“I lost a whole lot of weight,” she said, her voice almost a whisper.
No eye contact was made; instead she seemly excessively absorbed in staring at her shoes. “But now, not only have I put it back on, but I’ve added 20 more pounds. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I can’t stand to look in a mirror. I don’t know what to do.” The sadness she felt practically dripped from her pores.
“That’s got to be frustrating,” I replied.
“…and frightening too!” she added. “When’s it going to stop?”
“Good question,” I answered, “What seems to be the cause?”
“Well, I’m obviously eating too much.” She tried to make it sound like an “ain’t-it-obvious” joke but the pain was louder than her laugh.
“That’s what’s so embarrassing,” she continued. “I just don’t know. It seems like I start out every day with great intentions. The problem is I work near a little mom-and-pop bakery. They make the best cakes and pies. So, on my break, I’ll find myself buying just one small slice, saying I’ll control myself. The next thing I know, I’m like a machine that’s eats everything! Then my inner voice says, ‘Well as long as you blew it, you might as well really blow it. You can always start tomorrow’ and I really go crazy! Every day is just like the previous one; same broken promises, same result.”
She paused; the gold hoop earrings she wore swung slightly under her brown shoulder length hair as she collected her thoughts. Picking up her gaze, she asked, “What do you think I should do?”
I always find that a difficult question.
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“The highest form of intelligence is the ability to see options.”
Just like you, I’m always looking to improve myself.
So, I attended a three day conference to help me enhance my career. One of the speakers, Jeff Walker, said the comment I referenced above.
It really stood out.
I don’t know whether it’s because it’s a new year and we find ourselves faced with options or whether it’s because it’s just so honestly, simply, true. It really doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that we are not victims of “the way it has always been.”
We have the option to change at any time. And if what we pick doesn’t work, we have the option to change again (or the option to redefine what we’re looking at).
Alternatives are endless, constant, and available.
Choose your option. Repeat until happy.
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It’s okay to change your goals due to circumstances.
Simply because you have set a goal does not mean you are never allowed to change it.
As we move deeper into the holidays, it might be more difficult to stick to your goals (such as losing weight). That’s not a rationale for “giving up,” rather it’s an indication that you might want to adjust. After all, sticking to your program in January, when everyone else is doing it; is much easier than in December, when you feel like you’re all alone.
Adjust your goal to meet the conditions. Be realistic.
A goal “etched in stone” can be an excuse to give up when things get tough. Flexibility can be helpful.
You set the goals. They do not set you.
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Forgotten habits exist right under the skin.
We think we’ve got them licked, but they’re always immediately beneath the surface, ready to emerge whenever we get careless or ignore their symptoms. Or look at them this way: We never get rid of them; we put them into deep freeze and can defrost them whenever we get sloppy.
We would all like to think we have “our acts together,” certainly in how we present ourselves to others. As I said we would like to think that, but equally certain is that within each of us there is a nagging — oft times scolding — inner voice pointing out our shortcomings; loath to congratulate and pretty darn quick to disparage. No one likes being critiqued with unrelenting regularity, so what do we do?
Simple, like teenagers not wanting to be scolded by critical parents, we tune it out. Call it “denial;” call it “defense mechanism;” or call it “mental health,” after all, a rose by any other name…
However, despite what children protest, sometimes, we parents know of what we speak and the warnings we provide could save them a bucketful of hassle — if only they’d listen. Alas; they, as did we, find out too late.
Being a “wrinkled kid,” I ignored my internal parent and was unintentionally thawing out some past routines.
It began innocently enough with five little words (six, if you count the contraction as two): “One small bite won’t hurt.”
And it doesn’t.
Neither does the next; or the next, or even the fourth. But upon the frightful realization that I had waded in so deeply I could no longer see the shoreline, I needed to face reality.