Remaining in a place that we only made short visits to before
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
This week's edition of my town newspaper had a feature article about a woman who has lost 250 pounds -- complete with before and after pictures. I always enjoy reading about that kind of success.
The woman, who is now a frequent speaker at weight loss seminars, was quoted as saying that when we are breaking old eating habits, we "have to learn how to remain in a place that we only made short visits to before."
That phrasing really struck home with me; I understood completely what she meant.
Being disciplined about eating was never as hard to do for the short-term. In the past, I would just put my mind to it, gear up, and make it happen -- for a few weeks or maybe a month or two. I was 'on a diet.' I would lose the weight and move on.
In doing so, I would make a short visit to that place.
I have visited that place several times during my adult life. And each time it was an intense experience, requiring my strong determination and commitment and sacrifice. I needed energy and focus to succeed. And when it was over, I always welcomed the sense of relief that came with the end of it all.
Remaining in that place, however, is very different.
It will never 'be over.' This is permanent.
So that means the experience cannot be intense. It cannot require all of my determination, energy and focus, because they are needed for other areas in my life.
It has to feel more comfortable than that.
How does that happen? By slowly replacing the old eating habits with new, more healthful habits.
Learning how to remain in that place is what I have been doing with the help of my friends here at Spark People.
i have been slowly - bit by bit - changing my eating habits.
Once a behavior becomes a habit, it no longer requires a lot of thought or energy or focus. It just feels right. It feels comfortable.
And because real life happens, I have learned to be more realistic and flexible about my food choices. I no longer feel that I am 'going off' a diet if I enjoy the occasional treat or if I eat more than I should. I just go back to my regular eating the next day.
By the same token, I do not panic if I feel hungry. I have learned to no longer be anxious about hunger. (I'm not sure how that happened in the first place.)
It is the new thinking and new habits that have allowed me to remain in that place that I only made short visits to before.
And with the help of my SP friends, I plan to stay here for a very long time.