The Long and Winding Road to Better Health
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
How many times have you read that losing weight is not a sprint but a marathon; not a quick trip but a journey. Lots of times? Well, me too. Problem is, I haven't done a good job of internalizing this knowledge on an emotional level. I've wanted all of this weight gone since day 1.
But 385 days later, I'm finally settling down. Sure, I know there's still 12 pounds to go. I'm realizing though that I'm the only one who cares. If I were 5 feet tall, maybe a 12 pound change in my weight would be noticeable, but since I'm taller I know from life experience that people don't notice a weight change on me unless it's 20 pounds or more. What does that mean?
When I was 55 (yes, 55!) pounds heavier, I fantasized about how different my life would be and how all my problems would disappear. Today, while sitting in my office at work, a new self-talk script "clicked" in my head:
Q: How will your life change once you're 12 pounds lighter?
A: I will be proud of myself for achieving a healthy BMI and finishing something I've started.
Q: Good. And then what?
A: Then I'd have to MAINTAIN the loss.
Q: Maintain your weight doing what?
A: Pretty much what I'm doing now.
Q: So what's the hurry?
Isn't that silly; I've been HEARING this message for a long time. Now I'm LISTENING. Finally, I get it on an emotional level.
So now, I'm feeling more at ease. Yes, I still want to lose the 12 pounds in 3 months. I'm not going to lie; but I also know that the habits I've picked up during this long and winding road to better health are habits I'll need to maintain FOR LIFE. What choice is there? Go back to what I was doing before? I KNOW where that road leads;
THAT road leads to...
high blood pressure
hip or knee replacement surgery
needing a scooter to shop at Walmart
covering my stomach with a pillow when I sit on the couch
standing in the back of a group picture so I can hide my body
avoiding swimsuits or swimming
dropping out of the dating scene
lack of energy
shopping in plus size stores
wheezing after climbing a few flights of stairs
Instead of agonizing over these 12 pounds, I am following the advice of my SP friends and really reflecting more on how far I've come. Thinking about it calms me down and helps me understand that losing the weight is a by-product of my healthier habits. Since I intend to maintain these habits for the rest of my life, the 12 pounds will come off when it's time.
Onward and downward.