“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.” ~ Frank Tibolt
“‘Excellence’ is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice. We do not act ‘rightly’ because we are ‘excellent’, in fact we achieve ‘excellence’ by acting ‘rightly.'” ~ Plato
“Fake it ’til you make it.” ~ Attributed to Alcoholics Anonymous
This is probably the most important thing I’ll ever write.
I don’t know how I made the connection – it was one of those so-called ‘Aha! Moments’ that so many people talk about. I had a bona fide epiphany one day as I was sitting in my living room, crying and feeling sorry for myself. Here is the story, and I hope you find it meaningful to you.
Once I had lost about 90 pounds, and I was no longer in what I kindly refer to as “the 200 Club,” meaning I no longer weighed over 200 pounds, I hit the mother of all plateaus. I couldn’t seem to get out of the 190s no matter what I tried. Everything I had done to lose 90 pounds just wasn’t working for me any more – or so it seemed. And so, I did what any normal human being would – I had a break down. I was so angry, so frustrated, so desperate I just didn’t know what to do with myself. And suddenly, it became very apparent that I had reached a fork in the road on my journey. What should I do?
I had two clear choices:
1) I could quit or…
2) I could forge ahead.
Where would quitting get me?
Well, I could go back to my old habits and slowly but surely undo all of my hard work. “But,” I argued, “at least I wouldn’t have to think about eating healthy and making sure I had time to exercise everyday. In fact, I would never have to think about ‘dieting’ ever again.” It was a happy thought until I realized that it wasn’t true. Just as I had old eating and exercising habits, I had old thought habits too. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I started beating myself up for being fat and lazy (my apologies to myself, but this is the kind of self-talk I regularly engaged in before I decided to change it) and that I would start feeling miserable and guilty like I did when I weighed 287 pounds. Then I remembered how physically painful it was to carry around those extra 90 pounds. So, it didn’t take me long to decide that all quitting would buy me was a ticket right back to Square One.
So where exactly could I go if I forged ahead?
At the time, it seemed all I could do was spin my wheels and go no where. “I’m really trying here, and I’m not making any progress!” I angrily told myself. But, I suddenly thought that perhaps there was something I was missing. I asked myself, “How do thin people live?” And I honestly didn’t know the answer. The only time I was ever thin was in college, and I wasn’t a healthy person then. I could go days without eating a bite. It’s very easy to be thin when you’re starving yourself. I never had a healthy relationship with food or my own self-image. How could I know how “normal” people behaved? There was no way for me to know. [Read more…]