What's My Motivation? What's My Method?
Monday, January 18, 2016
As I have said on the onset of "This Time Around" I really wanted to do things differently than I have done in the past. There is a saying that we are all familiar with that goes like this: " The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results." So; if I want different results than it would be fair to say that I need to do things differently.
I made the decision to return to Sparkpeople (I belonged approximately two years ago) and I decided from the 'get go' to do whatever the 'experts' recommended 'without reservation'. A couple of things prompted this change in attitude. I have known that I have had pre-diabetes since January 2010. My eye doctor was the first one that mentioned it to me. I was losing my eyesight.
As a person who has an art background, loves fashion and interior decorating as well as anything aesthetic this was a "shock". I love color too much to do without so that prompted me in learning to self-manage my diabetes. It runs in both sides of my family and since having diabetes was the 'wild card' that eventually killed my Mom in 2008 I knew that I had to take action. I could feel sorry for myself later (is what I told myself but which I did not do). After all, it was 'pre-destination' and 'in my genes'. Who was there to argue with on that? God? Hey, He didn't create me with an additional 150 lbs. on my frame. I did that to myself.
Wanting to do something different doesn't necessarily mean I will do something different. I did take a free diabetes management 6 week class offered by my local county extension office in March 2010. I bought lots of books on diabetes. I read all of them. I even began making many of the meals in some of the cookbooks made for diabetics. However, I still needed to work on my attitudes.
In June 2010, I joined an online diet support site and I lost 50 lbs. following their plan. Through circumstances outside of my control (yes, we are not in charge of how the rest of the world is run but we still have to live in it--something that I still need to work on) I ceased actively working that program. However, I had not lost that amount of weight before so I was determined to keep that off and, to my credit, I have managed to keep that weight off since that time period. Once again, my 'attitudes' were standing in the way of me continuing on down the scales.
Attitudes: "all or nothing, perfectionism, fence sitting, resistance, wanting to do it my way", just to name a few. If you recognize some of these then I don't have to explain them further. Let's just say that I had one or all of them during that time period. The trade off was that I was stalled in my weight loss efforts and besides my health issues not going away (after all I still age and with that comes its own age-related health issues) it was also impacting my self-esteem and belief in myself. I will admit that for a while I did bask in the glory of losing 50 lbs. However, last year after realizing that keeping the focus on past 'feats' was not motivating me to move forward but actually was keeping me stalled and in limbo; not a fun place to be.
During late 2014 and into late 2015, I was part of an online diet support community. I learned a huge amount and I personally watched a handful of members meet their weight loss goals when I had not. I supported and cheered them on their way down the scales and I saw how determined and motivated they were. However, I began to feel sheepishly like I was not 'in their league' when I was not able to share my current successes with anyone. I just wasn't walking the walk.
What actually 'snapped me out of' my self-denial and 'self-deceit' was when of the more vocal people was asked by someone new what single piece of advice she would give for someone starting out. She said: " I just really, really wanted it." It made me almost cry. How much did I really, really want this? That singular comment really made me think. I thought about it then let it drop but then as the end of 2015 drew to a close and I realized that I had truly run out of the usual 'excuses' of why I wasn't working on losing weight, I knew that I needed a change.
So, I made the promise to myself that "This Time Around" I was going to do things differently than I had been doing. I was going to follow the recommendations. I wasn't going to debate them or pooh-pooh them either. I was just going to do them without reserve. There is a saying in OA (Overeaters Anonymous) that goes: "You can't be too dumb to work this program but you can be too smart." We quite often get in our own way too many times. I am one of them.
It doesn't matter what I did or didn't do in the past. All that matters is what I do today and tomorrow.
So, "this time around" I am doing it 'their' way. My motivation hasn't changed. I still want to be in the best health that I can possibly be. I am 62 1/2 so my motivation is a lot different than if I were in my 20s when I wanted to get into a size 6. I've changed in that respect. Growing older can do that to you.
However, "this time around", my method is following what the 'experts' say on here and at least giving them a try without reservations. I think that is fair. IF after I have given something a decent amount of time and just plain found it doesn't work for me I can always find out what does but for the time being I am 'doing it their way'. That means that I am tracking everything I eat(not so hard since I had been doing that for 9 months prior to doing it on this site). I have resumed working out (and I had had a two year absence so I am essentially starting over---the only thing hurting is my pride on that one). I am following good health guidelines (fruits and veggies, low fat, no or low sugar, whole grains and lean meats). Don't make it harder than it has to be. There is science behind these recommendations.
As for the attitudes: well, that is something that is a separate work in progress. I pray to remain "humble, teachable and accountable." I know some things but I don't know everything. I too need to be held accountable to some kind of measure or standard so I know that I am doing the work. I also need to remember that as much as I can lose weight I can also regain the same weight if I begin to believe I am 'different' and I alone can 'beat the odds'.
It's a lot to take in and master but that is the task in front of me. I pick it up when I awake and I put it down when I go to sleep. That is how it works. Keep it simple. Keep it real. Keep it honest.