Thursday, March 28, 2013
Sometimes I forget that there's a process that goes on between my wanting something and my getting it. I think a lot of backsliders have forgotten that wanting to lose weight isn't enough. We also have to take the steps to get to our goals, and sometimes the process is long and difficult. As a college teacher, I knew there were many students who wanted to get their degrees, but in order to get them, they needed to come to class, take exams, and do term projects on the road to graduation. They didn't want the work, but they did want a degree. We all know it doesn't work that way.
This model fits losing weight very well. I'm often inspired when I hear or read a story about someone's success on SparkPeople or on TV. If you've ever watched The Biggest Loser, then you know that the process is grueling. The contestants aren't happy when they lose two or three pounds in a week. They've worked so hard that they feel deserving of a really big loss. I know that my weight loss journeys are rarely a straight line down. I have a lot of unmet expectations and deep cravings for sugar that I have to wean myself off from. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's foolish to give up. It's a longer process than the contestants on Biggest Loser go through, so we don't always have the immediate results that we want to see on the scale or in the mirror. Just knowing that my weight will go up and down over the course of my dieting phase helps me. All of us can expect the unexpected!
I'm always reminded of Thanksgiving week when I was in the first grade. The teacher told us to draw a turkey and color it. I set out drawing mine, working hard to get all the details the way I thought they should be. Then the teacher took them up and planned to display the drawings for parents' night, on Wednesday of that week. My teacher met with my parents and told them that she wanted them to see something special about my work. To their surprise, there were about fifteen colorful turkey drawings posted along the board, and then there was mine. My turkey was cooked and on a platter. I even put those little paper ends on the drumsticks! You see, I didn't know that the turkey we would have for thanksgiving had once been a bird with a colorful tail and a hangy-down nose. I didn't know that the turkey had to be processed (killed and cleaned) before it got to our table. I didn't even know that the drumsticks were actually turkey legs! All I knew is that it tasted good and came from the grocery store. My daughter is in the poultry science department at the University of Arkansas, and now I know the process involved in taking a bird from just-hatched to perfection from the oven. It's not a pretty process, but that's what it takes to get one table-ready.
Anything that we achieve usually takes hard work and perseverance. Even on days when we backslide or even binge, we have to forgive ourselves and get back into the process. It's messy and difficult sometimes, but it's worth it if we reach our goals.