A little over two years ago, I posted that I had run a whole mile after having worked my way up to it. Recently I posted that I had run 5 miles without having run all winter. On some level this is progress, but I actually weigh a few pounds more today than when I started this blog. Over the last couple of years, I've debated with myself on how best to tackle a diet program, how best to tackle an exercise plan, how many calories to eat, how many calories to burn. I've also talked about repeated starts and stops, the "light switch" being on or off, progress, and setbacks. I've had deadlines, planned milestones, rewards, and goals. I've started and stopped a business, worked part and full time, and I've aged. I've reached my breaking point, I've found peace, I've been every place in between. I've wanted the weight loss and all the perks that come with it so desperately, and yet I've also wondered why I haven't wanted it enough, or why I haven't been "able" to give myself what I want.
Somehow in the last few days I've come to a very simple and glaring conclusion. I may have reached it before in passing, but I must not have ever understood it fully until now. I get frustrated when I read about weight loss success stories either completed or in progress, because although inspiring, it doesn't tell me about the catalyst. People in magazine article success stories always "reached their breaking point for x reason or when x happened", and then decided to fix it without looking back (much), and even if they struggled along the way, they always get there (because those are the only ones you get to read about.) On The Biggest Loser, the contestants always get so inspired to spread the message to the rest of the world that you can do it yourself without the show, but it's hard to imagine being able to be your own Jillian, it seems like they are usually cowed into the first rounds of success which gradually then start to feed on themselves and allow for the inner healing to occur and the success to snowball.
My conclusion is this: making good food decisions, eating modest portions of healthful foods, being active and working out consistently and aggressively, taking better care of one's body, and ultimately losing weight, gaining energy, and recovering health are all options for any of us. It is simply something you, me, or anyone else can CHOOSE to do. I can choose to make myself a priority without overly shorting the important people in my life. I can decide to plan ahead better with having and sticking with food, resisting the inertia and fitting in the workout, make feeling good about myself a constant occurrence. I can do those things AT ANY TIME, and the results will follow. I can do it if I believe I can do it, if I decide it is worth the sacrifice and effort to do it, and if I find the reasons to drive me to make the right choice to simply do it. Life on the healthier side of the fence is waiting. It can wait a lifetime, or it can wait a day. The choice is always there, always available.
Has the years of blogging helped me come to this conclusion? I don't know, maybe. Does coming to this conclusion free up some of the fears of not being in control of the situation? A little bit. I'm not overweight because I "can't" stop eating, but rather because I don't want to stop eating. I'm not out of shape because I "can't" find the time-motivation-energy-resources-weather to get in a good workout on a regular basis, but because I've chosen not to, repeatedly. There's no longer a need to wait for the switch to come on, no need for a pressure filled deadline for a particular event to be slender for, the big ones have all come and gone, and there will always be others, and frankly that's a bit of a relief. It's not about a timeline for self-denial, it's about a choice to change a lifestyle. Permanently. Wisely. Maybe not comfortably, but manage-ably. A choice. A simple choice. Black and white. Do I want to be healthy enough to do this, for myself, and for my family? Can I overcome a lifetime of preferring the short term payoff to the long term reward for sacrifice? Can I continuously remain in the present and in the moment long enough to break a pattern of indulgence? Can I do these things without pulling too much of my self away from others who matter to me? I can if I choose to, and if I choose to continue choosing to from minute to minute, until those minutes translate into days, weeks, months, and ultimately a healthy new lifestyle with the corresponding healthy body weight. I can. I absolutely know it is possible, I simply must choose to make it happen.
Do you agree with the simplicity of the solution? Have you made this (or a similar) choice in your life?