I should be sleeping but I woke up with this thought rolling around in my head. You know what that means, I'm not going to be able to sleep unless I get it out so here I am typing. Imagine if you will that you had a twenty dollar bill in your hand. If I asked you to give it to me, you would ponder if what I am asking you is worth the sacrifice. If I offered you a five for the twenty, you would probably clutch it wondering what I was trying to pull. What about a twenty for a twenty? You would probably look at me weird but might do it because there wouldn't be a loss or sacrifice. If I were to wave a fifty, it would be gone with the wind.
Because as much as a twenty means to you and I, it's value fades quickly in the light of gaining a fifty.
While reflecting on those moments where I was able to overcome habits or walk away from temptation, one common thread began to appear. Value.
A person cannot and will not give something for nothing, ever. Maybe for a season due to sacrifice but it never lasts long term. How can it? Is surrendering a twenty for nothing or for a five dollar bill sustainable? Sooner or later it is going to stop.
When I was 385 lbs, you couldn't shame me, threaten me, or scare me into changing my lifestyle. The longer you preached to me, the longer I would ponder getting a quarter pounder to reward myself for listening to your drivel. There was nothing motivational about public fat shaming, comments about my choices or inability to do certain tasks.
Waving the five will get you nowhere.
I ate to feel good. I ate to celebrate. I ate to soothe. Sometimes I ate like that because the day ended in Y. Tough day? Nothing fixes that like a five pound bag of chicken wings or a supreme pizza. Mmmmmmmm. You can keep your nasty veggies.
As I stated in my earlier blog, Purpose Driven Fitness, we can treat exercise or healthy eating like we treat a medicine. It's only taken to fix a problem then it's put on the shelf, it isn't a lifestyle. It's taken until we get back to "normal" (whatever that is) and then discontinued.... Ya know... Sorta like a laxative.
The problem with that....
Our version of normal is what put us in our unhappy place. After all, how did we gain it in the first place?
When I exercised faith in myself for the first time and pushed hard to meet a goal, self worth came by waving a fifty. Accomplishment made me an offer I couldn't refuse. The temporary aaaaaah's of my favorite foods were silenced by the roar of woo hoo's and I got hungry for more.
Do I still eat pizza? YUP! Do I binge? Nowhere near like I used to. If I did, my picture would tell the story. While those things are still present in a measure, there is a fifty in my wallet that keeps me coming back for more, keeps me searching and longing for another taste of something far greater. Something that makes me strong.
To pretend that the pull of your favorite foods doesn't exist or to kid ourselves into thinking that we don't value those things is a lie. We do value those things and to sacrifice something we love for thin air is a raw deal. That's why dieting doesn't work. you can only sacrifice so much for so long before something finally gives. However managing that love with something we love more is far easier. When you find something that bolsters your self worth and reveals your inner strength, it keeps you coming back for seconds.
When your fitness activity keeps you coming back for more because of what it reinforces in your life, your eating will slowly revolve around it. If your passion is cycling, what you eat will mostly reflect your desire to be a better cyclist because you will WANT to go further, faster, longer and not because it's something you endure to deal with a problem.
The human heart was never meant to be left with a hole. For an affection to be removed, it MUST be replaced with something of equal or greater value. Without this, moderation or abstinence is impossible.
When passion waves a fifty, the twenty is no longer a big deal.
Find your passion.
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