Not always, but sometimes, I think that extra pounds are like house guests. This came to mind today because a co-worker who has been working really hard on her fitness and weight loss shared that she is down 7 lbs! She shared that she had been struggling with just a pound here, half-pound there, but then suddenly it all came off! Here's my completely unscientific take on it:
Pounds are like house guests. They show up, and we are happy to have them. We think the cheesecake or dinner out every night, or bottle of wine, or 5-night cruise are worth the cost of a little more jiggle in the middle. After all, we can simply tell the guests (pounds) when we want them to leave, right?
Well, sure, we can tell extra pounds to leave all we want. We try to tell them nicely with a gentle, "Gee, it has been nice having you here. Don't your friends at home miss seeing you?" That is when we add just a little more activity to our day. Not sweaty activity, just a little more walking around or something. And maybe one or two guests decide to leave.
But what if there are more than one or two guests? What if some of the guests are still hanging around? Then, we try much less subtle solutions. We get serious, face the guests head on and say, "It has been nice having you, but the time has come for you to leave." This is when we add a few hours at the gym each week, and we make the conscious effort to say "no" to desserts and sodas, and instead enjoy a salad. With that, a few more guests take the hint, and take a hike.
Sometimes, the guests heard you, they know that you want them to leave, but they have decided that your house is comfortable, and they don't really want to go. So, we don't even talk to them any more. We decide that the right thing to do is no longer offer them food, no longer give them safe haven, no longer have the "thanks for spending time with me" conversation, but instead stomp around the house banging pots and pans and slamming doors so the home becomes much less hospitable. This is when we add a personal trainer and a healthy-foods regimen and make a habit of doing the right things. It STINKS - literally and figuratively - because working out is hard work, and eating right is not fun, and finding the time to do it all is difficult. But, this inhospitable behavior will get a lot more of those guests running for the hills all at once, and it feels GREAT when it happens.
There always seem to be stragglers, though. Those guests who just can't seem to get it together, pack their bags, and get the heck OUT. For those guests, you have to make the hardest decision and the ultimate sacrifice: you have to burn the house down. I know, no one wants to see their old stuff go up in smoke, but if there's no house, there can be no pesky guests. This is when we commit to a healthy change. This is clearing out the kitchen of the foods we can't resist. This is keeping ourselves accountable by logging every morsel of food as well as every minute of activity. This is having a friend who calls you every week and has you stand in front of a mirror in your underthings and talk about what you see. This is being open and honest with our spouse, children, friends, and all those close around us so they know that it is no longer acceptable to tempt us with what is not good for us. This is saying "the old me is gone and is not welcome back ever, because I'm going to like the new me a lot more."
And that is how you get rid of house guests.
Holding steady at 16 guests down since Jan 1.