It’s not about the weight you lose; it’s about the life you gain

Sherry and I on one of our recent mountain biking excursions (in a light drizzle).

I saw this phrase posted online this morning, and it really resonated with me. I was obsessed with losing weight for the first two years of my healthy living journey, and I eventually replaced that with just being healthy and fit. I stopped caring so much about my weight (within reason), and focused on the non-scale victories: my faster run times, my increased amounts of weights lifted, the fun factor of kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking. But every now and then, my brain comes back to those numbers on the scale.

I wish I weighed this again… but weightlifting builds muscle, and I will likely not see this weight again (and I’m okay with that).

I need to remind myself to look back to the days when I weighed over 328 lbs. What was life like back then? When I would get winded walking up one flight of stairs (and why I limited my trips upstairs in my own house because of the discomfort). When I would do almost anything to get out of household projects because of the physical pain it would cause me for days afterward. When I would prefer to sit indoors on a beautiful day rather than to go outside and explore and enjoy the day. When I would scoff at the idea of doing anything physical for fun.

Looking at this photo reminds me of how hard life was being morbidly obese. It motivates me to stick with my healthy lifestyle.

Unknown to me at the time, when I decided to eat healthy and lose weight, I also decided to live a fuller, more active life. Since losing weight, I’ve become engaged with the outside world. My wife and I have been able to enjoy activities I couldn’t even imagine: the aforementioned hiking, running together, kayaking, mountain biking, and weekend getaways where we explore. The biggest surprise was that I was able to get back into the military, and recently, I became a Warrant Officer. I gained a life that was better than anything I could imagine before.

Being presented with my Officer’s Sword after being promoted to Warrant Officer; an accomplishment that I would have never imagined had I not changed my life and adopted a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Non-scale victories come in many varieties, but don’t forget to consider the greatest non-scale victory of them all; the life you gain. It will be more fulfilling and engaged than the one you leave behind.

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