Ever hear the expression, “I’m one injury away from gaining my weight back”? Throughout my weight loss this didn’t apply to me – I was rarely that active. But towards goal I became more and more active and when I hit goal I wanted to explore lots of different activities. I see people who don’t eat well, but their weight is maintained because of the sheer volume of exercise they do. All good, right? Not my decision.
What I do know is that I’ve never been that person. I don’t do anything to that extreme – eat or activity. So I knew – deep down knew – that I MUST keep vigilant about both. But as I realized that I could slack more with food when I was active – after all I was *fueling* right? – I did exactly that.
Years ago I broke my wrist. Shattered. Surgery, pins, cast, physical therapy – the whole nine yards. I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of activity at all. And those first three weeks I was in a self-imposed pity party eating all the comfort food neighbors and friends brought me. That was a 5 pound injury (not including the cast.) But I got back on track, almost *craved* the activity.
Fast forward. I’m on track, leading meetings, following the plan, being my moderately active and then something happened. Actually a series of somethings so gradual that I almost wished for it to have been just one injury like my wrist. But no, it was different. First little sicknesses one after another. Then some mysterious leg pain that involved lots of tests. Then other types of infections that really undid me the last year. This has been a 10 pound year and if you know me, you also know I lose unbelievably slowly.
After years and years fighting thyroid disease I thought I had it controlled. And I did. And boom – now the other crazy direction! I finally got some answers and a course of action – thyroid stuff sucks, by the way. I’m not at all patient with myself as I am with others. I want it now. I want to feel well NOW. I want my energy to match my happy because my happy hasn’t changed despite all the physical. I eat well. I drink well. I move more than I used to before Weight Watchers but not as much as the last few years and I want that back, dammit. But you know what? I’ll get it back. And I’ll be fine. I know this. That’s not the point.
We face physical challenges. We face stressful challenges. We face food challenges. Good food/diet programs focus more on behavior than the calorie intake because they know the correlation – change the behavior, change the weight for a longer time.
I didn’t decide to run a half marathon and then ran it. I ran to the next mail box and coughed, choked, wheezed, and cursed every runner I’ve ever known for describing how fabulous it is. But then I ran to the following mailbox.
I didn’t decide to lose 40 pounds and it was gone. (Might I repeat my “dammit” here?) I had to lose point two and another and another. I had to be patient.
Patient means you handle (well) what takes longer than it should (according to you.) Patient needs to also mean that I constantly think about what I want long term and not what I want right now. Patient needs to mean that I ask myself I can have wine or bacon – not both each day. Patient means I accept that the little changes I’m getting back to does not result in instantaneous reductions in sizes. Patience meant truly understanding that motivation (while nice) is completely optional and I have to do what I have to do whether or not I’m motivated to do it.
Do I know these 10 pounds will go away? Yes. Do I know when? No. But I know how and I’m doing it fighting whatever physical comes my way. Bad back, thyroid, and a few other ailments I’m sure my family contribute to the discussion – none of it will stop me. As a matter of fact, they’re helping me, right? They’re forcing the patience.
Big point here – don’t wait for no stress, no health problems, healthy family members, easy job situation, life getting easier. Think about it. Taking care of yourself in all the hard times will be even more rewarding. You’ll be able to mentally and physically handle the stress far better PLUS you’ll know you can always do it. I had a member once who joined Weight Watchers the night before Thanksgiving. There were 5 people in the meeting that night and it was such a great meeting and one member asked her, “Why are you joining NOW? Right before Thanksgiving?” And her response was priceless.
She said, “Two reasons. The first is knowing that if I can follow the plan in these next six weeks I know I can do it the rest of the year. And the second….well, I play cards every week with these women who keep talking about joining in January. I want 10 pounds on them.”
She lost 82 pounds because she was patient.