|Easter 2016 in Connecticut|
Which, for a writer, isn’t always a bad thing. When the weather is “iffy” and it’s windy or cold or rainy, it’s an excellent time to sit down at the computer and write a blog post. I must admit I’ve had ideas for five or six over the past two months, and yet… well, I didn’t write them. I have been working on my new project, my “Love” project, but not taking the time to write for me, personally. Until today.
As some of you know, I’ve been working on losing some weight. My journey began last fall, and my goal (as controversial as this seems) was/is to not have a goal. I just really needed to make some BIG changes in the “health” portion of my life, and needed to (simply) get started. I’m happy to say that as of this morning, I have lost 29 pounds. The mere fact that I told you I’ve lost 29 pounds, instead of rounding up to 30, is part of my transformation. No fudging, no hedging, no rounding up – it’s a solid 29, and I’m proud of it.
The weight is not “falling off” of me, that is true. But let me confide something else to you – something I’ve only told my nearest and very dearest. In the past, when I have attempted to lose weight, I’ve had some pretty great success. I’ve joined an organization that has a super weight loss plan that really really works when it’s done as written. I COULD DO THAT!!!! It was actually a lot of fun (for a while). I’d drink every ounce of my water, I’d write every morsel of food down in a journal, I’d attend every weekly meeting – I did it all perfectly! At first, I lost a great amount of weight. H*ck, the first 30 slid off in about three months! But (and here’s where it gets tricky for someone like me – and maybe even someone like you) once the losing slowed down a bit, I still wanted numbers.
Instead of saying, "Weight just a minute," I would become obsessed with the process. This is not the organization’s fault – this is allll me! If I hadn’t had a good week, then I’d adjust the clothes that I’d wear to my meeting so that when I weighed in, I’d reflect at least that I’d “stayed the same” and not have a gain. God forbid my body would fluctuate and I’d gain! I wouldn’t want the person weighing me at the scale to ask me anything or to judge me, so I’d take out my food scale and see which t-shirt weighed less, or which pants seemed lighter. Even socks! Thank goodness for summer, for shorts, sandals and bare feet.
A while back, someone told me that I’m a “perfectionist.” I laughed so hard I practically spit out my drink! A perfectionist!!! A perfectionist??? Impossible. Have you seen my house? Have you seen … (I could go on and on here, but I’ll spare you)
“Yes, a perfectionist!” she said. “If you can’t do the weight loss thing perfectly, then you won’t do it at all.”
Whew – talk about “speaking the truth in love…!” But Oh boy, was she right? When she put it that way, some of my behaviors really did make sense. If I couldn’t even go to a meeting and expect an occasional fluctuation in my weight, and would rather flush/sabotage my entire effort than continuing on, perhaps she was on to something.
Now, I’m not saying this is for everyone – in fact I can point at many of you and know that you do not act in these ways. But for ME, I needed to make some other changes – and they needed to be not only healthy for my body, but healthy for my mind. I told my family that this time I wasn’t going to join the organization, that I was not going to weigh my clothes, that I was not going to have a stranger weigh me or give me their opinion. I know that these things really work for some people. For me, however, the proof was that not once, not ONCE had I been truly successful if every single time I lost, I’d gain all of my weight back.
Soooo… when I say I had no goal (no weight goal, that is) it’s true. I needed to simply get started and take the true journey – through my mind this time, and ask myself why I do some of the things that I do. And, well, it seems to be working.
As for the perfectionist thing – all I can say is that I’m trying to not be that way as often. Some days are better than others. Every New Years Eve for years, I’d say something along the lines of, “I’m not going to eat ___ anymore.” Anymore… Anymore??? Let me tell you that “Anymore” is a really long time, and most certainly set me up for failure because usually by January 3rd or 4th, I’d already eaten ____ - so then what? How about this instead, “I’m not going to eat ___ as often?” I find the words “as often” work so much better for me than “anymore.” And this goes for so many things. With exercise, with drinking the water, with keeping a journal (which are all great tools). But it will not be the end of the world if I miss something one day. I cannot live up to that – it sends me into a weird downward spiral of not having done it “right.” For some, that works… For me, I’ve learned it’s a slippery slope and sets me up to fail.
Here’s a challenge: Name one ice-skater who has never fallen down. Impossible! OR Name one musician who hasn’t hit a wrong note or forgotten the words to a song. Not gonna happen! OR one athlete who never missed a basket or a touchdown or a ball out in left field. Nope!
We train, we know we want to do what’s right, and want to do better. But we can’t let our actions or our thoughts fall into weird areas. Everyone that I’ve mentioned above does this: They get their b*utt off of the ice and try the jump again. They get back on track with their song, usually with a smile or crack of good humor. They redeem themselves with more practice, or sinking that basket, blocking for the goal, or catching the ball. They don’t throw up their hands and say “never again.”
And I love that about humans! I’m very good with this philosophy in some areas of my life. Weight loss has been my biggest area of challenge. So, here we go! I’m attacking it one pound at a time. I’ve even needed to lose that same pound an extra time or two, but by applying the above, eventually the scale does move beyond and below it, and the shorts that fit three years ago, fit again...
…and boy, that’s a great feeling!
How about you? If you have any words of wisdom to share, please do! I love to hear from you. In the meantime, keep it real – and know that I’m (most definitely) working at doing the same.
Katie Kolberg Memmel is a blogger, and the author of two books: “Five Fingers, Ten Toes – A Mother’s Story of Raising a Child Born with a Limb Difference” and “Silly Stories and Sentimental Stuff.” Both are available through Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=katie+kolberg+memmel&sprefix=katie+kol%2Caps%2C227