Sunday, February 24, 2013
Starting any journey is new and exciting, whether it's going off to college, moving to a new town to start a new job, heading off for a vacation, having a baby, or starting a weight loss journey. Everything is new and dramatic. Colors are brighter and life is full of new thrills. But inevitably, the daily-ness sets in, and what was once new is now dull. Some events have an end: you will graduate from college. You will come home from vacation. Some you CAN'T change: you can't give the baby back. Getting another job in yet a different town is too disruptive to do often. What do you do when what was once bright and new is now ordinary?
Remember when we were kids and we moaned to our parents that we were BORED? We expected someone else to enliven our days. Then as we got older we found that we had the power to enliven our own days. Teenagers are famous for doing crazy stunts looking for that excitement. As adults we had to be responsible, and it was easy to fall into a routine where all the days were the same, and moaning didn't do any good.
With a weight loss journey, you are in it for life. It starts out as a wonderful adventure. While losing we all concentrate on the movement of the scale to give us the "new" every week. But the day will come when the goal is......staying the same? Where's the excitement in that? If staying the same were exciting, no one would go to college, or look for a better job. Or move to another house, or have a baby. We are told to Embrace Change (a hard enough task when the change isn't one we choose), but how to Embrace Sameness? How do you move forward when the colors of life have dulled?
I see my life as a series of events that I have control over or that I don't have control over, that I initiate or that I have to react to. For me my food plan is the ONE thing over which I have control, so only I can make sure that it doesn't get boring. There was a time when "exciting food" meant the new chip that someone invented (and advertised so well!), or the gooey dessert on the card front and center at the restaurant. Now I create my own food in my own home. Some things don't work (venison once was enough) and some things are glorious (curry!)
In the end it's up to me to enliven the daily-ness that always sets in at some point in our lives. I don't look to other people's food to enrich my life. I can't expect someone or something else to pop into my life to brighten the colors. My kids present me with new family to entertain with my food (not in my control), and I find new friends to share it with (within my control). I don't seek "motivation" from the outside. It is, after all, my choice to make my days as different as I want within the parameters of my Food Plan.
I had to learn to brighten the colors of my own life.