Thursday, April 12, 2012
As I read the articles and blogs on SparkPeople I think that I understand the lifestyle change paradigm. The mind is the key.
When I was about 12 I cut lawns for money. Great pay - 50 cents an hour. I was the oldest kid in the family, not much money, and I wanted to build stick model airplanes with rubber band motors. I think the kit cost 25 cents and my folks had no problem with me trying to earn the money. Those kits just come with sheets of thin balsa with the parts printed on the sheets and you cut them out with a single edged razor blade. I don't remember how many parts there were but I think it was well over 50 pieces. When I got my first kit I spent hours cutting out each little part and glued them together with Testors. That cost a nickle. Then I covered everything with one layer of a special tissue paper that shrank when you wet it and let it dry.
The repetition was not exciting but I would look at the picture on the kit and knew that if I wanted mine to look like the picture I had to do the boring work. The first one I did flew but not well so I bought a second kit, then a third, and I don't know how many. One of those kits, almost finished, fell victim to a young curious cousin. When I found her with all the broken parts lying on my little work table she asked me if I would put it back together for her. You just can't get mad at your favorite little cousin no matter what she does and how disappointed you are. Besides, it wasn't her fault. I was the one that left it out knowing my cousins were coming.
Putting those kits together is a mind game. You have to want the finished product so you can convince yourself that it's worth all the dog work. When you have a failure you have to be willing to set down at that table and do it all over again day after day. To do that you have to be motivated and have commitment. Stubborn is a good substitute. Bull headed works too. That's a mind game because I was determined to build an airplane that would fly over the roof of the house. After more than a year I got that magic flight and I was walking on air.
My motivation to change my lifestyle isn't as strong as my motivation to get that perfect flight but I can still be bull headed so I'll work with what I have. My commitment IS just as strong but I'm a tad more patient now so I know I can work on this for as long as it takes. Back then I thought a year was forever. Now it's just a blink of the eye.
So, as we count calories and grams of fat, do our required strength and cardio training, and plan meals we're doing the dog work. The mind game is how we get ourselves to believe that it's worth it and, eventually, genuinely know that we'll get that lifestyle that's in the picture on the kit box.
Enjoy the ride,