Sailing Towards Your Goals
A Bite-Size Read for Your Health and Your Waistline
You’ve probably been on a sailboat before, maybe with champagne in hand, while others navigate the course, doing the “sailing.” Or perhaps you’ve just watched “Below Deck” on Bravo. Either way, you might be wondering what sailing has to do with your goals, and if you read my articles often, your health goals.
Allow me to explain. A sailboat cannot travel in a straight line. It zigzags back and forth from its origin to the destination, all the while moving forward. This back-and-forth zigzag is called tacking. As we sail towards our goals, whether they be weight management related or otherwise, we must embrace tacking. All too often we hope and expect to get from where we are now to where we want to be in a straight line. Then we find ourselves distracted, frustrated, or discouraged when there’s a set-back, a zig or a zag.
In my work with my clients, I encourage them to embrace the zigzags, the tacking. This is, in fact, the magic to our efforts and results lasting forever — to keep the weight off for good. It’s learning how to be a sailboat, navigating the obstacles and the challenges, learning from them, and always moving forward.
When we’re on a path toward optimal health, having vitality, energy, and weight management, there are bumps in the road. They could be holidays, travel, work, maybe you’ve hit a plateau, or maybe even the scale goes up (yikes!). Then we see friends or people on social media, and it looks like their weight is just falling off. Here’s the thing: we must learn to navigate such challenges. That is what allows us to sail on forever.
We’re never going to go the rest of our lives without a vacation, a holiday, or a stressful day with no time to get our activity in, for example. For those who get to their “goal weight” quickly, never learning to navigate such situations, it’s highly probable the results will not be permanent. I see it all the time. The vacation comes and everything in their plan goes out the window! They struggle to get “back on track” and before they know it, they’re back where they started. I can almost guarantee the results will not last if we get there in a straight line. It’s that old yo-yo pattern, the on-off the diet mentality. Understand, part of this process, the part that makes our health a priority forever, requires learning how to adjust and keep moving forward. Again, it’s just like sailing.
With holidays or vacations this time of year, look at them as great opportunities to learn, grow and continue adjusting. The obstacles are like little hurdles, we can attempt something different from our last trip while we’re out of town or plan the day after the big holiday, so we pick up our typical routines quickly. Each time, we’re looking for progress over the last time we saw the hurdle. After a while you train your body and mind. You crave the return to your usual habits as much as you enjoy the break from them!
The moral of the story is learn to navigate from zig to zag, all the while moving forward. Believe me, you’ll get there! And in the moment, when it seems like the boat is going the “wrong” direction, remember you’re a sailboat. It’s called tacking.