Bouncing Back

I remember when I was a new mom and my son got sick with a fever.  It got so high – scared the stuffing out of me – but a day later he’s running and playing and wondering why I won’t stop staring at him.  I remember my mom saying, “They bounce back so quickly.” 

This week’s topic at Weight Watchers is about bouncing back.   

If you’re on a diet of any kind (your own or a known one) the chances are you’ve been on one before.  You slipped up once or twice.  Chances are you also feel like you’ve failed once or twice.

Been there.  Done that.  Have the T-shirt. 

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood our “bounce-back” muscle gets annoyingly slow.  Foolishly I thought that this meeting – although a great topic that we all need – would end up being about some helpful tips about getting back on track.  I mean, we ALL need that!  But what I was unprepared for were the raw emotions that “slipping up” evokes in people and how beautiful it is to be in a room bearing witness where those emotions are shared, embraced and understood. 

People feel guilt and shame.
People feel like failures.
Peoples hear the voices in their head tell them that they can never lose all the weight so why bother.
People feel defeated. 
People hear that they’re too old or too fat or too shy or too fearful.

So tell me why is the voice in our heads so evil?  So down?  So judgy?  Why is it lying to us?  And, more importantly, why do we listen and believe the negative?

I wish I had the answers to these questions.  But what I do know is that we do have the power to quiet the voice – to speak louder in another voice.  A happier one.  One that tells us that we should sign up for the race, the zumba class.

We’re human.  Rude awakening, I know, but we’re flawed.  We’re not perfect.  We make mistakes.  We slip up.  That doesn’t make is bad – it just is part of life.  What do we do afterwards?  Do we hide under a rock, in our beds, on our couch?

Or do we get back up?  Fight another day.  Start fresh.  Maybe even ask what we learned? 

When I slip up in my eating, I need to start fresh.  I pretend I’m a brand new member and read my materials, scan and plan new recipes and get excited again.  Although the negative creeps in sometimes, my normal outlook is very positive.  Does that mean I am always on plan, eating right, exercising the way I should?  Uhm… NO!  It means I forgive myself easily for it and move on.  Sometimes I find I forgive myself too easily and hit the couch for too long. 

Today I hear some great tips on how people bounce back.  But I’m trying to keep in mind that those I heard from were AT my meeting.  What about those members who are in the middle of a slip up – how can I help?  I’m always wondering. 

I believe that we are definitely limited by some things in our lives – but not by all we think.  Make your limitations minimal – bounce back. 

Tell me what YOU learn.  Tell me how YOU bounce back.  In fact, don’t just tell me.  Share your journey.  You never know how it will impact someone else’s.  

I read this years ago and again recently found it again.  It speaks to me every single time.  Hope you get something out of it, too.

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters
Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

 Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

 Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

– Portia Nelson



3 thoughts on “Bouncing Back

  1. this is an awesome post. like…. so much to it, beyond the words. in between the lines. it’s very philosophical, and I really enjoyed reading it. I am a chronic dieter, a chronic diet failure, and a chronic guilt/shame carrier. Probably doesn’t help that I’m Catholic… I carry and feel guilt even worse than others 😉 Just kidding.. but seriously. 🙂 Amazing post. I usually fall off the wagon, and stay off it for a while. Then I get to a point that I quite frankly hate myself and feel so much shame and guilt, it’s enough motivation for me to get back on. I’m trying to better myself and stop doing that. I’m trying to, eternally, find balance. I read something somewhere that said, as you’re going along the path to finding happiness, don’t forget to be happy along the way.

  2. I think my solution to getting over the guilt quickly is similar to Marci’s, and also to the article. For me, it is essential to go to my next Weight Watcher meeting. If I don’t, I think I will make up for the last week the next week, when in fact, I never get back on path. The ;meeting, however, is kind of like restarting the journey or going down a different road (acutually the same road, just avoiding the hole). The meetings reset the starting line for me,kind of like the inevitable do-over I quite frequently use in mini-golf. When I have attempted dieting “on my own” I have lasted for varying amounts of time, but inevitably have gained the weight back. I am curious, are there others out there who have had success bouncing back “on their own”, and what are their methods?

  3. Marci, this is an amazing blog you wrote today. I have been at goal for probably 25 years now and yes I have had a difficult time throughout even at goal staying at goal, but I never gave up and kept trying until I found the other path and stopped falling in the hole. I now can finally say that I do have days that I might not make the right choice in what I eat but I do not make myself guilty anymore or beat myself up because it was my choice to eat what I ate. When that happens it does take me a little longer to climb out of that hole but I do. Thank you for sharing that Autobiography and I printed it out so I can always refer to it if I feel that I am having a difficult time getting out of the deep hole again.

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