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Want vs Need

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This is a common ideal in many things we do in life but I think in the battle for weight loss it is one of the most common occurrences of all . Do we want the ice cream or do we need the ice cream? Thinking logically, of course we don't need ice cream to sustain us nutritionally, we like it, we want it and in moderation, why not? But when we want ice cream to fill a need that is not nutritional we get into the real nitty gritty of this ideal. Grappling with this idea of want vs need this morning I started to really think about how many other areas of my life want vs need really applies to.

I have been battling depression for the better part of my adult life, and knowing what I know about it now, probably for most of my childhood. Depression can really hold you back from what you want and what you need. It is a hamster wheel that you can really get stuck on. A counselor explained it this way, you want to get out of bed, you know you need to get out of bed, but you just can't. Your brain is working against you. You know you need to work out, you will feel better when you work out, you will lose weight if you work out, but it is amazing how often depression wins the battle to NOT work out, to stay in bed, to eat the ice cream. It is amazing how often depression wins the battle over something as simple as picking up a book and not just reading it but getting enjoyment out of it. That hamster wheel can keep spinning when you think about wanting and needing to accomplish things in your life, losing weight, exercising, relationships, the list could go one forever. That internal battle of wanting and needing something but NOT be able to because your brain is holding you back is infuriating. Add insult to injury and compound this with a low self esteem, getting off the hamster wheel seems next to impossible. You see I said "next to" as I think that it is a battle that can be won.

Which brings us back to this morning and last night. I blogged yesterday that I was going to pick up and put down books until I actually found something that I "wanted" to make mine, that I wanted to read. I got home last night and I looked at the 4 books I have on my coffee table and started to read one that I started a few months ago. I thought if I decided I don't want to read it I will put it down and pick another book, and so on. Well, I read for awhile and decided I was tired and put it down but for the most part I would continue to read it. Then this morning I got up and read a little more, and while I was reading I began to think about what progress I was making on finishing the book, not wow this is really a good book. Then I thought, am I reading the book because I want to, or I am reading it because I started it, and I need to finish it, because not finishing it in my mind is a form of failure, a form of being lazy, a form of not being perfect. Isn't it something that not finishing a book, that I probably don't want to read in the first place, can make me think I am a failure. Yeesh! How often do we apply this ideal to not staying within our calories, or not seeing the number on the scale that we want. Or focusing on the weight we have not lost instead of what we have lost. See where I am going, hamster wheel.....

Let's get off the hamster wheel, let's be kinder to ourselves, let's give ourselves a hug for all the small things we did today to meet our goals! Let's only get on the hamster wheel for exercise and if we want to read a book while we are there, well then that is ok too!
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