Thursday, March 3, 2011

But, you don't understand....

Back when I used to travel around giving motivational talks to women's groups (something I would love to do again!) I would talk about how you can overcome any obstacle and work towards your goals. Now a lot of times I would be talking to weight loss groups. See, I have weighed as much as 490 pounds in my life, and recently only weighed 251 pounds. So, I know a lot about weight loss. I have lost over 150 pounds 9 times in the last 25 years. Oh yes, I am the QUEEN of weight loss, I have just never quite mastered how to keep it off until recently. I am a work in progress.

But I digress...
I would talk about overcoming and dreaming and working towards your goals, and then I usually was able to take questions. INVARIABLY the first person whose hand went up started off by saying "But you don't understand how hard my life is. I can't...[fill in the blank with positive action] because...[fill in the blank with life complication]..."
My answer to those kinds of issues was usually something along the lines of "Find us a blackboard and we will write your problems on one side and my problems on the other side and I guarantee my list is longer." Now that was not said to make the person feel bad for me, it was said to make the person stop and think. Because my next question would be "What one step can you take even though your life is complicated?" Because there just aren't enough complications in life to keep you from taking a step. It doesn't matter what size step you are able to take, it only matters that you can take a step.As I have often said, every step you take, large or small,any direction, is a step AWAY from where  you used to be.Even if a step takes you backwards, it is away from where you are. Sometimes we need to go back to find our way.

So, are you telling me that I don't have to tackle my problems all at once? I just have to take one step? Yes, that is what I am telling you.One step is all you have to take. The problem that a lot of us have is that we are perfectionists. Do you know someone who procrastinates? they are probably a perfectionist. Perfectionists often have an all or nothing mentality, if they can't do it all perfectly they would rather not do anything. A lot of women with weight issues-men too, I suppose, but I've never been a man so I can't speak to that-a lot of women with weight issues fall into that perfectionist category. We see it over and over.

We set a day in the near future-next Monday-when we are going to start our new diet. We will be making all the right choices, and we will not give into temptation one time.Then, we get excited, and we make plans for how we are going to never go back to our old ways. Then Monday comes-it's a law that diets start on Monday, right?- and we manage to get through a day or two, maybe even a week or two, but inevitably we break one of our RULES and we feel defeated. So then, with our all or nothing thinking we give up. Then we beat ourselves up emotionally and spiritually, because we aren't able to stick to some arbitrary plan. We are failures.

Except we're not. We aren't failures, we have just failed to plan for success.We have in our heads all of these wrong thinking ideas. We think that we are second class citizens, not deserving of the very best in life because our weight doesn't match the numbers on some chart, or we don't wear the same size dress as some photoshopped air brushed model. We think that if we did reach that mythical weight, or size, everything in our lives would magically change. Our hard life will become easy. When the truth is we will just have starved our body into submission for a bit. We find that life is still hard, and that means we didn't do it perfectly, so we stop doing it at all, and we gain the weight back.

What we really need to learn is that we are not the enemy, food is not the enemy. The wrong ideas that we latch onto are the enemy. So, we must come to that place where we choose to let go of the thinking that keeps us prisoners to the all or nothing thinking. We can learn that we have choices, and that we can use those choices to take the steps necessary to come into a more balanced, loving view of ourselves. We have the choice to take that one step, even though our life is complicated.

When we choose to believe that we are worthy, and we choose to take a step, we have truly started a journey to wellness and wholeness. A place where we can come into a healthy relationship with food, a healthy relationship with our bodies, and with ourselves.A place where we know that even if we stumble along the way, we can choose to take that step again.We can do it, it isn't easy, but we can find our path to wellness. One choice, one step at a time.

1 comment:

mcq2u said...

Brilliant as always - you know just what I need and get right to the heart of it.
Love you!

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