Maintenance Lesson #4: Paint a new picture
Friday, May 03, 2013
Two of the most powerful weapons in my weight loss and maintenance arsenal were Combat and running: both phenomenal calorie torchers, endorphin releasers, and THE primary means of my self-development & -empowerment.
They became part of my identity, and their loss left a huge, gaping, bleeding hole I didn’t know how to close.
“Who am I without them?” and “How do I manage my weight without the calorie expenditure of high intensity exercise?” combined with “Not being able to run or do Combat is devastating” and “I need my endorphin release to make life manageable, and I don’t know how to get it without Combat and running.”
Not knowing how to answer those questions and dilemmas led me right back to who I used to be: a self defeatist who numbed out emotional pain through eating.
It’s ok to mourn my loss. It’s ok to feel lost, angry, disappointed, sad. There’s a difference between allowing yourself to feel instead of numbing out, and getting stuck in your feelings. Between experiencing anger, disappointment, pain, loss, what have you, and moving past it.
I liken maintenance -- and life -- to painting a picture:
I’m painting a picture, and I love it. It’s more beautiful than I ever even imagined it could be when I set out to create it. I’m happy looking at it, I’m proud to say I’m the painter. I’m talented! And then poof! I can’t paint it anymore. I want to, but I just don’t have the tools. I ran out of paint, or the canvas got marred, or something out of my realm of control intervened. I keep trying to work around the hiccups so I can keep painting *that* picture; but nothing I do makes it workable.
What are my choices? Do I keep trying in vain? Do I get depressed because I feel hopeless and powerless?
I did. I have.
Those aren’t solutions.
Maybe someday down the line, circumstances will align so that I can work on the other picture a little more; and if they do, I’m sure it’ll be great. In the meantime, I can’t wait here, painting nothing, hoping that that day will come soon.
The only real solution is to decide to paint a new picture.
Lesson #4: Paint a new picture.
It may not the painting I wanted to work on, or that I set out to work on. It might look totally different from the last one. But just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful and wonderful in its own right. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I’m still creative. And I know -- not wonder, not hope, not suspect -- but KNOW -- I’m capable of creating something amazing and beautiful.