I have been slowly reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I only read before bedtime and the pages are so dense that the process has been slow. Good thing I bought the book ($1.99 at Goodwill) instead of being on a library time restraint, because I have had the book a week and I am only in Chapter 2. I must admit that sometimes I feel I am not smart enough for this book. That will happen when you have been reading dumbed down easy readers without too many BIG words.
Last night a statement popped out at me about making and keeping promises to yourself. I lie to myself all the time, constantly, on a continual basis. Do you? I make plans and promises to myself and then two minutes later I am all "Yea, um... no". A constant cycle of planning and failing, planning and failing. Most of the time we do not even give the plan a chance before we throw in the towel. You can have all the ingredients for a magnificent recipe. You prepare them and get them all put together just so, following all the instructions. Carefully you place your creation in the oven, close the door, and then decide "You know, I don't really have time for all this, we'll just cook this for 25 minutes instead of 90". Shortcuts. Doesn't matter how well you plan and prepare, if you don't follow all the way through and try to cut a corner, FAIL!
So my last blog I proclaimed how I was done hating myself for failing. I do it. I am the one that stops. I am the one that has a month of success and then for whatever reason decides to cease making progress. I have tried every method I can to NOT follow the rules. I don't want to track, so I tried over exercising so the calories in didn't count. I also did the 17 day diet so I didn't have to track (which was a very successful one month). I tried Eat to Live a year ago when I didn't want to track (that sent me into a 20 pound gain in 1 month that sent me into complete diet despair). I did all these things because I didn't want to follow the rules. Most of us don't. Why do you think we want the easy fix? Why is it that we can see some crazy diet plan and think "OH I can restrict my calories to 500 a day and put drops under my tongue and find success. That's the ticket!" We can rationalize crazy, but we aren't willing to just follow the rules of healthy eating most of the time and movement.
I have been doing a lot of soul searching. Not just about diet, but about health. Our health is about more than just our weight. My mental health has taken a beating. I am not being effective. I am not being progressive. I have stagnated in all areas of my life. My drive has stalled and my get up and go... well the battery is dead. I lost my spark. I thrive on success, not just in material success, but in the smiles on my family's faces, in being a good friend, in being a good person, in feeling like the things I do are helping and have a purpose. I have all the opportunities in the whole world and yet I am not taking advantage of any of them because I have a horrible case of the "dontwannas" but the sad part is it isn't even that. It isn't even about not wanting to, because I so do want to, I feel like I just can't and I don't know why I feel that way, because I SO CAN. Am I just lazy?
I decided if I am going to succeed I need something to base my success. I have an eBay business that I have been neglecting even though I want very badly to run my business full time. I realized yesterday I have no goals in place. I haven't even established a general goal standard. Saying "I just want to make money" isn't going to work any better than saying "I just want to lose weight" or "I just want to be more organized" or "I just want to make more progress". Well ok, those are all fine statements but how are you going to get there, how do you measure your success, where are the "atagirls"? When I really look deep inside I need rewards, I need little areas of success that show me I am making progress.
Although the war has ended, the fight has not. That was the part I forgot about, the fight. Life is not going to give me rainbows and unicorns; I have to make my own. I have decided that I need to track my food. That is just a rule I am going to have to follow, because being a healthy weight is important to me. Being a good role model for my children and my family and the 65% of this nation that is obese, that is important to me. Excuses are just lies we make to ourselves. Excuses are the reasons we give to break our promises. I am not being my own friend; I am a fairweather friend to myself and that has to end.
I have been talking for a long time about making my mountain. Jason Castro has a song that inspires me and the chorus is...
This is only a mountain
You don't have to find your way around it
Tell it to move, it'll move
Tell it to fall, it'll fall
My weight struggle has been my mountain. I have gone around and around the base of this mountain so many times, its time to go up it.
I am not setting a "no mistakes" standard. I will have days when I just don't make it. But the point is to set a standard and try to reach that standard on most days. If I am going to create a new habit, I have to keep working at it on a daily basis. Old habits die hard, but it is time to create some new ones.
I made my mountain. It is not perfect, but that is not the standard. Progress is the standard.