Lessons Learned – Not a Straight Line

Over the years, I've come to realize there are many lessons to be learned while enjoying the great outdoors that can apply to the overall road towards a positively healthy life, and I've found a way to share that with others through discussions over some of the many photos I've taken on my own adventures. These posts are not meant to provide all the answers, but rather prompt a discussion. Please feel free to join in...


In the previous installment we discussed choosing your own path, now let’s talk about how…

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.

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…

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

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.

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. Find the other topics using the lessons learned tag.

What are some of your favorite NSVs that you’ve experienced, or look forward to?

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