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Nature has no mercy

Sunday, May 06, 2012

I put out the word to my fellow and sister Sparkers asking what they do to get back on the wagon. I got two wonderful and provocative questions:

"What's the worst that will happen if you don't get back on?" and "What's the best if you do?"

I'll start with the worst:

My old habits include binge eating, eating calorically dense food, and "conveniently" ignoring packaging labels on items that I know full well include hydrogenated fat, GMOs, and corn syrup, three enemies of health.

I listened to a YouTube video the other day by a Native American chief of one of the Eastern tribes. He was an avuncular and grandfatherly sort, but his message was severe: Nature has no mercy. Nature has laws that must be obeyed.

He was discussing global climate change and pollution, but the message can easily be applied to my own personal body ecology.

That means that if I carry on with wrong choices, I will likely slowly (or quickly) gain more weight back. It also means that more insidious things are likely happening inside me that have great potential to undermine my health. We reap what we sow, nature has no mercy, and karma comes 'round.

So, if that’s so – on to the next question: “What's the best thing that could happen if you do get back on the wagon?”

The short answer is obvious. I'll get back in my healthy BMI and I'll be much more likely to BE healthy.

The long answer is more complex.

If I am on the wagon, it means I am managing to feel better about myself, and doing the right thing makes me feel even better. It becomes an upward spiral of self-esteem. Feeling better leads to better possibilities with friends, work, and relationship. I’ll reap what I sow.

So: Why would I ever go off the wagon at all? It seems obvious what the right choice is. Perhaps.

These are "chicken and egg" questions. When I'm off the wagon, it means I feel bad. However, as my sister has pointed out, if you try to solve a problem with food, you don't actually solve it. You just create two problems.

Really, there is nothing for it but to be determined and use all the resources I have at my disposal!

All of us on Spark have learned (or are learning) that the keys to success are multiple. I'll name a few for myself:

* Plan ahead and plan for contingencies (if/then).
* Enjoy the right foods.
* Watch for the demon in the brain that says, "Oh, I've messed up now; I might as well go all the way." Instead: "Oh, that wasn't a great choice. Well, I can feel good about myself if I stop right now."
* Watch for the demon in the brain that tells me it’s no use or that I’ll never succeed. Instead: Remind myself that lots of people succeed in spite of odds that are stacked like mountain ranges in front of them. I can succeed, too.
* Remind myself that impulses to eat often stem from boredom, anger, anxiety, fear, and all kinds of other feelings. Tune in to the feelings and take other steps to alleviate or manage the feelings, including: petting the cat, weeding the garden, going for a walk, drinking water or herbal tea, cleaning my space.
* Remind myself that hunger is not an emergency. (But plan ahead anyway!)

Be well.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Kathleen - Great blog with lots of good information and reminders to all of us. Thanks for sharing!

    For me, I'm trying to not look at my lifestyle as "on the wagon" or "off the wagon." The use of the word "wagon" feels like the word "diet" to me, for some reason (my own personal feelings, which usually differ from others!! - LOL). What I try to do is work constantly toward a healthier lifestyle. That lifestyle includes anything in moderation. I try to take the 80/20 rule to a 90/10 rule, following a healthy lifestyle (food and exercise) 90% of the time, but still allowing me a bit of leeway to have things that might not be the best for me.

    If I limit ANYTHING 100%, I ALWAYS feel deprived.

    We all have to find the path that works best for us ... you sound like you're well on your way to figuring that out for you!!! That is so awesome!!

    Keep up the great work!!

    2408 days ago
    You be well too Kathleen. Keep making the right choices, I will too. emoticon
    2411 days ago
  • BILLB000
    The demon in the brain can set off a true downward spiral of negative self talk a sense of defeat. Finding something to short circuit that as quickly as possible makes all the difference. Excellent blog. Great insights.
    2411 days ago
    This is really great and very, very inspiring. I am going to take a page out of your book. Thank you so much for sharing
    2411 days ago
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