109 Lbs of Disappointment by Tracy Joy Jones

109 Lbs of Disappointment

A few months ago, I read the story of a lady who had lost 109 lbs on WW (used to be Weight Watchers) over the course of a year and a half. 109 lbs is an amazing achievement, and she looks incredible. But the thing that impacted me the most about her story was when she said there was hardly a day on her journey when she wasn’t disappointed by what she saw on the scale. Some days she thought she should have lost more, other days she’d gained weight. Drop and gain, drop and gain. But she kept on going, and slowly, slowly, painfully slowly, fall-down-and-get-up-again slowly, she was able to look back and see the enormous mountain she had climbed and realized she was on the other side.

She lost 109 lbs while being disappointed in her progress almost every single day. I haven’t been able to get that thought out of my head.

Over the last six years, I’ve also gained weight. I’ve had some significant health challenges, and my body stopped responding the way it always had. I mentally disengaged from my weight because I didn’t know how to re-engage with weight loss in a healthy, grace-filled way. It felt like a mountain I didn’t have the internal strength to climb.

But this past Christmas Day, Matt took a picture of me that got my attention. I couldn’t look away. One photograph and I knew I had to make a significant change. I’m facing surgery this year for a hysterectomy (coming up in the next month or so), and I dreaded what that might do to my body if I didn’t get healthy first. Matt decided to do tackle the mountain with me, and together, we joined WW on December 26th.

I have so many good things to say about the WW program. They’ve built in so much grace, emphasizing long-term vision and daily engagement over what you can’t eat. They’ve really embraced the message of the apostle Paul that “All things are lawful for me. Not all things are profitable.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) There is built-in grace for setbacks and discouragement. The entire emphasis is on continuing to show up, log your food, and stay engaged.

But it’s still been a struggle. Most days I’ve been disappointed in the results. I lost a little, gained a little back. I lost a fraction of a pound, then I lost two pounds, and then gained another pound. My hormones and thyroid have fought against me. But slowly, slowly, slowly the scale has moved down, and I’ve lost twenty-one pounds over the last six months. Matt has lost thirty and reached his goal in only four months.

But to me, the “109 Lbs of Disappointment” lesson has become so much bigger than just weight loss. Disappointment can feel like a bog, clutching at your ankles, pleading with you to stop, quit, give up. It tells you it’s not working or worth it. Disappointment robs your hope and convinces you that you will always be in the place where you are now. That you will never reach my goal. And yet, what if we learned to accept disappointment as an inevitable part of the journey instead of the finish line. What if the lady who lost 109 pounds had allowed disappointment to be her whole story, instead of her testimony?

109 lbs of disappointment by Tracy Joy Jones

Are you facing something today where you’ve experienced disappointment and allowed the setbacks to keep you from continuing on? Is it a dream that isn’t yet realized and you can’t see any measurable progress? Or is it a weight loss story, like mine? Or perhaps a relationship where you continue to forgive and love, believing for reconciliation, and you haven’t yet seen it? Or is it finances, and you keep trying to get out of debt, but your dishwasher just broke and your child needs braces?

“109 lbs of disappointment” means you accept the setbacks as an inevitable part of the journey. You give yourself grace to embrace the little failures and keep on going no matter what because you only end in failure when you quit.

Wherever you are in your journey, I want to encourage you to embrace the setbacks as part of your story and keep moving forward. Keep showing up to your dream, letting go of yesterday’s baggage. A 109 lb testimony is all about daily consistency. Yes, you will experience victories, but you will also experience disappointment, victory, setback, victory, disappointment.

Your testimony will be formed by all the times you picked yourself off the ground and persevered toward your dream. It’s one foot in front of the other, step by step, continuing to climb even when you ate a quart of ice cream or your proposal got rejected. It’s getting up the next day and not allowing guilt or discouragement to unravel everything you’ve accomplished, but keeping yesterday’s setback in perspective and allowing yourself a fresh helping of hope and grace for today.

For me, 109 lbs of disappointment has been the story of both my weight loss journey and my writing journey. I’ll share more about the writing side on my next blog. I’m also getting ready to send out a newsletter, so make sure to sign up for that.

But overcoming disappointment is the message at the heart of so many stories of men and women who accomplished amazing things. My mom loves the story of WD-40, the spray that makes your hinges not squeak. Do you know where the number 40 comes from? 39 failures. 39 Lbs of Disappointment.

Did you know that Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected by 144 publishers before finally finding a home? 144! One of the creators, Jack Canfield is quoted as saying, “If we had given up after 100 publishers, I likely would not be where I am now. I encourage you to reject rejection. If someone says no, just say NEXT!”

I’ve thought about making a t-shirt that says “109 lbs of Disappointment” because the message has become so meaningful in my life. Maybe your number is different. But what if we all embraced the message? What amazing things might we accomplish by changing our perspective on disappointment, embracing it as inevitable and normal, and simply stepping up to each new day and yelling “NEXT”.

109 Lbs of Disappointment by Tracy Joy Jones

Comments 4

  1. I love this blog! So real and true in all of our lives. You encourage me to keep going on my WW journey even when I’ve just blown it!!!! Thank you Tracy. You are one amazing person and writer.

  2. Tracy,

    This is so good and so timely in so many ways!!!!
    Thanks for sharing and encouraging all of us along the journey of life. I love your heart and love you! 💕😊

  3. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Tracy. I miss you so much! Hearing your thoughtful words helps me picture your beautiful face again. I’m so glad you’re still writing, still decorating, still living a great life. We never know where we’ll find inspiration. I found it from an America’s Got Talent video clip – and I don’t even watch the show. The contestant had cancer but still had the strength and wherewithal to say, “You can’t wait for everything to work out the way you want it before you can be happy,” or something like that. Man, did that touch my heart.
    And so did your blog. Hugs and kisses, dear friend!

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