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I’m So Sick Of The Term “Weight Loss Journey”….

You read it on nearly every single health blog. It’s such a common term, and it gets waaaaay overused. Everyone and their mother is on a “weight loss journey“, and frankly, I’m sick of reading it.

I think the term itself gets thrown around a bit loosely these days. People say it (I’ve said it myself), but what do they mean by it? Is it just an easy thing to reference or are they really and truly on a spectacular new journey?

Despite all my healthy eating, despite being more active, despite my best laid plans, I’m not much further than I was when I started.

Have I somehow missed the point of my “weight loss journey”? Did I skip a chapter or two in the clean eating bible? Maybe, but not really.

To me, a journey is not about the beginning when you have motivation and excitement about starting something new. The journey is what happens when that initial excitement is gone and you’re down to the day-to-day of it all. It’s about discovery. It’s about the desire to learn something new. The dedicated quest for expanding your mind and an honest openness to allow your “journey” to change you. But does being on a journey for weight loss mean that we achieve our goals? Maybe, maybe not.

I will share with you that I have a terrible phobia at the moment. I live in dread of somebody actually recognizing me from this web site. Why?

Because after nearly 4 years of publishing this blog, I’m still fat.

I’ve struggled with eating disorders for the better part of 20 years. First with under eating, and now with over eating. It’s a daily struggle and I can tell you that even on those days when I cave and completely lose myself in a binge (yes, it still happens from time to time), if you’re willing to learn from the worst of it, than the worst of it was worth experiencing. And if you don’t learn from it, all you did was experience being miserable. The choice is yours.

The truth is, I’ve been eating clean for the better part of 4 years and I’m still significantly overweight.

Does that bother me? Daily.
Have I learned a lot along the way? You betcha’.
Am I any closer to my goal? Definitely.

Maybe not as close as I’d like to be, but I’m further along than I was when I started all of this nearly 4 years ago. And I’ll take any little bit of progress I can get.

My point in all this, is to take a moment to remind you, as well as myself, that it’s vital to notice the little bits of progress that happen day to day as well as over the long haul. We can’t be on a journey if we are not open to allowing ourselves to be changed in the smallest of ways. And frankly, the biggest change happens when we find ourselves in the worst possible situations, IF we leave ourselves open to that change and the subsequent life lessons.

So am I on a weight loss journey? I hope so. I believe so. I know I’m excited to see what life throws my way, I’m excited to have new experiences and learn new things. I know that I’ve made some progress and that I’m a very different person then when I started.

Even if I haven’t yet reached my goals, I’ve learned, I’ve grown and I’ve changed. To me, that’s worth far more than any number a scale.

Thankfully, I was born a stubborn sort of girl. And while that works against me in some areas of my life, I also believe it works for me in this quest for better health. I know I will eventually achieve my goals by pure perseverance. The fact is, if you never give up the quest for change, at the end of the journey, you will definitely be changed. Maybe not in the same ways you expected, but definitely for the better.

So I beg you…. if you use the term “weight loss journey”, don’t talk about the beginning. Be sure you’re actually ON a journey first. Because frankly, the term should definitely have meaning, and lots of it.

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About The Gracious Pantry

My name is Tiffany McCauley and I'm a cookbook author, food blogger and a full-time Mom to an amazing, 6 year old I call Mini Chef. With a collection of over 900 clean eating recipes to date, many of which include your favorite comfort foods like Chicken & Dumplings or Pecan Pie, chances are you'll find more than a few recipes here that fit your eating plan.

STANDARD DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that all opinions are my own and I will only endorse items which I truly feel are of value to my readers. I also utilize affiliate links in some of my posts such as for Amazon.com, eMeals.com or LaptopLunches.com, among others.



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Comments

  1. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    You’re right about that! :)

  2. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks! :)

  3. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Haha!!!

  4. What a lovely entry. Beautiful picture, beautiful words. It sounds like a stepping
    back. I know from personal experience that when you have an ED, you get very wrapped up in controlling minutiae, and you loose sight of the big picture here, and forget about the other joy and living there is to do.
    Tiffany, your experience is certainly about what you have done for yourself, but also about all of the other people who you inspire and touch and prompt to think a little more about loving themselves enough to care, even if it’s just one tiny fraction more than yesterday. I think everyone who reads what you write is overwhelmingly grateful for that little bit of love for ourselves that you have treated us to, no matter whether it takes us miles, or a single inch.
    If you live that genuinely, don’t be afraid or embarassed of anything about yourself, ever.

  5. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Awww, thanks. You’re absolutely right. :)

  6. I think the journey is in the option
    to go left instead of right, next time, on the same path !?!? Slow and
    steady…. I take such inspiration from your blog! So thanks to YOU!

  7. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks!

  8. You say you are still fat…but are you healthy? In my opinion, if you are healthy, so what if you are a little (or a lot) overweight? This country just puts way too much emphasis on being “skinny”. I’m definitely not skinny, but not obese either. Would I like to lose 20 pounds? Absolutely! But I’m really trying to like myself the way I am. It’s just not worth the stress of putting ourselves down because we don’t wear a certain size. Tiffany…you are a beautiful young woman and from what I’ve read on your blog, you are a wonderful mother. Be easier on yourself. You are loved, no matter what!

  9. Thank you so much for that! I believe the “weight loss” journey is about an Inner Journey. If we hate our bodies & constantly berate ourselves, will our body cooperate with the journey? I think not. Take it from someone on this journey for five decades and still doesn’t have the answer. Your recipes are delicious, by the way!

  10. I’m sick of it too. I also am sick of the term, “lifestyle change” or whatever they call it.

  11. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Awww, thanks. I’m not totally healthy yet which is why I’m trying so hard. I’ll get there.

  12. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Sounds like a great journey!

  13. I think you’re pretty cool and that was well said. ;)

  14. thunellch@gmail.com' Haunani Thunell says:

    Oh, I LOVE this post. Thank you for reminding us what’s important. And thank you for including your struggles. I read so many of those “weight loss journey” blogs and I mostly feel like crap afterward because I can’t manage to get anything to stick…well, except the weight. :)
    I try to do better today than yesterday. I try to make good choices. I try not to be ruled by cravings. But it’s a difficult thing to make a change that looks as successful as those other bloggers make it look. I don’t yet fit into a bikini and I’m nowhere near a size 2, but I eat more green things and drink more water than I ever have in my life, and that’s good, right? I love this blog and all the awesome recipes. Keep motivating and keep doing what you’re doing!

  15. I call my journey, my fit journey. I didn’t start off “fat” either. It started the day I learned to eat clean and it’s progressed to adding weights, training, fitness competitions, and now a fitness blog…truly a journey. I hope you aren’t discouraged. Ups and downs, it’s all a journey.

  16. I get it. If I for one second think that I’m doing anything with the goal of losing weight I will sabotage it immediately. And start to think that I can’t do it. Counting calories is my trigger for an eating disorder. If I count calories, I get caught up in challenging myself to eat less and less. The good thing about eating real foods, there is no nutrition label with an easy guide to calorie content. It’s really difficult to count them if you’re making everything from scratch. So I don’t try to loose weight anymore. I want to be healthy, and not be in pain. I have found out through testing the reason I felt so terrible after eating certain foods, wasn’t in my head, I am actually allergic to them. So in my quest to find food that doesn’t make me sick I’m getting healthier and if I loose a few pounds along the way, great. But I will not focus on my weight. I focus on feeling amazing, full of energy, and happy. That’s my journey.

  17. elsk54@hotmail.com' Doodlemom says:

    I understand how you feel. Have you heard of the book “The Plan” ? It is about finding out which foods are friendly for YOUR body and which are reactive. I am having amazing results. Not just weight loss without dieting, but improvement in many of my health issues. I felt just like you before I found this.

  18. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Sounds like a great journey!

  19. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    I do get discouraged from time to time. But I’ll NEVER give up. Not in my nature. :)

  20. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    You are absolutely right. Good for you!!! :)

  21. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    And that is what I call a true journey! It has substance behind it. I think that’s wonderful. :)

  22. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks!

  23. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks! I have a love/hate relationship with MFP. Fantastic site, but I can get caught up in counting those calories. It’s all about finding that balance. :) Great job on the weight loss!

  24. gabyta.godoy@gmail.com' Gabhousewife says:

    I’m in my weight loosing journey right now. I started on June 6th, 2012 (197lb, 42% fat, 41.9% water), and now I’m 152lb, 31.5% fat, 48% water. I am 5’5″ tall. I haven’t get to my goal yet, but I’m on the good direction. And of course I’ve learned a lot, made mistakes on food selection, but I’ve learned that I also reseted my “palate” as the food I used to dive into: fast food like hamburgers, fries, sushi, Chili’s chicken strips, dips, and stuff like that, no longer satisfies me or I don’t longer like them. I guess this journey is forever, because I compare the relationship I had with food like a drug adiction, in which you come over it, but you still have to work on it everyday. It changes you, but still, I see a dip and I want to eat it. So, it’s like my drug. I hope one day I can say “I don’t like this dip so I won’t eat it” but, even when most of the harmful food I used to like I don’t anymore, there are still some Achilles heels on me. And it would be so much easier if I could just be strong enough to think about the contents, nutritional value and effort made by me, and stop eating it. I don’t buy it, but my family or friends do, so I still dive in when I’m not strong enough.

  25. I read your post after eating 2 slices of cranberry nut bread. (sinfully good, but not the least bit clean!) I felt like a failure. Until I remembered something I said recently to my husband (after he questioned the new foods replacing old ones in the house). “The point of this is not to lose weight. It’s not a “diet”. It’s a healthier way of eating”. Incorporating this into a life of being more active, including regular exercise, may lead to weight loss – and I do hope for that. However, its all about taking positive steps to live healthier and more consciously.

    Thanks for sharing your story and your information with the rest of us!

  26. Tiffany,

    Thank you for this. I’m working my own (fill in the blank). The phrase ‘weight loss journey’ has definitely been overused and we have become immune to it in conversation. It is something however that we as food and weight people recognize and it bonds us.

    Having said that, it drives me nuts. After I lost weight and became a holistic nutritionist, I’ve met hundreds of people who, in telling me their stories, use this phrase often. When I ask them what the ‘journey’ means to them, many don’t know because they haven’t thought about it. They use it on online forums or blogs, they use it in support groups, with doctors etc.. For being so benign, it does have power, but not in a good way. By writing it or saying it, it gives people mental relief and subconscious permission to keep doing what they are doing (or not doing). Again, it bonds us and we feel we are in this together which is comforting. Many times that ‘comfort’ keeps us right where we are. Breaking out and making progress becomes more difficult.

    I know this sounds way too deep and heady, but when we change our words, we change our thoughts, we change our actions. I know my ‘journey’ will forever be a hike, a class, a consultation, a book, a meal and many helpful blogs like yours. Thanks, your work and words are refreshing.

  27. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    I couldn’t agree more!

  28. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    So true. Never feel like a failure. Ever. Honest effort is all that matters. We aren’t 100% perfect, so neither are our eating plans. You’re doing great. :)

  29. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Well said!

  30. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Happens to the best of us. Being aware of it is half the battle! You’re doing great.

  31. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Haha!!! You might be right!

  32. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks! :)

  33. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks Carla. I’ll check it out! :)

  34. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks so much! :)

  35. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks! :)

  36. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Awww, thank you! :)

  37. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thank you. :)

  38. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Awesome! :)

  39. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    That’s a very healthy perspective. Congratulations! Such a wonderful accomplishment!

  40. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Haha! Ya, that’s on downfall of cooking. You pretty much HAVE to taste it to be sure it’s turning out okay. But I never stress over those small bites that ensure I’m bringing a tasty meal to the table.

  41. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thank you! :)

  42. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    That’s an excellent point. Thank you. :)

  43. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    That’s wonderful! What a fabulous gift to give yourself. Congrats!

  44. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks!

  45. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Such a wonderful perspective! Thanks for sharing that. :)

  46. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks!

  47. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thank you! :)

  48. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Well said!

  49. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I think we associate too much of our value with the number the scale gives us.

  50. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Haha! You’re right. It doesn’t encompass everything I’m trying to do. But it’s a start. :)

  51. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks!

  52. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Wholeness changes who you are. I like that. You’re absolutely right.

  53. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks!

  54. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Fantastic! :)

  55. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Haven’t heard of it, but will definitely look for it. Thank you!

  56. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Haha! Ya, the health & fitness world definitely has some overused terminology. And once overused, it completely loses it’s meaning. Kinda sad actually, but that’s life.

  57. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks! :)

  58. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thank you. :)

  59. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thank you! :)

  60. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    You’re welcome! :)

  61. and that is one of the reasons why my blog is about my journey to a healthy life. Good post!

  62. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks!

  63. I can only imagine if one of your readers recognized you that they would have nothing but extreme grattitude for the all gifts you provide to all your readers in the form of your incredibly wonderful blog. Your honesty is most impressive. Best to you.

  64. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Awww, thanks! :)

  65. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. :)

  66. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Awww, thanks Dana. You made my day! :)

  67. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Haha! Ya, I think you’re right. It’s definitely a less scary word. I think that’s why it’s so overused.

  68. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks Jeri!

  69. I guess for me I like the term journey because a lot of folks think weight loss and trying to live a healthy lifestyle is an all or nothing deal. No you have good days bad days, celebrations, wins and losses! But when on a journey you learn things, try new things, learn from mistakes and hopefully make changes accordingly. On the journey you meet new people who you impact and vice verse. So for me it is not static but ongoing. That is why I use that word or phrase.

  70. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Well said. :)

  71. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    I know the feeling. Doesn’t seem fair. But we can do this together! You’re never alone. :)

  72. thegraciouspantry@yahoo.com' graciouspantry says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! You sound like a very strong person.

  73. The fact that you’re not super skinny is one of the reasons I chose your blog over other clean eating ones to actually subscribe to. I mean Tosca’s great and really hardcore but I can’t really identify with her lifestyle and it’s not what I’d choose for myself. You’re real and I like that. None of us are perfect but you don’t need to be to inspire others! Keep up the good work!

  74. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Thanks you Jessy. That means a lot. :)

  75. Well said. I needed to read that today. Thank you!

  76. The Gracious Pantry says:

    My pleasure! :)

  77. I commend you for speaking your truth. That is very brave of you especially in a society that constantly ridicules the way everyone looks. I have posted on my FB page. Thanks for sharing. I love your site and you provide such nice clean recipes.

  78. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Thanks Lori!

  79. I was surprised you seemed so hard on yourself. As one just starting to cook and eat healthy for myself and my whole family I am very inspired by you and your website. It is so hard to go to the grocery store and know what is really the most healthy and get what the family will eat and will be easy to prepare with a busy schedule. I am aiming for being healthy and feeling great and any weight loss is a bonus. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  80. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Emmy – I was raised to be hard on myself. Always have been. Gotta work on that a little…

  81. drkinney@rogers.com' Darlene K says:

    You are so right, I work in the nutrition and fitness industry, I am not a size 6 by far, I know personally diets don’t work, they set you up for failure. My motto is eat to fuel your body, that means putting clean nutrient dense food into it, think of your body as your car, you wouldn’t put the wrong kind of fuel and expect it to run properly, so why would you put JUNK in your body and expect it to be healthy
    I thank you so much for this site, I have tried many of the recipes and haven’t found one I didn’t like, please keep doing what you are doing

  82. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Thanks Darlene!

  83. It should not be so much a journey but a life style choice for there should not be a beginning or an end. The journey phenom is why there is Yo-Yo dieting. The journey can stop and start at will, but a life style is a way of life, with no beginning or end.

  84. I was a little confused by your title at first but I get it after finishing the entire post. The women that have used that term (mainly within Mamavation – myself included) always talk about the good and the bad. It’s a constant struggle like you say, even if you are a clean eater. I can completely relate! I still have those binge days too, you are NOT alone. I try but there are days and I have to start again the next to make better choices. It sucks honestly! Where are the days when we didn’t have to worry about it? We could eat what we wanted and go outside and ride a bike and it was fine! lol – I miss those days.

  85. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Ha! No kidding! I miss the days when I THOUGHT I was fat, but could slide into a size 8 pair of pants. If only I could be that “fat” again! LOL

  86. I have been newly inspired to start eating clean thanks to finding your blog as well as from an illness that has encouraged and enlightened me to start eating clean. In May 2012 I started to have swallowing problems where every time I ate I would have a choking sensation. I have been through many medical procedures and diagnostic tests to figure out what was going on and they finally came to the prognosis of eosinophilic esophagitis. It is a rare disease that has newly come about from an allergic reaction to food and or geographic location. I am currently still dealing with this disease being 9 months now. I have lost 110lbs in those 9 months. I have had to stick with smoothies and broth like soups to keep nutrition in my system. For a while the doctors thought I was allergic to dairy, soy, and peanuts so I had to find a way to have smoothies and other food without all of those ingredients. This caused me to become malnourished and very week. While dealing with those allergies and trying to find ways around them I found out about clean eating and way to avoid these types of food even with the difficulties of not being able to eat solid food. Just last month I went through another allergy test and they finally told me that I was not allergic to any of those food products and that is was the geological location I was in. I finally got back to incorporated all of those items in my diets and have gotten my protein levels back up. Throughout all of the research I have done on what to eat I found this blog and have decided to start eating clean for a few reasons, one being my illness, second to feel better and eat better, and lastly to lose weight. I have struggled with my weight my whole life and having jump started with the medical issue I will keep going with the weight loss. This blog is so inspiring and encouraging and I cannot wait to get started fully with all of these amazing recipes and tips. So thank you for making this blog and putting time and effort into this type of lifestyle!

  87. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Wow. Now that’s what I would call journey!!! LOL! :D
    What an ordeal! I’m so glad you’ve come out the other side of it with a positive outlook. Clean eating is definitely a wonderful way to nourish your body.

  88. katy@mitchells-trikes.com' Katy Mitchell says:

    I love your website and clean eating. But I really want to win the crockpot warmer lunch pail thingy!!!! ;-)

  89. cygallagher@gmail.com' Carolyn says:

    Just read this post as I’m new to your blog. I hope your recent discovery that you’re dealing with a thyroid issue takes some pressure off. When you’re body is working against all the good you are trying to do it is certainly not your fault. I know what it feel like! Hang in there pretty lady!

  90. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Awww, thanks Carolyn! I still have really mixed feelings about my recent diagnosis. But I’m coming to terms with it. :)

  91. Hi Tiffany, I have just found your blog and I love it, I am so encouraged to hear you say that you are afraid of being recognised because you say you are ‘still fat’. I too consider myself to be on a ‘weight loss journey’ but I am not as far down the road as I would like to be. I run a weight loss group as part of my work in the community, but am still struggling with my own weight, but I also recognise that I am much further along the road than I was a couple of years ago because I understand so much more and I know that the battle is in my head first and foremost. I have a long way to go but I try to remind myself that the longest journey starts with a single step! I have just started to write a blog about my own ‘weight loss journey’. If it ever turns out half as good and encouraging as yours I will be delighted.
    Linda

  92. The Gracious Pantry says:

    Linda – Thank you so much! That’s a good reminder. :)

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