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The Path To The Holy Grail- Regaining Emotional Balance Part 4 of 5 - Realistic Weightloss Goals

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Thanks for coming along on this rather long blog series. In case you are just tuning in, in short, I have been trying to organize and communicate the reasons I feel why I have been successful. This is not as if I had researched all of this and used my own knowledge to lead myself down this path. There is nothing special or unique about me but rather, like a poor beggar that found a treasure chest, so I now share with you. This treasure is of no value hoarded, it only gains interest when shared liberally. Links to the blog series at bottom.

These ideas are not mine, I just bumbled upon them. If they are not mine, then they cannot be bought or sold but can only be obtained when sought for with the whole heart. This is a price that everyone can afford but not all are willing to pay. I believe they are irrevokable principles that will lead you and I to a better journey. I may fail and totally wash out but these truths will live on. I believe that they are the key to success, the path to our Holy Grail.

What is it that made the difference? None of it involved eating a certain way or following any one particular exercise program or method. Those are all externals... Everything conclusion I have reached has all been internal.

After alot of deep thinking and reflection, it all boiled down to 4 things..

1) Seeking out the things that make for emotional stability (this section has 5 subsets)
2) Food Addiction Recovery ie...drying out
3)Reprogramming My Reward Center and Values
4) Mastering Response-Ability

Part 4 of 5 Seeking Emotional Stability- Being realistic about weight loss goals.

When I first started out, I fell into the trap of setting huge weight loss goals once i got the notion that I actually COULD do it. How true it is that when we start out, we struggle with the very notion that we will do it this time, unlike the other 99 false starts so there are huge mental blocks to be overcome JUST to reach the place where one is ready to step up and give it another tug. Once we experience some success, then the temptation is there to set lofty goals because we have a little faith now.

Does this sound familiar? " Im going to lose 50 pounds in 6 months, just in time for my _____ " (fill in blank) ie.. school reunion, beach vacation, shopping trip etc...

I submit that while it is noble to set such goals as a point of focus, you and I have little control as to the rate at which our bodies will shed fat. While it is true that a certain amount of loss can be forced through starvation, dehydration, or God forbid, laxatives. None of this is healthy and will lead to real problems down the road, all for a temporary number that brings a fleeting sense of accomplishment and approval from those around us when they hear of our "success". I learned quickly that my body works on its own clock.

It took a little while before I came to the realization that the goal of this journey is to lead my body and soul beside the still waters, not beat it into submission. All of the above "sins" I have committed and found that they are of no profit.
Yes, thats right, I have tried to force a number before. My self esteem was all tied up in getting just one more pound closer to happiness because I hated myself and what I looked like. This was further aggravated by weigh ins at the gym where I wanted to please my trainer so badly. It really became a problem when I started marathon training and my weight loss came to a dead stop. I was never pressured by the trainer but rather I wanted her to be proud of me. That I was her "star" client, that I was really a champion and was totally on top of it. We are typically desparate to attain some sort of affirmation that we are succeeding, that we have worth, and that we are just a good as anyone else. Maybe to prove that you are even better than others if you are coming from the angle of low self esteem. You want to prove yourself and earn respect so badly that you will go to extremes to get me.

Yes, this is confession time. I wanted the approval so badly that I abused myself in some instances. Truth is good for the soul. It heals and cleanses.

Finally, I got some real insight that I wanted to share with you.

What would you think about someone who comes into a hospital badly injured, leg broken in 3 places and states that they will heal by such and such a date so they can make it to some long anticipated event. We would tell that person to put those plans on ice. They need to heal and tell them that it may not happen according to their preferred timeline. We would basically say within ourselves that that person seriously needs a reality check. That individual is NOT in control of the process. All the doctors can do is stabilize the patient and create the environment for healing to take place. Outside of that, all they can do is let nature take its course.

If this is so obvious in the physical then why do we try to beat our bodies into submission to meet some ''im gonna lose XXX pounds by XXX date'' goal then beat ourselves up because we couldnt make ourselves do it.

I had to let it all go and realize that the only thing I can do is create the environment through nutrition and exercise, work to sustain that environment, then step back and let it unfold. Let the body heal itself on its own time clock.

Remember, you are leading your body beside the still waters, not trying to beat it into unnatural submission with brute force methods.

If your body does not lose it on its schedule, there will most likely be a backlash of some sort. We create those crazy expectations because we believe that rigid adherence will beget success. We do that because deep down we cannot tolerate yet another failure to meet that expectation. We struggle enough as it is. I cannot think of one time I have ever looked in the mirror at 385 pounds and said to myself "wow dude, you are really a stud!" My viewed image was always met with a sick feeling or no feeling at all because we get to be really good at burying negative feelings. Our hearts and minds can only tolerate so much before some type of defensive mechanism kicks in for the sake of keeping us intact...sort of.

I had to love myself where I was at. Happiness and self love does not come at some magic moment when the number you are seeking for pops up on the screen. When I broke 100 pounds lost, there were no angel choirs singing, no pats on the back, no TV camera interviews wanting to know the secrets of my success. It was all a big non-event. In fact, no one in my world really cared.

Weight loss does not bring happiness. It is the BYPRODUCT of happiness. It is the result of a daily commitment to creating the environment for healing and sustaining it, then stepping back and allowing the magic to happen on its own timeline.

The only thing that you and I can control is the environment that we create. Outside of that, it is out of our hands.

Let it go and love yourself.

Just like the rose cannot be forced to bloom, you cant force your body. Water it with nutrition and exercise, seek to relieve the sources of anxiety that drive the bad habits.

Then, like the rose...Just let it unfold.

Next In Series- Emotional balance part 5 - Independence And Passion.

Previous blogs...
Intoduction to the Holy Grail

Emotional balance part 1 - journey to the center of the problem

Emotional balance part 2 - Relationship with the scale

Emotional balance part 3 - Self talk

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
IBECCA 5/27/2012 4:34PM


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ISABELLE31 5/27/2012 4:03PM

    Thanks for posting this. You made several important points that I need to remember.

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CM_GARDNER78 5/27/2012 3:14PM

    Wow...........again, how completely true. And in a way I NEVER thought of it before! Amazing - you are absolutely right!!! When you sit back and really think about it, there are SO MANY sources coming at us from every angle that makes us BELIEVE that we have to do this a certain way - and yet everyone KNOWS that the body's gonna do it its own way! :-/ UGH. Great blog. Can't wait to read the conclusion!

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AMURDOCK68 5/27/2012 3:13PM

    "Remember, you are leading your body beside the still waters, not trying to beat it into unnatural submission..."

Thank you for the post. I will keep with me many points you made including the idea that the only thing we have any control of is the environment we create.

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 5/27/2012 2:26PM

    As always.............written from the heart and speaks to so MANY of us! Again, my thanks for putting this all so well into words.

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CATHOLICCORGI 5/27/2012 2:11PM

    Thanks for great blog/series!!
It has taken me over three years to lose half way to my goal. If it takes another three years to reach it, that's OK. I am enjoying my journey.
It is now all about balance in ALL areas of my life. As "Life Happens", I am ready to live it to the best of my ability. SparkPeople has given me a great gift in the tools it provides. I am choosing to be centered, and as it says in the Bible(Phillipians 4:12) "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." I know God loves me, and I LOVE ME, too! I'm worth the time and effort to become the best version of myself I can be!

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EMELEE82 5/27/2012 2:10PM

    LOVE! Thanks so much!

You words are beyond awesome. Thank you

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ELLDOCKE 5/27/2012 12:12PM

    I was really struck by the goal setting. I have been trying to get in shape/lose weight for my husband's high school reunion. It is isn't even a good motivator and too nebulous to be measured or tracked. So, back I go to set a real goal - a measurable, trackable, realistic goal without a date - just the commitment to keep on tiptoeing towards it daily. Thanks! emoticon

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HLANIER4 5/27/2012 11:21AM

    I find myself falling into the common pitfall of saying I am going to lose 60ilbs by this date. I, too, am trying to work on finding my self worth in other ways and not in the read out of the scale. I love your blog. It hits home.

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MANILUS 5/27/2012 10:50AM

    So many good points in this blog. Setting the environment for healing and letting it unfold is definitely the way to look at it. We cannot force things and expect to not have repercussions. You are right that giving somebody principles to follow is not going to allow for everybody to succeed. Those people have to use the knowledge and stay consistent. Congrats on your success!

Comment edited on: 5/27/2012 10:51:13 AM

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GAMEON123 5/27/2012 10:37AM

    Just what I needed!

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HONEYPOT319 5/27/2012 9:41AM

    Thanks! :)

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SRBSRB26 5/27/2012 8:59AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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BESSHAILE 5/27/2012 5:56AM

    "All the doctors can do is stabilize the patient and create the environment for healing to take place. Outside of that, all they can do is let nature take its course. "

Excellently put. It goes along with another quote I love ... "The body tends towards healing" We ought to let our minds get on with it.

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HOPESINGH 5/27/2012 5:34AM

    Thanks for this post!

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NORTHERNFIRE 5/27/2012 2:22AM

    "The only thing that you and I can control is the environment we create."

I'm beginning to realize that what you're describing (and I'm struggling with) is common to most of us. The environment here on SP through our contributions and comments is part of that environment... and it matters. We can help each other weed out the toxic patterns of thinking and create a healthy environment right here. Where else in my world am I going to find so many people who understand what I'm going through and how very hard it is to feel positive about myself?

Thanks for this!!!
... And by the way, I think these comments here are one angel choir ;-)

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BLUEJEAN99 5/27/2012 1:18AM


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PRAIRIECROCUS 5/27/2012 1:01AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon for sharing !

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VIMVIGOR 5/27/2012 12:30AM

  I sure can relate to what you are saying. You could be talking about me. For many, many years I was told that I couldn't do anything right. That no matter what I did - how hard I tried - nothing I did was ever "quite" good enough. So now I plan things to death. I never really believe I can "do" it. Just in the last month or so have I decided that believing in me and being nice to me is the best way to succeed. Thanks for sharing, somehow knowing that others feel the same as me is definitely a AHA moment. Cheryl emoticon

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ALLISONSATTIC 5/26/2012 10:30PM

    Well said!!!..I agree so wholeheartedly with you!! It has now taken me 20+yrs after losing alot of weight once realize that it is how you feel about yourself and your life around you that is more important than the weight loss number and how fast it is or is not coming off!!...Continue with your self exploration...I ..along with many others are following along with you.. for you..and ourselves!!! We all are waiting to bloom!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ASPENHUGGER 5/26/2012 10:28PM

    That analogy of the badly broken leg really struck home with me! Thanks!

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FITWITHIN 5/26/2012 8:56PM

    Thank you for yet another great blog.

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KLMINDA 5/26/2012 8:55PM

    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Thank you. Lesson learned.

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8HABIT 5/26/2012 8:52PM

    Your blog hit a nerve with me. Thank you for writing it. I plan to share this blog with my Spark Team.

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TUBLADY 5/26/2012 7:19PM

    You said it very well.
We are a nation of "today". Instant gratification. Thats why so many try those quick fix fad diets, pills, drinks, etc.
It's good to set goal,but set realistic ones. And even then you have to be flexible.
If you keep at it long enough, you see the results you want.
After all it's a life time change, you have time to do it right in a safe and realistic way.
For some it's easier than others. We are all made up differently.
But I believe everyone can succeed if they work a it. Just stick in there, Don't give up.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POSITIVELY_EB 5/26/2012 7:19PM

    Thank you for voicing what's inside of me and suggestions for getting healthy!


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EFFRAYECHILDE 5/26/2012 5:51PM

    Good blog.

I can relate to whole injury issue. I flipped a 4-wheeler onto my leg about a month ago and am still healing. No broken bones. But, no intense cardio until all the bruising on my leg is gone. So, I "walk it out" in pool.

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NO_SNOW_BODY 5/26/2012 5:24PM

    nice blog

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JIBBIE49 5/26/2012 4:53PM

    emoticon WOW, featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor.

Do watch the HBO Documentary on YOUTUBE, The Weight of the Nation. It is four parts and very helpful.

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SIMOFDIM 5/26/2012 4:51PM

    Thank you!

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CHOOSE2BELIEVE 5/26/2012 4:51PM


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SLIMLEAF 5/26/2012 4:23PM

    Thank you. I needed this.

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MORNINGWALKER 5/26/2012 4:20PM


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MRSTABER 5/26/2012 3:23PM

    Always an inspiration!

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JUDYAASH 5/26/2012 3:06PM

    You are always so inspiring. Every thing you say I have said to myself 100 times. emoticon

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DEARTOMYHEART 5/26/2012 1:45PM

  Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. Still trying work on me.. emoticon

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TEACHEROF4TH 5/26/2012 1:40PM

    Thank you for sharing this wisdom and encouragement!

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SAZZLERAZZLE 5/26/2012 1:34PM

    wise words, thanks for sharing your experience. emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 5/26/2012 1:30PM


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MOMMY445 5/26/2012 1:30PM

    i fully agree! thanks so much for sharing!

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CLAYLADY001 5/26/2012 1:13PM

  first time I read this blog,very good advice.I do get hung up on approval and it is hard for myself tofinally get where I want to be then no one notices.Bummer but then it is reality time and that hurts also.I do have a very complete and happy life and a husband who really does love me but we both struggle with our own demons regarding weight loss.Life is good if you just let it be familiar words but true!

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SMANISMELL 5/26/2012 12:45PM

    I believe this is the first one of yours that I have read. You gave some really great advice. I know that we should not set expectations to lose X amount of weight in X amount of time, but it is hard not to get disappointed when we don't lose as much as we would like to. My weight is coming off so slowly that at times I do not feel as though I have lost any. But I will keep trying. Thanks for the good advice.

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MHM140 5/26/2012 12:27PM

    Just what I needed to hear!

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CPATRICK9 5/26/2012 12:22PM

    Love your ideas. I totally agree.

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JSLATE2K 5/26/2012 12:07PM

    I'm still not completely there; I do tend to let my weight loss - or lack thereof - effect my attitude. Even though I only step on the scale once a week, if I don't lose 2 lbs, then I replay that memory all week long. On the other hand, if I have a weight loss, then I'm really happy, and I use that as motivation throughout the week.

After reading this and reflecting about it in my own experience, I can see I need to change my point of view. It all boils down to a lifetime of comparing myself to other people and looking for external sources of self-esteem, no matter how good I looked. I don't even know where to begin, but reading your blog has certainly brought a lot of feelings to the surface this morning.

Thanks for the "jolt"!


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CALIDREAMER76 5/26/2012 12:06PM

    This is the first of your series that I've read ~ there is much I relate too. Still working on liking myself.

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LIVELYGIRL2 5/26/2012 12:04PM

  WOW!!! You really expressed alot. Thanks for sharing with all of us. We rejoice with you. I know it's an old fashioned word, but happy is to tame, to share our appreciation of how far you've come. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WENDENANNIE 5/26/2012 12:04PM

    Amen Robert! You are so right! Awesome blog!

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LIVELYGIRL2 5/26/2012 12:01PM

  WOW, this is great insight. Thanks for sharing with us!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HIGHNOON 5/26/2012 11:45AM

  Control what we can and let the rest go. What wonderful advice. emoticon emoticon emoticon


Comment edited on: 5/26/2012 11:47:23 AM

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.