This is taken from my latest post on our Camp Accountability thread:
It's a very fine line we walk towards better health. On one hand, we have body issues--metabolism, genetics, hormones, illness/injury difficulties. On the other hand, we have emotional issues--emotional eating, frustration, lack of a clear goal, laziness, exhaustion, and general 'I don't wanna'.
We often treat this journey as our enemy, and secretly (and often unconsciously) do things to sabotage our success. We know certain foods make us feel bad, but we eat them anyway as a 'treat'. We know what our calorie limits are, but we go over them as a 'splurge'. We know we need exercise, but we find a thousand excuses not to do it. (How would we like it if our doctor knew something was necessary for our health, but kept making a thousand excuses not to do what was needed? We'd have a malpractice suit up an running quick! ) So what if it's us that making the excuse? What do we do to get ourselves motivated to do the right thing?
Ever have a child that just refuses to do their written homework, or read their assigned book? You know they're going to get bad grades, you know they're not learning what they need to pass. But they have a thousand reasons why they 'can't' study. They're too tired, they don't have enough time, it's too hard to understand, it's not fair, it's too much work. . .And you look at them and shake your head, can't believe they just don't get it. You want to pass, you want to get good grades, you want to succeed, you find a way past the difficulties and make it work. You make it a priority.
Are you a priority?
Yes, it's not fair. Some people have different metabolisms, different hormone balances, and they eat what they want and don't gain weight. My cousin had to bake two pies for supper, one for the family, and one for her husband who ate the whole pie for dessert himself and still was skinny as a rail. Just because it's harder for you, doesn't mean it doesn't need done.
If your son was dyslexic, would you excuse him from learning to read because it was physically hard? Or would you find out what techniques would help him succeed, even it it was still difficult? If your daughter had a bone formation disease, would you simply accept she'll never walk, or would you look into treatment, splints, braces, crutches, whatever it took to give her as much mobility as possible?
This is us, just because it's harder for some of us to lose weight, doesn't make it hopeless. Doesn't mean it's time to throw up our arms in defeat and pig out. OK, it's harder. We already know that, and then we use the tools here to form a plan to help us succeed.
Part of the issue is not getting down on ourselves when it's hard, and we stumble.
Part of the issue is getting the help we need to succeed, and then FOLLOW THE PLAN. A musician will never be great if he doesn't consistently practice, and work especially diligently on the things that don't come easy to them. An athlete will never reach their goals without consistent training. A student will not succeed if they don't keep up with the homework. An employee won't succeed if they don't keep up with the paperwork. Getting healthy IS our job, we need to be consistent to succeed.
How happy would you be with an employee that showed up bright and perky and on time for a day or two, missed half the day the next couple of days, then didn't even show up for the next week or two? Would you consider that acceptable? What about a patient that took their medicine faithfully for the first few days, then skipped several days, then tried to make up for it by taking twice as much the next few days, then forgot all about it for the next month? If we can look at those situations and recognize how unacceptable they are, why do we accept it in our health journey?
We need to balance forgiveness for past mistakes, adjustments for our own personal difficulty levels, and eliminating excuses. On one hand, we need to be gentle with those who are really struggling to form a new lifestyle. It isn't going to happen all at once, think of a kindergartner struggling to learn to read, to correctly form letters, to string them together into words. You don't get disheartened that their 'e' is backwards, you recognize it as part of the process of learning.
On the other hand, we don't want to coddle laziness. We need to make good health a priority in order to win this battle, succeed in our goals. No excuses, just do what you need to do. Will we stumble? Of course. Will we fail? Only if we give up and don't pick ourselves back up off the ground and try again.
This isn't an either-or, perfection or nothing. It's about striving to a very important goal--our good health. It's about recognizing this is an important goal, and doing what it takes to make it happen. Giving this the priority it deserves, being consistent, making it work. Come on, aren't you tired of wishy-washy effort that gives us so-so (or worse) results?
Make up your mind that you are worth the effort to do whatever it takes to make this work, because you ARE worth the effort. You can do this. We can do this together.