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What if.....

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If you, like I, struggle with compulsive eating and weight gain/loss, what if you, and I, stepped outside of the struggle for a bit?
WHAT IF, instead of thinking you have to eat strictly Paleo, or gluten-free, or some other strict plan, you just focused on freeing yourself from one self-sabotaging habit for now? For me the habit I am conquering is eating after dinner and up until bedtime. I have successfully retired this habit in the past, and can retire it again - eating late into the evening is a surefire way to gain weight.
WHAT IF, instead of thinking you need to focus like a laser beam on losing weight once and for all, you shifted your focus onto another area of your life that is causing you stress and anxiety? Lately I have been focusing time and energy and effort and funds on doing some home-improvement projects around our home. We had deferred maintenance because of the combination of a huge college tuition payments for one of our sons, and just generally feeling burned out. Freshening up our home has reduced some stress and anxiety for my husband and I because we do it in reasonably manageable chunks, and D.I.Y. a lot of it. Speaking of burn-out, I was feeling sick and tired of focusing on, and failing, to lose weight so I needed a shift in perspective (which is not the same as saying "*&#$ it" and going on a bender).
WHAT IF you considered non traditional forms of exercise, if you are feeling resistant to, or tired of, traditional workouts? Vacuuming and scrubbing floors and windows can be just as sweat--inducing as a cardio workout at a gym. Tackling weeding and lawn mowing can substitute for a run or walk or hike in the fresh air. Taking your kids (or being an angel and taking someone else's kids) to a park and chasing them and challenging them to push ups and pull ups and squats and sprints can take the place of a boot camp session. I have long been committed to working out but I get tired of it sometimes and need to shake things up a bit, and then I am willing to go back to my routine of "sweat camp" and hikes, etc.
WHAT IF you increased your sleep and decreased your stress? Going to bed early (with a good book or a new magazine or a favorite sitcom if you need to take your mind off some worries) can decrease stress levels. Deep, slow breathing can reduce anxiety more readily than swearing and having an adult tantrum (something I am familiar with, believe me). Leaving early for an event (not easy, but very rewarding) is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety - my youngest child has been instrumental in changing my lifelong bad habit of leaving late, and arriving on the dot or a few minutes late. It makes such a difference in my stress level, and his - he is an anxious kid and does way better if he arrives somewhere, like sports practices, very early. Of course, when we arrived before the coach I knew we had swung a bit too far the other direction emoticon
WHAT IF you took a moment and thought about all the good habits you do possess, instead of focusing on those destructive habits that continue to be as stubborn as weeds?
WHAT IF you offered some words of encouragement to yourself, much like you would (and, of course, should) offer to someone else, like a fellow Sparkler?
WHAT IF you gave yourself a break, without giving up and giving in? If you just slowed your pace a bit, lowered your expectations without giving up on yourself altogether?
WHAT IF you pushed through the feelings of failure and fear, and came out the other side, knowing that to struggle requires a certain amount of strength and fortitude?
WHAT IF you gave yourself credit, while still holding yourself to your OWN reasonable standards?
WHAT IF you stopped comparing yourself to other people, especially fitness models or models of any kind, since, by their very nature, they are an exception?
WHAT IF I have driven you crazy by the repetitive nature of this blog theme? Oh, well, you'll forgive me emoticon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What if you got home from camping and cooking and doing stuff for 30 people all week long, fell Into a nap coma and just now read your friends blog and thought...what if shes right. I love you, girl great blog..its a winner...
    1687 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    Yeah, it's all about tweaking less than healthy behaviours. I'm all for focusing on the positive so that it crowds the negative out. I think life would be easier then ... :)
    1689 days ago
    Great, thought-provoking blog.
    1691 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    Before my turnaround, I stopped fighting my eating. I still overate, but then I got to a much more calm point in the journey and was able to make the changes from there. I did not even think the changes would lead to much weight loss. I just knew they were sane habits that many cultures used to limit their food while still enjoying it. I won't expect more of myself.
    1691 days ago
    emoticon No need to forgive, I was kind of enjoying your riff there...
    I'm perennially working on that evening eating thing...
    AND the evening drinking thing - it got a lot better but now I am feeling tempted again...
    AMEN to the idea of focusing on other stuff like LIFE.
    emoticon emoticon
    1691 days ago
    Definitely giving me something to think about! I've tried everything, so fresh ideas always help.
    1691 days ago
    Love this!
    1691 days ago
    Great blog... thought provoking and lots of truths in those What ifs.

    1691 days ago
    Astute always in a blog from Cannie.

    Thanks for putting on the brakes to my despair over the failure to meet my summer goals due to prolonged (it seems to me!) recovery from knee repair.

    So...I won't meet my intended deadline. So ...I'll meet it later.

    My deprivation from being active outdoors is making my desire even greater...which is great motivation! It'll be a g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s day when I ride my bike & hike my mountain again..and I won't take it for granted any more either! Thanks for all the great "what if's"!! Brilliant! emoticon
    1691 days ago
    Perfect blog :)
    1691 days ago
    You are very, very wise...the one about last minute arrivals spoke to me. Linda
    1691 days ago
    LOVE IT! Lots of good ideas!
    1691 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this - what if I quit putting stuff off until the last minute? Think how much more I could do!
    1691 days ago
    WHAT IF you took a bow for writing such a terrific blog? I "liked" it, and I know I'll keep thinking about it, and I'm most definitely going to implement some of these great ideas in my own struggles.

    Since this is a "for life" kinda thing . . . we've gotta approach it in a sane and sensible and sustainable kinda way, right???
    1691 days ago
    I have always felt that developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much physical as it is "brain-ical". It's all about our perspective and your blog has pointed that out perfectly.

    And what the heck. Nothing is ever written in stone, so that is to say, if what you're doing isn't working, change it up! Life is a constant learning process, a constantly shifting learning curve. So that means we definitely have to have patience with ourselves! Easy? HECK NO!

    HUGS and keep pushing. Keep thinking outside the box!
    1692 days ago
    I've found that rather than expecting everything at once from myself, I just make one positive change that I can live with at a time. I was eating really unhealthy things between dinner and bedtime, myself. I found that with a little planning, I could have less destructive snacks, rather than denying myself altogether. This was a change I could live with. One change after another, after another, and I feel like I'm on the road to a healthy lifestyle.

    Best wishes to you on your journey! emoticon
    1692 days ago
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