Sometimes I find myself failing over and over when trying to lose some extra pounds. Am I sabotaging myself?
Sabotage. Isn’t that an ugly word? It means “deliberate subversion”, and I see and speak with people daily who do it to themselves with regards to their weight. It’s frightening, because people seem to be doing so well at achieving their goals, then BAM!, it’s all for naught. I’m not talking about shedding three pounds and then eating fast food for a few days and gaining it all back. No, these are people who achieve wonderful things over the course of several months, getting rid of 30, 40, 50, or more pounds. Suddenly, though, almost overnight it seems, they just stop, and in almost no time they’ve gained back everything they’d shed.
So they start again.
Seeing this all around me, I wonder what it is that makes people do this. More importantly, will *I* do it in the near future? What can happen to a person to make them just give up and revert back to their old ways? I’ve done it before, how can I prevent it from happening again?
First, I think one of the biggest reasons we slide back into our old ways (and weighs!) is that we don’t initially associate enough pain with changing. I realize some people may not care for my use of the word ‘pain’, here, so think of it as ‘discomfort’, if you’d rather. Pain/pleasure, comfort/discomfort, they’re the same to me. We try to move towards one and away from the other.
I think we can get caught up in the heat of the moment, and feel a little pain with the thought of not getting rid of excess weight, and desire to make a change. This works for a while, but inevitably, the combination of the short term pain of changing and the pleasure of eating those wickedly decadent foods comes back, and we slide right back into our original state – or worse, we gain MORE weight back. Talk about more pain!
The key, at least for me, is that the pain associated with NOT changing has to be significant. It has to be massive pain, because that’s the only real pain strong enough to elicit a complete changing of your life. For me, this pain was seeing someone have to have his leg removed, just because he didn’t take care of himself. He and I had a lot in common, we did, in that we both had been diagnosed with diabetes but hadn’t been taking care of ourselves. Lucky for me I got to see his example, and not become one myself.
I wish, truly, that there were some magical words I could say, or something I could do to show everyone I meet how to find the pain, but it’s a personal process. You have to look inside yourself, and see what it is that would give you the desire, the motivation, to change your life in a flash. It’s a transformation, really, and it’s instant when you find it. It’s not a gradual thing.
Perhaps you’ll feel your clothes getting tighter, and realize you don’t want to spend the rest of your life buying bigger and bigger outfits. Maybe you’re tired of wheezing when you walk up a single flight of stairs. It could be that you want to be able to play with your kids for hours on end, rather than just watching them play from the safety of a chair on the porch. I don’t know, it has to be personal to you.
If you look for it, you’ll find it.