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 it...like 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.
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