okay you know to expect this, just keep focused and concentrate on making a successful climb.
As you continue to ascend, you realize it’s not as easy as you thought it was going to be, it’s quite hard in fact. Sometimes it seems you haven’t made any progress and the top of the mountain isn’t any closer. Staying motivated is more difficult, exercising is getting harder and you have to push yourself more.
This is where I find myself in my climb to the top of my weight loss mountain. With 100 pounds behind me and about 35 or so still to go before I reach the summit. I’m sitting on a rock looking up through the thin clouds at the summit of my mountain. It seems a long way off to the top and I’m more than a little pooped! How do I muster up the last bit of energy to get to the top and plant my flag of triumph at the summit? Once I get to the summit I still have the climb down! Will I be able to last that long?
When climbing to the summit, the closer you get the harder the path gets. The air gets thinner and your body must work even harder to get you to the top. And once you get there — well there’s the trip back down. And that’s not easy going either! Just like a real mountain climber that trip down has just as many hazards to watch out for as going up!
I can see very clearly that I am nearing the top of my mountain and it’s going to be a hard trip to make coming down. I’m looking at that part of the climb –the trip down the mountain — as the maintenance phase – where everything I’ve learned becomes part of my permanent lifestyle and I believe it’s going to be very difficult.
I will have to be very careful as I make my way down the mountain. There are going to be things and situations that I will have to confront and deal with. Some I will deal with successfully and others that will sorely challenge me. I can only hope that as I’ve made my journey up this mountain and am nearing the summit that when it comes time to make the trip down I will have the strength to carry on into the future as a healthy happy person.
Okay, guess I’ve rested long enough — it’s time to get to the top of this mountain and plant my flag along next to the all the others up there. See you at the top!