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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi there emoticon !

    I enjoyed a tour of your page and thought you might enjoy checking out the Soul Collage team. It is creative and a good process tool for painting your new picture. You're awesome! Glad to be on your team!

    1771 days ago
    I can't begin to tell you how happy reading this blog makes me. You've have come so far! I really am sitting here crying as I type this. Your point of view, your outlook on life, and especially your thoughts on a seemingly difficult situation are leaps and bounds different than when I first came to know you over a year ago. You have a hope in your voice and a determination that I hadn't seen before. It's beautiful and brings me so much joy and peace about where you will be headed in life. Learning to feel certain emotions and process them is a difficult thing to do and I see that you are mastering that with flying colors. Painting a new picture instead of staying hopeless and powereless speaks volumes at how much you have grown. I don't know what is in store for you in the future but this new found spirit is sure to make your new picture a gorgeous masterpiece. I can't wait to read future blogs and catch glimpses of the beauty you are chosing to create on that canvas! emoticon
    1774 days ago
    We have to adapt with life and you are just going to do great.
    1776 days ago
    Fantastic's not easy (oh wow do I know this! I feel like it's a version of black-and-white/inflexible thinking) , but realizing you can paint a different, but just as beautiful picture is the first step.

    Proud of you for recognizing your creativity and its potential! emoticon
    1779 days ago
    Why cant you run anymore? I'm just beginning with running and my knees are hurting but I want to continue because of the weight loss it will create. I dont think Im doing any long term damage??
    1779 days ago
    I think this is a lovely and thoughtful blog that we can all learn a lot from. What we're doing now might work for us now in our present life situations, but what happens if we're suddenly diagnosed with a health problem that makes us have to give up a food that we rely on heavily or no longer allows us to do our favorite exercise or any exercise at all? Flexibility and a willingness to experiment when something is no longer working or possible for us is essential if we want to be successful in the long term. You can do this and I know your new picture will be a masterpiece!
    1779 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Great blog. You are capable of painting something wonderful and amazing.

    1779 days ago
    Great blog, great analogy. You've already picked up the paintbrushes!
    1780 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    Lovin' it! Stay strong, Hottie!
    1780 days ago
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