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Lessons learned - do they agree or conflict?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kaligirl speculated yesterday in her response to my blog over whether we have to repeat lessons until we learn them. Interesting aspect of human life.

I work as a programmer (short version... I could get specific, but who would care?). One of the biggest challenges in programming and analysis is getting the requirements right. Why? Because often they are unstated, or implied, and the hearer "doesn't get" them, because the hearer can't read the mind of the person stating the requirement... only hear or read the words he or she is given. This can lead to bad programs and unhappy users! We've all seen that funny picture of "What the user wanted"... a tire swing hung off a tree by a single rope... going through progressive warps before it becomes three boards linked too closely together for anyone to sit on them, suspended by multiple ropes. What happened?

I'm thinking that some of these life lessons are similar. We actually have multiple forces at work in our psyches!

Let's take the obvious: we set out to lose weight. We succeed. What did we learn?

1. We learned that we CAN change our body size and shape through changing what we do.

2. We may have learned that we felt pretty good throughout the process.

But we may have learned some unstated things that may lead us to be unhappy users of the product (healthy habits). For example:

3. We may have learned that losing weight and changing our body size did not solve ALL our problems. We may have learned that we still had an unhappy marriage. Or an unhealthy job situation. Or ... fill in the blank.

This can be a discouraging lesson to learn, and sometimes it leads us to "give up" for a while, because we had unrealistic expectations of weight loss / fitness.

Lesson from regaining:
4. We may have NEEDED to learn that you have to keep up the behaviors to keep the weight off. Losing doesn't teach that lesson. Regaining does. But sometimes it is hard to convince yourself to start again because during loss you learned:

5. It takes hard work and determination and constant vigilence to lose. It takes those same things to maintain.

6. Maintaining a healthy weight depends on behaviors. For some people those behaviors are natural. For others of us, not so much... and we have to be "obsessive" about the habits to get the results.

Lessons learned during loss/maintenance:

7. We may have learned that we HAVE emotions we didn't want to acknowledge.

8. We NEEDED to learn and practice healthier ways of dealing with those emotions. For some people, those healthier ways are natural. For others of us... again, not so much... we need to keep ourselves fit in more ways than the physical to feel whole.

In short, we learned some lessons that support being healthy, and some that can discourage us... and until we're ready to accept the discouraging ones, and "do it anyway"... we will repeat the experiences.

Life is good... we are learning... and as long as we never give up... long term success is ours. emoticon
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNHUNT 1/9/2013 8:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TONISTRELEC 2/29/2012 9:53AM

    emoticon

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SISYPHUS_CLIMBS 2/27/2012 9:17AM

    Great blog!
PS - as a fellow programmer, I'd love to see this "What the user wanted" cartoon you're talking about!

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KATIE33MAHALA 2/25/2012 3:07PM

    Good blog Barb! This seems to be true for most of us, if not all! One thing I have learned, is by caring what I look like, or wt., does not solve my life problems, but it does however prove to myself, " I am alive". Keeping with that, my spirit grows, God Bless you Barb, hope you have a great wk. end!

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LJCANNON 2/25/2012 2:59PM

    "#5 It takes Hard Work & Perseverance to Lose.
# 6 It takes the same things to Maintain. Some of us need to be 'Obsessive' about these things."
emoticon Thank You for letting me know that I am not alone in being 'Obsessed' about staying Vigilant and working harder to maintain the weight loss than actually losing it.

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LOGOULD 2/25/2012 2:38PM

    Very insightful....life is just one lesson after another and each lesson we master just leads us to another.

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FOODIELOVER1 2/25/2012 12:43PM

  emoticon So true...

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APRILLSCOTT 2/25/2012 11:53AM

    A-men to this one. Life is an everlearning process! emoticon

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MSCRISPIN 2/25/2012 11:11AM

    Life is about learning from our mistakes and glories. Good blog. emoticon

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THINJIM1 2/25/2012 10:53AM

  Eccellent Blog, and right on. Im now 65 and things that were problems when young are now not even part of my thought process. Keep plugging, for me life has gotten easier, but I layed the foundation earlier.

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PENNYAN45 2/25/2012 10:50AM

    This is a great blog!
It is SO true that I didn't get all the learning about weight loss until I had started regaining some of the weight.
Now I am learning more as I start to lose again.

Also...I am shifting priorities. I'm balancing the benefits of being at a certain weight with the effort required to maintain that weight. But that's another blog!

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MOBYCARP 2/24/2012 5:12PM

    I've learned some of those lessons. I have an unpleasant feeling that I will be learning some of the less comfortable ones in the future. But I guess we all have to do the best we can, and we all learn when we're ready to learn.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/24/2012 12:04PM

    This was spot-on, Barb!

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 2/24/2012 9:44AM

    Yes, so true. Not only do you have to change your thinking about eating but also how to love yourself!

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SUNNY332 2/24/2012 9:42AM

    Very, very good! I do agree with Kaligirl on this.

Thanks for sharing the lessons learned.

Sunny

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MSLZZY 2/24/2012 9:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRISZTA11 2/24/2012 9:35AM

    Thank you for sharing,
great blog!


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KARIDIAN1 2/24/2012 9:24AM

    Very good points and examples. You hit the nail on the head! I liked it!

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KALIGIRL 2/24/2012 9:20AM

    Here's to learning - to take the 'bad' with the 'good' as we complete our revolutions around the sun.
Namaste my friend.

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KANOE10 2/24/2012 9:10AM

    That is how I look at maintenance..a learning process..built on consistent small steps that keep me focused. Nice blog.

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CONCHA77 2/24/2012 8:20AM

    Excellent Blog, Barb.

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_LINDA 2/24/2012 7:53AM

    An interesting class that is being offered that I am very tempted in attending is learning why we eat the way we do. They are focusing not on exercise and weight loss, but the emotions behind eating. I am thinking that if maybe I had something like this BEFORE I began my journey, it might have been just a tad more easier. Its seems like maybe we need a little psychological training to go along with the physical. Much like athletes get mental training as well as physical to make them perform the best that they can. Do you think?
My goal with weight loss and fitness was to simply be able to move the best I can with my disease. Because I know not to move make the pain and disability worse. I wasn't expecting any life changing experiences. But I do feel a heck of a lot better and that is a great emotional boost!
Have a Fantastic Friday! (Day 3)

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