I will never forget the day one of the dads at school came up to me and said ''We’ve been thinking about having a fourth, especially after watching you. You seem like you really have it together, you’re relaxed about having four kids and you just kind of go with the flow.'' I told him that was the most hilarious thing I’d ever heard in my life, because it couldn’t be further from the truth. ''Go with the flow'' is not a term anyone who really knows me would use to describe my personality. It made me realize that appearances are not always what they seem. I’m the first to admit that most days, I’m just trying to keep my head above water. I’m busy, I get stressed out easily, and I wish I could find better ways to relax. At the end of the day, I’m doing my best, and that’s all I can ask of myself.
I have a friend on Facebook who seems to have the most amazing life. She lives in an exotic location, has no kids, not much responsibility, and I always read her posts and think about how her day-to-day life is totally opposite of mine. Although I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, sometimes I wish I could trade places with her, just for a day or two. Recently I was talking to a good friend of hers, who was telling me that she’s been struggling lately, trying to decide what to do with her life. I was shocked, because to me, she seems so together and sure of herself. Once again, appearances aren’t always what they seem.
It’s easy to assume that those who aren’t vocal about their weight loss struggles, or even those who have had weight loss success, have it all figured out. Somehow, it’s easier for them than it is for those of us who can’t find a way to get started, or continue to start and then fall off track. The truth is, almost everyone struggles at some point in their weight loss journey. Counting calories becomes a chore. It’s easier to sit on the couch after work instead of going to the gym. You feel deprived of the foods you love, so you buy a pint of your favorite ice cream and eat the whole thing. The point is, we all go through it. Whether you know it or not, everyone has moments of weakness. Some just choose not to share them, so from the outside it looks like they’ve unlocked the secret to eternal happiness and healthy living. In reality, they could be struggling just as much as you.
One of the things I love about the SparkPeople Community is the support members provide each other. It’s a place to be honest about how you’re feeling and how hard the weight loss journey can be. Knowing others are going through the same thing or went through something similar but still succeeded can offer a sense of comfort. The kind words and encouragement from other members can be the motivational boost you need to get back on the horse and move forward.
Don’t be afraid to share what you’re going through because sometimes, others can help. I’m very honest about the fact that raising four kids, working and trying to find even a small amount of time for myself is very, very hard. That doesn’t mean I don’t love my life, it just means I’m willing to admit I’m not perfect and don’t have it all figured out. It’s okay to say ''Hey, I haven’t tracked my food in two months, my clothes don’t fit and I can’t seem to find the motivation to do anything about it.'' That doesn’t mean you’re weak. In fact, it means you’re brave for being willing to admit it and asking for help. Asking for help is the first step toward change. If more people were willing to do that, I think we’d realize that none of us are perfect and we all have room for improvement.
When you reach your weight loss goal (which I believe every one of you has the power to do), that doesn’t mean your journey ends. You’ll still have good and bad days, and hopefully start working toward new goals in your life, such as running your first 10K or trying new classes at the gym. No matter how perfect things seem on the outside, we’re all a work in progress.
More From SparkPeople