Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The honeymoon phase of any relationship or endeavor is often blissful and exciting. You feel alive. Life is good. There's a confidence that carries you along as if on a magical conveyor belt through your days and nights, past unimportant, trivial moments. Your eyes are singularly on your lover or your goal.
Eventually, however, the glow of the honeymoon begins to fade. Little annoyances creep in and distract you, and suddenly you're not solely aware of who you have or what you're doing. You begin to see faults in the person or the plan. You are tempted to feel sorry for yourselves and even consider giving up. You think, Why have I limited myself to this person? He's far from perfect. He never thinks about my feelings. (Let me state emphatically here that I am NOT speaking of my relationship with my husband of 23 years, whom I adore; I am speaking metaphorically) Or, I miss chocolate. I'm hungry. I don't want to wait until dinnertime to eat! I don't care that I've used up my caloric allowance for the day. I want. I want! I WANT!!!
I find myself emerging from the easy, breezy first days of a new eating plan, when I'm on fire with hopes, expectations, and visions of skinniness. I'm seeing that I have to exercise discipline to make my lunch every night so it's ready early the next morning when I leave for work, and so I don't slap together unhealthy, fat-and-calorie-packed lunches and snacks. I'm still learning what works for me and what satiates me, so I'm not maxed out on calories before the day ends and I'm left miserable listening to my rumbling tummy. I am faced with deciding moment by moment whether I'm going to be faithful to my goals and what I must do to achieve them, or if I'm going to turn another way and abandon the path I know to be right. I am looking squarely into the face of a long term, lasting commitment if I want to change my life for good.
Let's face it, it's relatively easy to change things up for a while, but the body is a fickle creature, and if I've spoiled it by giving in to its every whim, it will feel like it's suffering while I train it to live another way. The challenge for me will be to continue on through this place, knowing that once I no longer feel this supposed deprivation (i.e. the whining from my spoiled body), I will face it again and again and again. Oh I have no doubt there will be reprieves in between, because there will be rewards to focus on like seeing the numbers on the scale go down, or feeling my clothes getting looser. But I must soldier on if I want to arrive at my destination. And once I'm there, I will need to learn how to live all over again, because maintenance will be a completely different animal all together. But that challenge can wait for a while.
I need to remind myself a lot that if I slip up and eat something I shouldn't, or have a bad day or even (God forbid) a bad week, this isn't all or nothing. If I fall off the wagon, the only one preventing me from getting back on it (or in it) is me. I must accept responsibility for my actions - the ones that got me where I am now, and the ones that will get me to where I want to go - dust myself off, and move forward. I can only fail if I give up. And I don't want to give up. I certainly don't want to fail. I've done that too many times to count and it doesn't feel good.
So, onward and upward. Wouldn't it be an amazing thing if THIS is the year I get off the sidelines and put myself in the game? If THIS is the year I actually make a real and lasting change for the better? If THIS is the year I give myself and my family the gift of the best me I can be? The days, weeks, and months will pass whether I do this or not. The difference is who I'll be at the end of it. Who will I be when we all shout "Happy New Year 2014?" I'm excited to find out!
Until next time . . .