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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    Excellent blog. What we do has to be sustainable. And most of us have to make time for other activities than fitness and nutrition monitoring!!
    1112 days ago
  • ULTREYA3211
    Something I needed to hear. I've been in that place many times too. Now I want to stay! emoticon
    1114 days ago
    Good analogy.
    I visit good places often but never stay long.
    I'll give this thought a try.
    1114 days ago
    I'm still trying to reach that comfortable place. I've been totally focused on my meal plans and exercise that I've been negligent in other areas. There's got to be more balance in my life than what I'm experiencing now.

    I'm so glad that you've made it to that comfortable place. I plan to visit there soon and stay for a much longer time!

    1114 days ago
    "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."

    Wow, that is a great thought!!
    Great blog....I "liked" it!

    1115 days ago
    Really good blog, thanks for posting it!
    1116 days ago
    Great blog, and very wise words!
    I made my changes slowly too, I believe that is the best way for them to become good habits.

    I plan to stay here at Spark permanently too; even though I have been at my goal weight for a few years now, using this site helps to keep me on track and focused, and accountable to myself. I joined Spark in 2006, and I've rarely missed a day.
    1116 days ago
    Hope you make it permanent. Welcome!! emoticon emoticon
    1116 days ago
    You are in a really good place!!
    1116 days ago
    Great blog...I just voted for it!
    1116 days ago
    Here's to making that 'place' permanent!
    1116 days ago
  • ANDI571
    I really liked your blog. The words are so true. I was able to keep my weight off for several years before visiting "the old habit" world. Back then I would visit, then go back to my healthy thinking. The last year or so, I revisited the bad habit world and decided to stay for awhile. It's about time I go back home!
    1116 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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