it's how you finish. I was reminded of this truism yesterday when listening to the Seahawk's (yay!!) coach's post game speech. They had started the game down by 14 points in the first quarter. It looked like they were going to fail, dismally. They didn't, because they didn't just lie down on the field in utter shame and embarrassment, they just went ahead and did what they knew how to do.
If you are reading this, and you are like me (and lots of others) and you have stumbled with your efforts to create a healthier body for yourself, by changing habits and losing weight only to resume old habits and regain weight, then I am reminding you, and me, that "it isn't how we start, it's how we finish". I do NOT intend to come to the (premature) end of my life due to obesity and nutrition related ailments. How many times I have lost and re-gained, how many times I have fallen, how many years this has been a struggle, is immaterial, to a certain point. Lying around feeling like a big fat failure is not an option. Every human being on Earth struggles with something, or lots of things, for a while, or forever. We all have struggles. This, for whatever reason (I am sick of dissecting reasons) is one of my big (literally) struggles. But, as my best friend reminded me, "you are not doing this so you can wear a bikini
(SO not a dream of mine), or because you think if you don't look a certain way, you are worthless, you are struggling to feel better and to be healthier". So, it is a worthy struggle requiring however long it takes. Something else I heard in that post victory press conference, by a young quarterback who had been told for years, by many, that he would never, ever be successful at a high level, is that "preparation creates separation". I took that to mean that those willing to make the effort, no matter how tedious it can be at times, no matter how many naysayers they encounter along the way, no matter how difficult or tiring it is, and how tempting it can be to just give up, can separate themselves from their failures, from their critics, and from the numerous examples of how difficult the task at hand is. We have all read those dismal statistics - that 95% of us are doomed to keep returning to overweight and obesity, that even Oprah, with all her billions, can't escape the clutches of overeating and excess weight. Blah blah blah, I say. Those statistics don't measure how much better it feels to drop 10 or 20 lbs, add nutritious food, gain energy, exercise regularly, and feel so much better in our own skin. We don't need to look like someone else's picture of health and fitness, or fit in a box on the insurance industry's BMI chart (most athletes don't fit nicely there, either). We need to feel better, eat better, move better, do better, live better than we do when we are feeling at our most hopeless. We need to meet our own standards. We need to make changes that we can live with, and that increase the quality of our daily life. We are not doomed to finish poorly, just because we may have started and re-started poorly, more times than we can count. Failure will always be part of human nature. I know failure intimately. It isn't shameful, it is expected. We just aren't going to live in failure. We are going to stare it down, and go around. Right?