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The ABC's of Motivation: Courage

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Today's word is courage. My little Webster's says that courage is "1 the attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it; quality of being fearless or brave; valor"

I'm focusing on the first clause, because as almost everyone who battles the battle of weight loss and maintenance motivation knows... while it may not always be dangerous (if done sanely) to deal with our weight issue (it SHOULD be making us healthier), it can be difficult and sometimes painful. One of the reasons some of us have carried excess weight was to avoid. Avoid emotions. Push people away.

I am not without fears, anxieties, or worries. Food has been my way to cope. It takes courage to choose NOT to avoid... to use other tools... to recognize, accept, and feel the emotions that have to be dealt with. I was so deep in denial about negative emotions that my first signal I was experiencing them was finding myself at the fridge or the candy counter or at the bottom of a carton of ice cream.

While I cannot control their appearance, I can choose what to do about those emotions. Part of the solution is having the courage to make a different choice, but first I have to be aware of the difference between hunger and avoidance of emotion... and that is not always easy to detect at first on this journey. And it is the subject of other entries, not this one.

Courage is letting go of the coping mechanism. Courage is seeing something that scares me and moving forward, anyway.

Courage is part of my event participation, too. I sign up for an obstacle course, mud run, or endurance race and while training, I still find that I dream of all the things that could go wrong... but then I do it anyway. Amazingly, having done something difficult and completing it? Makes the next difficult or scary thing a little less so, and my likelihood of following through greater.

Examine the courage with which you live your lives. It is there. Trust me. You have made decisions in your life where the ultimate outcome was uncertain. If you got married? Where was the guarantee in that? Bore a child? Yep, scary as it comes. Moved to take a job? Yeppers, that's in there too. Made a decision to see a doctor? Faced a diagnosis and had to decide on treatment options?

All of these were risks to make your life better. Letting go of the crutch of food as an emotional calmer? A risk? Yes, because then everything that might have been driving the eating must be uncovered, examined, and dealt with. Then the choice of HOW to deal with it is back in our hands.

No longer victims. Food is not the enemy. We are courageous, and that is the motivation for today!

Life is good. Spark on! emoticon
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 10/18/2012 3:50PM

    Thanks for these great words of wisdom, Barb. I still eat emotionally sometimes, but it has substantially decreased. Yes losing weigh is often difficult and painful, but it does take courage to keep going when the going gets tough.
Thanks too for the change in perspective on how courageous I actually am! emoticon

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_LINDA 10/9/2012 9:56AM

    Another fabulous blog
Here is to having the courage to face and conquer those barriers to leading a healthy, happy and fullfilling life! Thanks for being the amazing role model to follow!

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DOODIE59 10/8/2012 8:46PM

    Here's to courage!

I must say, I love, love, LOVE your wallpaper -- what a fantastic memory:)
Deirdre

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WONDERFUL2BME 10/8/2012 2:06PM

    Courage....Yes. It is nice to be reminded about all the couragous choices I have made as well.

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46SHADOW 10/8/2012 10:35AM

    Food has always been my emotional calmer. Thanks for saying it so eloquently!

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NUMD97 10/8/2012 10:11AM

    Wow!! Just wow!! I found you just by following the SP crumbs, as I say, from a mutual Spark buddy, and am glad I did.

This is the key, as you wrote, to the whole shebang:

"I still find that I dream of all the things that could go wrong... but then I do it anyway."

And, to clearly examine the REASONS we are what we are. It never was really about weight. And that is one of the greatest lessons of all, that must and will, point us in the right direction, IF we are brave enough to exam it.

Wonderful blog. Thank you!

All the best,

Nu

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JOHNTJ1 10/8/2012 9:50AM

    Yes, you are right!!!

We are indeed courageous

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WATERMELLEN 10/8/2012 9:47AM

    It DOES take courage to stop self-medicating with food, and to deal with the emotions that underlie that decision . . . and to keep on.

Yeah. Great blog.

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KARIDIAN1 10/7/2012 10:18PM

    Great blog! As usual. emoticon

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WORLDSERIES11 10/7/2012 9:44PM

    Great "food" for thought!

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LAURIE5658 10/7/2012 5:50PM

    Another exceptional Barb blog!!!

emoticon

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KAYLA0041 10/7/2012 4:38PM

    emoticon as usual very well said.

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DALID414 10/7/2012 3:07PM

    emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 10/7/2012 1:11PM

    I always see courage not as being fearless, but as facing the fears anyway. Just like you said. And it does take courage to tackle weight loss and increased activity. It is so much easier to stay in our comfort zone instead of reaching out for the things that are difficult, even if our comfort zone is killing us. Great blog!

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DEBRITA01 10/7/2012 12:47PM

    You hit the nail on the head, weight loss can be "difficult and sometimes painful". It takes courage to face life as it is, without the coping mechanism of food. It requires learning new ways and having the courage to follow through... even when the times get tough and the old habits try to resurface.

Barb, you've demonstrated great courage in setting new physical challenges/goals for yourself and sticking with it to the end...something I aspire to do some day. An insightful blog... emoticon

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DLDMIL 10/7/2012 12:21PM

    emoticon emoticon Your blogs are so inspirational.

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CEHALLA 10/7/2012 11:19AM

    I will be reading this blog several times, whenever I need courage to face my emotions instead of avoiding them with food. Thanks!

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1CRAZYDOG 10/7/2012 10:17AM

    HUGS! This is such a powerful blog and each of us need to really look in that mirror and see how courageous we are with each change we make, with each situation we make it through when we think we can't, with each good choice we make. It really does all add up to courage! YOU are the best example of courage I know! HUGS

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/7/2012 10:08AM

    Excellent blog! I am reading a book about emotional overeating called "Shrink Yourself" and it is talking about exactly this subject!
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DNRAE1 10/7/2012 9:50AM

    Fantastic, Barb!!! emoticon You are so inspiring AND courageous! Thank you!

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NEW-CAZ 10/7/2012 9:07AM

    emoticon you are such an inspiration Barb emoticon

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KANOE10 10/7/2012 9:04AM

    Great blog. You do need courage to leave the familiar and make a healthy choice.
Establishing whether something is true hunger verses emotional hunger is also important. Emotional hunger is demanding and must be filled immediately and very particularly..nothing else will do. Real hunger can wait and handle change.
You are right..we need to have the courage to examine every part of our lives and the emotions that drive us.

emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 10/7/2012 8:53AM

    I AM courageous. And I didn't even know it. Thank you, Barb!!

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LEANJEAN6 10/7/2012 7:57AM

    The courage to live happily-----the courage to keep on Sparking against all odds----The courage to put one astep ahead of the other----even when you have a heel spur---The list goes on and on-Great blog! Lynda emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 10/7/2012 7:54AM

    If only you were my neighbor!

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MSLZZY 10/7/2012 7:46AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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