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Worried about Weight Loss? The Rx: A Big Chill Pill

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One of my favorite combo words to use is chillax – a combination of chill and relax

From time to time, my husband and I will use the phrase "chill out, Holmes."  I’m not sure how we came up with that or why we say Holmes, but the intent is certain: take a big breath and calm down.  If you feel like you’re standing at the base of an overwhelming mountain trying to figure out how to get to the fit and healthy summit, then this message is for you.

I know that the information overload can sometimes seem insurmountable.  I follow quite a few fit bloggers and professional fitness sites and see it every day.  Try this diet, no this diet, no wait this exercise format, but wait this one is the latest and greatest.  All are trying to tell you how to journey up that mountain in as few, easy steps as possible.  My experience with traveling to the summit is that it takes one step at a time and no journey is the same.  Allow yourself some space, breath, and peace to know that despite all the swirling piles of information, you can make this work.

I like to use me and my best friend as an example.  Combined we’ve lost more than 170 pounds, or as I like to refer to it, one or two Hollywood actresses.  We have met up on the mountain many times, but we both certainly travel our own path on a day-to-day basis.  Together last year we ran 5Ks and from time to time rode our bikes around a large lake, but other than that we varied in how we accomplished our goals.  Both of us included different weight routines, different forms of cardio/sports, different diets, etc.  The end result though was the same – working to maintain weight loss and improve physical fitness, all the while having fun and supporting each other wholeheartedly.

Susie shares on her SparkPage that she struggles with compulsive eating and started her journey with surgery.  I accomplished my weight loss without surgery and needed to learn portion control.  One is not better than the other – we needed different starting points to help us in our journey.  Susie pitched in a softball league this year and her team won the championship.  I can’t pitch or catch to save my life!  I ran my first half marathon, and that wasn’t on her agenda.    But like the supportive trouper that she is, she got up early to drive me to my race and took pictures.  I like yoga and Zumba, and she likes running on the treadmill and basketball.  You get my drift, I’m sure.  We are different, our bodies respond differently, and our tastes are different. 

Here are a few things we both know to be true in order to reach that summit:
  • Measuring your portions is important, and tracking your food helps you on your journey
  • Working out needs to be consistent
  • You can’t out exercise a bad diet
  • Having a support system is critical and, by the way, more fun
  • Motivational posters are just that – motivational
  • Setting SMART goals  helps you get to the top
  • Re-evaluating when you go off track can help you next time there is a pitfall
  • Being honest with yourself and with others contributes to success
  • Ignoring the quick easy-fix fads and doing the work is what it takes
  • Your journey is your own and that is just fine--we all have to learn our way up the mountain
  • We’ll spend the rest of our lives doing it
  • Stopping along the way to beat yourself up over past failures doesn’t get you any closer to the top and actually hinders your progress.
  • If you’re on a plateau, you are not a failure.  You’re still on your journey.
  • Tiny steps still get you up the big mountain.  No one climbs in leaps and bounds.
  • All the hard work is worth the effort.
So in the end, chillax.     Remember it’s your life, so live it healthy.  It feels better and will improve your quality of life in ways that I can’t even begin to share. 

If you use Twitter, send me a message @michelenecleary and share your #HealthyLife thoughts with me.  Celebrate your accomplishments that are important steps on your climb up that mountain.  Trust the process and work your plan, and don’t follow after the easy fix.  Make this a lifelong lifestyle that works for you.
In closing I’d like to share a poem I wrote for this blog:

I am me…that’s clear to see
No one else it could be
From my wild hair, to my foot sole…
No other one could make my whole.
I’m me. I’m me.  That is key
Can’t be you, just couldn’t be
So don’t judge me now or cause my frown
By saying things that put me down.
I can’t fit in that box you hold
Won’t put my soul inside your mold
I’m running now wild and free
Happy to just be me.
Come join along in fun and song
Enjoying life all day long
Together we can make this be,
If you’ll be you, and I’ll be me.
--Michelene Cleary, 2012
Do you feel pressure to make your journey fast, easy, and just like someone else you know?  What steps can you take to release that pressure, and make your journey a fun one to be on?

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KITTYHAWK1949 12/19/2019
very good to think about. thanks Report
KHALIA2 10/5/2019
Thanks! I loved the poem! Report
SNUZYQ2 9/6/2019
Well-written blog! Thank you. And I love your poem. Report
Great article Report
Interesting Report
Thanks for a great article! :) Report
thanks Report
Good information Report
Good information. Thank you! Report
I stumbled on to this blog today. It came at just the right time. I hit a valley and this lifted me up! Thank you! Report
Wonderful blog & poem! Report
Love it!!! You're so right!! :) Report
This is a great blog and I love the poem. Report
I really enjoyed this blog. It used to upset me to see people post, "you should follow a plant-based diet" or "you need to be eating clean" or "you need to start running" and think, I'm not doing this right. But the bottom line is, they're just talking about what worked for THEM. I needed to find what worked for ME. And so far, I've been really successful at THAT. Report
I do know it's a marathon and not a sprint. It took me some time to put this weight on so will take some time to get it off. I have learned that it's a life style change and not a diet. Report
Thanks so much for the blog and the poem.
I've been following an "Olio" plan (a little of this, a little of that) for a long time now. I've discovered that some ideas work for me and some don't, some work for a while and then get old. It's a lot easier to stay with a program that captures your imagination/passion. The ideas that are my foundation are 1) portion control, 2) tracking, 3) some type of movement each day, 4) each day is a new day. Currently I'm doing a little bit of SP, a little bit of WW, and a little bit of DASH. Who knows what it will be next month. Report
Your blog give me encouragement and make me want to find a workout partner. Report
To SPSPSP1... those were my thoughts exactly!! I love diversity and seeing different folks borrow from other groups... even when folks don't realize the origins of their borrowed phrases.

Oddly, though, I find "chillax" grates on my nerves. It's a double whammy for me; I never learned how to relax and am still struggling with it at 58. And chilling only means coldness to me.

Great blog! Report
So, so true! I'm nearing the end of my weight loss journey (another meh, 10-15 lbs. to go maybe) and became a runner along the way. When people ask how I lost the weight, I'm happy to share but tell them they need to find THEIR way and not try to do exactly what I did. I love to run; they may hate it. Find what gets you excited to move and do it; know what you're eating and why so you're eating healthier. It's a lifelong journey, not a sprint that's over quickly. Report
I'm in maintenance mode, and I can say with certainty that it's still a journey - a life-long journey. One of the most important lessons I learned was to forgive myself for lapses and just move on. Before, if I lapsed, then it was an all or nothing attitude. It's so much nicer being relaxed about this journey and a lot more fun! Report
I really enjoyed your poem and the Blog, it came at exactly the right time. Keep up the great work! Report
Thank you! I weighed myself today-have not lost anything in 2 weeks. I was discouraged and just about ready to quit for the weekend-an excuse to binge yet again. I think your block has stopped me! Thanks, thanks thanks,
Martha Report
I love this blog. Report
Great BLOG! Your poem is another "milestone" that we should all think about! I love it! Report
Great inspiration! Again yesterday at the club the instructor was "pitching" an idea for loosing weight - this is one that the state of Oregon is using for state employees - so it must be good! Oh, really??
One thing I love about SparkPeople - it emphasizes that we are each different and need to work out our own individual plan for what works for us!
Thanks for sharing!
barb Report
Thanks for your insight. I've been out of control and overwhelmed these last few days. I felt like I just wanted to go through a day without thinking about food or exercise. Just be. Your list of things you know to be true to reach the summit was great! I'm taking a deep breath now.........and going for it! Report
Loved your poem!

I have to watch myself on this one, making sure I am doing my own journey and not following another. Great blog! Report
My favorite so far, Michelene. You're an inspiration. Report
Thanks, that's exactly what I was needing today ... Report
inspiring!! Report
Great blog and thanks for putting it all into perspective. I put pressure on myself and beat myself up when I have a little hiccough (holidays) and don't follow that magic weight loss line given under our statistics. I am going to "chillax" and learn to reevaluate and regroup and work on the journey that works for me. Thanks again for reminding me that it is OK. I'm not a failure! Report
Thank you for the encouragement. On another note--to be clear--you and your husband did not come up with the phrase "Chill out, Holmes". It's been used for at least a couple of decades and started out as "Chill out, Homeboy", then "Homey, then "Homes"...just in case you were curious. Report
Great blog Report
Great blog! Thanks for sharing and for the motivation to keep on taking baby steps! Report
Your thoughts are so very true. We will all travel this journey in our own way and time. I feel so fortunate that I have a wonderful support team at home (my husband). He doesn't need to drop any weight, but is always there for me with words of encouragement. I know I can lose the weight with his support and my determination.
•You can’t out exercise a bad diet

this will be one of my mantras when I'm fighting a craving. Report
I love it thanks!! Hope u don't mind I shared it with all my friends!! Report
Love the blog and the poem. Report
HAHA! You've written a great Poem and the BLOG contains a lot of wisdom. Thanks, Michelene. Report
Nice poem. Report
Wonderful, on target blog. Good for you and good for your Spark friend.

Great blob and wonderful poem! Report
This is my favorite blog so far, I especially enjoyed the poem; great job. Report
Great job - BUENO!!!

New softball season starts this coming Tuesday!! I need to find a basketball league too! :) Report
Nice poem at the end and thanks for sharing insight! Spot on.
No pressure. Report
no pressure. I decided this time I was in it for the long haul and started losing right away. I am on a bit of a plateau now, 3 pounds from goal, but I am fine with it. It'll come... I enjoyed your note. It's honest and true about all of us. Good thinking! Report
I love your poem! Very insightful and encouraging! Thank you for posting it. Report
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