Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Little Engine That Could!

Good morning from Longport, NJ .Spending a week at the shore with the family. My oldest son is coming home from a quick trip to London tonight. My other two sons and fdl ( future daugher in law) are here now. We used to always plan big summer vacations, either to an island or a few times to Italy. But now that we have the house at the shore, it makes sense to gather here and get some use out of our investment. Plus everyone is going in such different directions these days. It's hard to get everyone together. It's nice when it happens. A few days of togetherness and early next week one son will be heading to college in Connecticut, one to his MBA grad school in Indiana, and one to New York to continue job hunting.

I was sitting on the beach yesterday when I read Rosalie's post. What a wonderful accomplishment to meet her goal. Then this morning I logged onto blogger and was going through my dashboard, and saw post after post of good news from all of you. I really felt motivated reading everyones blogs. All so different, but so much good advice. Everyone on a different path of the journey, but all heading towards the same goal of weight loss and better health.

For some reason while thinking over all that I had read, I thought of a book that I loved reading when I was little, and loved reading to my kids. It's called The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper.

Here is a quick version I took from Wikipedia in case you don't know the story.

A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill "I can't; that is too much a pull for me," said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. "I think I can," puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."
As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could."

I thought of this book because I have often doubted, and sometimes still do, whether I can reach my goal. I know we all have. It's part of the journey. But all those that did reach their goal, just kept trying and trying, like the little engine, trying to pull that train uphill when it was never sure it could.  It started slowly, but gained momentum and accomplished what it set out to do.

While looking at all of the success I see, and evaluating why I'm the slow loser, I had to ask myself, am I trying as hard as I could? Yes, on most days, but no, on the weekends. For some people like me, that may be the reason their loss is slower. It can also be genetic, hormonal, thryoid disorder or whatever. But it could also be adherence to the plan or lack of it. When coupled with the other issues beyond our control, it can lead to a slower loss. That's where I'm finding myself these days.

 But today I woke up, put on a pair of shorts that were tight in the beginning of the summer and they zipped right up. So there are other ways to measure progress too, even when the scale is inching down ever so slowly. Also another measure of success for me is not having those crazy sugar cravings, or constant feelings of needing to eat something. I am convinced those were swings in my blood sugar that caused those feelings. I really feel so much more control now that sugar is pretty much out of my life.

So I am keeping my goal of climbing up that mountain, just like the Little Engine. It's so nice that I have all of you who have made it over the top or are almost there to guide me along. I think of you often when my motivation is waning. For you it happened. I think I can, turned into I know I can,and it happened. The train reached it's goal. It didn't know it could, but that little train tried and tried, and it did. Just like you!

Thought for the day:  "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could


  1. Wow Pattie, Yeah that was me, I don't know if I can > I think I can > I actually did it!!
    If you just keep trying real hard and make sure to keep blogging for lots of support - You CAN!!
    Have a great weekend :-)

  2. I LOVE this post!!! You should put it on the Belly Fat Cure Fans page. It really does say what we all need to tell ourselves. I think I can! I know I can, and I know others that have done it:)
    I feel so much better since sugar and I broke up. I have said before, it feels like I have conquered an addiction and it feels powerful. I cheat, but not with sugar! Well,sugar/sugar, like candy! Sometimes fruit sugar calls my name. I am human:)
    Have a wonderful time. Enjoy your family and be ready to have some quiet time when the week is over. Life is good at the beach:)

  3. I love this too! I second Kay's idea. It is definitely what leads us to failure at some point or another, the idea that 'maybe we can't.' We can! And you can too! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I think I'll go out on the deck under my new umbrella with a little Pinot. .:)

  4. Oh Pattie,
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!! What a great writer you are & this so hits me in my heart. I feel like I have been very focused these past few weeks especially, but the weight is inching off at a trickle. Do I think I could try harder?? Perhaps.I think we all can try harder. I have always had doubt about getting to my goal weight and I think thats why I have never attained it....but this time, I KNOW it, and believe it in my heart that it will come to pass. Might take another 6 months or maybe a year, but I am determined, like that little engine, that I can! When I was a Mary Kay Sales Director ( I retired in Jan of this yr) I remember going to our Natinal Seminar in Dallas in 2005 and watching all the Directors cross the big stage to receive their Unit Club diamond bar pins & plaques. I remember watching them being escorted down a long spiral staircase intheir beautiful gowns & I thought to myself, "Im gonna walk across that stage next year and do a unit club too" and you know what, I DID!! My unit and I sold over $300,000 in Mary Kay products from 2005-2006 & I received a diamond bar pin, a plaque & a whole lot of money too for my hard work. This is no different. I can see myself doing this whereas before I couldnt. What you believe, you can achieve!! I have had a great day today and have had a total of 2gms Sugar/4carb servings all day. I have no cravings at all and have felt very satisfied which is amazing! I still have a smoothie that I have accounted for. Its a WW chocolate packet that you add milk or almond milk too and I add crushed ice to it and it tastes like a Wendys Frosty. So delicious and only 5/1 S/c so a real bargain I think but the crazy thing is, Im really not feeling the need to have it. Blows me away! I accounted for it so that if my sweet tooth kicked in I could be ready for it.
    Anyways, I hope you are having a wonderful time at the shore w/ your family. I am so jealous! Wouldnt it be fun someday to have all of us meet somewhere for a mini vacation to meet & have girl time? I would lOVE to meet you and all the rest of our little bloggers!
    Again, thank you for such an inspiring post! You are AWESOME along with all the other fabulous ladies in our group!
    ((sherri)) aka "chugga chugga" lol.

  5. Pattie,
    I used to read that book to my boys when they were little!! I am chugging along right beside you! Maybe once summer is over it will get a little easier for you. I'm sure it must be harder when you are around so many people that are not doing the BFC. Speaking of those other people, how nice to have your whole family get together like that! Your boys sound like they are doing great! You must be such a proud Mom! Enjoy your time with them while you have it!!

  6. Your family and your get togethers sound so much fun! Kudos on your shorts fitting that is progress!!!! I know you can lose the weight even if it takes awhile. We are all here to support you in any way we can :)