My Journey To A Healthier Ever After: Stop Focusing On The Number

funnypicforvideoOops! I Did It Again.

As you may know, back in April I started a journey to a healthier new me. And I'm still on it. Sure, I've had setbacks. Sure, my habits are not Dr. Oz worthy. Yet. But at least I'm still moving forwards instead of backwards. And like all journeys, I recently hit a pothole where I lost my focus. Yes, it even happens to motivational speakers. Who knew we weren't perfect?

I've had many times in my life where I swore I would lose weight. Where I made my goal a number on a scale. And the results were always temporary. So this time I decided to try something new, believing the old adage that insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This time I decided that the number would not be my focus. That the number should not be my focus. That healthy living would be my goal. That I deserved to FEEL good. That to reach my dreams and step into the spotlight of my life, I needed a body that could keep up. My goal is a new lifestyle. The number – just a healthy side effect. I decided to measure my success by the formation of healthy habits instead of a count down to a number.

We're in August now, four months in, and I've lost my focus. Somehow that number has creeped in there again. I have slowly become obsessed by what the number was this morning – this afternoon – and what it will be tomorrow. Somehow I have started to measure my success based on what this number is today.  And somehow my self-esteem has become directly related to this number.  I'm sure it's normal, but it doesn't make it right.  I have lost my focus and instead of keeping my eyes on the vision I created (a healthy lifestyle) I have been focusing on the distraction. And where we look is where we land.

But this time it's different. Because this time I'm aware. This time I'm holding up that negative habit and seeing it for what it is. This time I am rewriting that internal script to what it needs to be. This time I am going to let it go. RIGHT NOW.

And this post is me doing that out loud – to you – who, whether you know it or not, are holding me accountable to my dream of creating a healthy lifestyle. Today I celebrate that I no longer drink sodas – or when one sneaks in the guilt is so overwhelming I don't want to do it again. Today I celebrate the fact that kale has become a routine part of my nutrition.  Today I celebrate that when I go out to dinner (which is often as I travel) I automatically head to the salad section – unless it's my cheat meal.  Today I celebrate that working out is not such a despised event anymore. Today I celebrate that I think I can actually see a tiny muscle in my shoulder. Today I refuse to measure my results with a number. Today I refuse to compare myself to someone smaller. Today I refuse to even get on the scale. Today I look in the mirror and say, "What a beautiful life you are creating for yourself. These new habits will help you soar."

And today I look to you – or rather those of you like me who might be focusing on the number – and I ask that you believe you are beautiful inside and out – and that your worth has NOTHING to do with a number. Today I remind you that it's not about looking like a princess – but feeling like one. Today I remind you that where you look, is where you land.


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Brilliant, Kelly! And what I LOVE about motivational speakers (like you) is that no, you are NOT perfect – which means you are like ME! Yay! And THAT means that we can be on this journey together. It means you are not in some place of perfection, looking back on lowly me telling me what I should do. You are instead walking right along beside me – sharing your experience and the insights you gain along the way. Thank you for that and for the wisdom you are sharing!

  2. I celebrate you! I celebrate every one who writes on this blog because all of you remind me and reinforce to me the lesson and joy of acceptance I've been working on for over 25 years (geez, I'm getting old — accept, accept). And, your approach of choosing to celebrate your healthy habits (congrats on so many including the soda!) rather than focus on a number is the only way I managed myself years ago. It's the only approach I've ever found works, and yet I still have days where I grab the fat roll on my back in disgust. But, the beauty is I'm quicker to stop the crazy, unhealthy behavior, take a look in the mirror and say, "I love and approve of myself just the way I am RIGHT NOW!"  My inner critic often snorts with sarcasm following my affirmation, but I keep saying it until I find myself back in a place of appreciation for all my body does for me. I still fight wanting the party in the mouth 24/7, and as someone with addictive tendencies, probably will off and on my entire life. Which is why we all need motivational blogs like yours to remind us to stay on path and enjoy the journey.

  3. Kelly – my beautiful friend!  What a great blog – what courage you have! I am in the same boat – I look at the number once a week and have consistently for the last 3 years. The number keeps going a little up, then a little down, then a little up, and then a little down.  I, like you, am not perfect and I want the number of course to go down and stay down.  But, I also would like there to be no calories in chocolate chip cookie dough so I can eat it for breakfast before baking it for lunch! So, with this journey, I am realizing, that if I stick to healthy choices most of the time, I don't have to wallow in the guilt.  I just make better choices the next time out.  I'm with you sister!!  All the way and back, I am with you.  And, no matter what – you are one beautiful friend!!!

  4. Hooray for you, Kelly!! I agree 100% that a healthy body and mind are our #1 priorities.  Whatever number happens to show up on the scale is merely an interesting measure.  My only other piece of advice it to make all Dr.'s appointments first thing on Friday mornings.  Our healthy habits all week long will show up better on those damned Dr. visit weigh-ins!  Go girl go!

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