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Can't versus Won't

Monday, June 20, 2011

Can’t VS Won’t
By Kimberly Hamilton

Weight loss. So many of us struggle with it, year after year, pound after pound. A friend recently had the gastric stapling procedure done and while I considered her overweight, I do not think I would have thought she was overweight enough to NEED the procedure done. Then I started thinking, maybe I could have it done too and not have to deal with dieting anymore. I asked my doctor about it years ago and he gave me a look like I just asked him to give me a prostrate exam. But that was over 10 years ago and here I am struggling with the same weight and the thoughts of the surgery popping back into my mind.
I know the surgery like any other is risky. Why would I have it done? Do I need it or want it? Is it necessary for my health or a solution to losing weight that I can’t lose on my own. Then it hit me. The question “can’t or won’t” came charging into my mind and nothing I do is getting it out of there. Can’t vs Won’t. I can’t lose the weight or I won’t lose the weight? I can’t eat healthy and exercise or I won’t eat healthy and exercise? I can’t change myself or I won’t change myself?
SNAP. OUCH. Hearing it with the won’t puts it in a whole new perspective. The won’t implies it is my refusal, my lack of not doing , my not choosing to, and my fault that I do not lose the weight. The can’t implies it is an outside force, lack of time, genes, or any other convenient factor I want to use that is preventing me to lose the weight. I prefer the can’t, but know it is the won’t that the problem. Or rather the solution.
I can lose weight. I have in the past many times. I know how to exercise and have the resources to do so any day I choose. I know enough about nutrition and what food choices to make. I know my downfalls, how to fight them and I know many of the reasons I turn to food for the wrong reasons. I know what makes me fat. I can control all those things. But, and here is the biggie, I won’t. I. Won’t. I, simply won’t do it. I have proven I can both to myself and others. And when I have lost weight, I have gone through the feeling of “that was not so hard, was it?” type deal.
So why won’t I? Am I lazy? As a mom of 5, owning a successful company and juggling everyday life, I am far from lazy. Do I simply not want to? NO!! Wanting to lose this weight consumes so much of my thoughts and time, I want it more than anything. Everything in my life I have under control for the most part. The kids, the house, finances, work, the cleaning, shopping, running errands, doctor appointments, and on and on and on I can go, I have all under control. And that is a lot. So if I can control all that, why not my weight?
Oh, maybe my weight is one thing I do not have to control. I mean I want to control it. But really, I do not HAVE to. Paying the bills, raising and caring for the kids, having a comfortable home are priorities to me. They are not options to me. But me, my health, and my weight are options to me. Maybe that is why I won’t lose this weight. It is one area of my life I do not have to control and be responsible for. It is one area I can relax in and not stress about and can eat what I want when I want it. It is one less thing to make sure that is done correctly and on time.
But something is very wrong with this. It has backfired. Not losing weight has caused me stress. Bigtime. I worry about my health on a daily basis. I worry about my looks and how clothes fit. I don’t feel good about me. I don’t feel comfortable, I have no confidence and I avoid mirrors. I have wasted so much time thinking about my weight, not to mention how much money I have spent on gyms, diet pills, magazines and gadgets, all to become slimmer and to make me feel better. Wow. It appears not being in control of my weight has taken control over me.
Now, back to the can’t vs won’t. I can’t lose weight or I won’t lose weight? Wow. Talk about an eye opener. I can’t become healthy or I won’t become healthy? Geez, making myself feel bad now. I can’t achieve my goals or I won’t achieve my goals? I certainly would never tell any of my children that they won’t achieve their goals. So why is that acceptable for myself? Um, it’s not. It is not easy to admit, but I simply won’t do what it takes to lose this weight. No ifs, ands or big ol’butts. I won’t do it. Or will I?
I think replacing those negative words with the words can and will are a good change. I can lose weight and I will lose weight. I can become active and healthy and I will become active and healthy. I am responsible for me. It is my choice & decision. I have the power, the knowledge and the desire to reach my goals. If I stop moving forward with those goals, it’s only because I won’t. I have no one else to blame.
Maybe my doctor saw this back when I asked him about the surgery but knew I had to figure it out for myself. It is not easy to admit that I won’t allow myself to do something I want so dearly. Surgery is not for me. Diet pills are not the solution I am the solution. I just need to put on my very big girl panties for a while and do what I have to do. I can and I will do this.
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