Have you ever gone grocery shopping when trying to lose weight? What a trip! You have to eat. But you have to choose what to eat. A grocery store is filled with decisions – some good, some bad. And it’s up to you to choose. But oh what a journey! We went shopping today at one of the mega superstores (I’ll decline saying which as that doesn’t matter) and it was quite the experience. Especially if you go when you’re hungry…
You walk in and immediately you are greeted by a wall of pizzas. If you’re choosing a low-carb option, you put your hand up to hide the temptation from your sight and keep marching on – straight to the stack-up in the center aisle filled with those luscious goodies – cakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls and everything in between. Thankfully on the right you’re faced with fruits and vegetables – the saving grace. Mind you a few months ago I likely would have avoided this section like the plague – I now crave it.
If you’re lucky you avoid all of the “bad” foods in the aisles to come. You have a goal in mind, you know what you’re going to get, you stick with it, and you creatively figure out how to dodge those sweet temptations. Until you head to the checkout lane. And there you are taunted and teased the whole time you stand in line. There are sodas, flavored iced coffee – all with a lot of sugar. There are chips – loaded with carbs. And then there’s a vast wall of candy in every shape and size imaginable. You no longer have a choice just between different candies – oh no! Now each candy has multiple choices within itself. M&M’s, peanut M&M’s, caramel M&M’s, peanut butter M&M’s, coffee nut M&M’s, strawberry nut M&M’s. Then you have the Hershey’s family – Hershey’s milk chocolate, Hershey’s w/ almonds, Hershey’s cookies & cream, Hershey’s cookies & mint and now they even have Hershey’s layers in two flavors. And there’s my favorite – Reese’s. Reese’s Pieces, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s sticks, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups filled with Reese’s Pieces…and the list goes on.
There’s sweet melt in your mouth chocolate, the crunch of nuts, the smooth silkiness of peanut butter, the savory taste of potato chips, the crunch of the chips, the fizzy liquid gold disguised as soda. And there you are – faced with the slowest moving checkout lane ever! Time seems to stand still. The “goodies” surrounding you seem to close in on you. Your stomach rumbles in hunger. Your mouth waters. You stare longingly at the many decisions as your taste buds dance in anticipation. And you have to say NO!
Did I remain strong? Yes I did. Did I fall prey to these cleverly placed temptations? No I didn’t. I resisted. I won another battle. I’m the reigning champ! Let’s just hope next time I remain as dedicated as this time!
When you’re involved in weight loss, one thought usually tends to come up quite frequently – food. If you’re going to change your life, you more often than not change your eating patterns – you eat less, you eat better, you count calories, you diet, or try any combination of all of the above. And while making those changes, hunger can be a huge part of your life. If you cut back too much or make the wrong choices, you may have to suffer from hunger. That’s the bad hunger. But that’s not what I’m focusing on with this post. I want to focus on the good hunger.
The good hunger is the hunger inside. All the motivation in the world will not drive you. It takes determination – the hunger deep down within. You have to WANT it! As I’m typing this I’m watching Survivor and they just showed a great example of that. Cirie first came on the show a few years ago as a self-proclaimed couch potato. They were doing a challenge in the water on tonight’s show and Cirie was struggling. After swimming from one station to the next, she couldn’t climb up onto the dock. So a fellow teammate came out and helped her up. The next leg of the obstacle was a balance beam over the water. She tried, and fell. She said those fateful, harmful words, “I can’t do it”. Those words will change your actions. Even though the challenge was over (the other team won) Cirie didn’t give up. Her whole team swam back to meet her and help her. They encouraged her. The told her to believe. They rallied around her. And she made it successfully across, then jumped into the water to swim the final leg, and finished the course. She didn’t have to – she wanted to. She had the want – the hunger.
Food hunger doesn’t matter. It may drive you, but it’s often going to drive you in the wrong direction – right to food. Usually the wrong foods. If you truly want to change – if you truly want to make a difference in your life – if you want to lose weight like you’ve said so many times before but never followed through – its going to take hunger. It’s going to make motivation, determination, and the want to do it.
See where I’m going here? Do you have that want? Do you have that hunger? If so, let it fuel you. Let it drive you. Dig deep. Let it change you. The best is yet to come!
That dreaded 4-letter word. (No, not that one!) Fear. We have all heard the word. We all know what it means. But do we realize how crippling it is? This word can either rule you or motivate you. What role do you let it play in your life?
Starting on this new journey was scary. Opening myself up to everyone was difficult. Letting go of habits I’ve had for years to embrace new ones is not easy. I’m not that far in and I have already wanted to give up several times. And that is where the road splits.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. How many times have you heard that? Too many to count I would imagine. Easy to say, hard to do. I’m not just making a small change here, I am doing a 180 – or at least trying to. After all the journey starts w/ the first step, right? (Yes, I know – we’ve all heard that a few times as well!) If I am going to succeed in my journey, I have to change eating habits. I have had the same eating habits for as long as I can remember. Oh sure, I have had those momentary diets – and some actually worked – but as soon as you fall back into your old habits, you end up right back where you started. I have had to change my activity level. This is hard to admit out loud (or in writing as the case may be) but I am not exactly an active person. I realize some of you are not shocked by this realization but its something I had to face. Therefore, another change I have to make. This whole journey is almost nothing but change. And with that, at least in my case, comes fear. And with that fear are two main areas.
- Fear of Failing Others – There is a lot on the line here. Have you ever watched a professional sporting event, or one of those reality competitions, etc. and you see someone competing and they state how they can’t fail because there are so many people out there counting on them? I never understood that until now. In previous attempts at losing weight I never really shared it with too many people. I may have told some of my immediate family. I may have told a best friend or two. I may have shared with a close co-worker. But I never announced it to all who know me and many who don’t. By sharing this blog I am basically telling the world my intentions. And that is to lose weight, get fit, change my eating habits, and improve my health. That’s quite a bit to take on. And I have everyone reading this and everyone who knows me and knows of my intentions to hold me accountable. If I fail…if I fall back into my old habits…if I give up…I fail everyone who knows I am trying to lose weight and improve myself and my health. If that happens I will feel like I let everyone down. Most who know me will tell me no I didn’t let them down. Most will say I tried and that alone is great. Most will say they still love and care about me anyway no matter what size I am. And while that is likely true, I will still carry the burden of letting everyone down. I will still feel responsible for not holding myself to it. And that brings us to the 2nd point….
- Fear of Failing Myself – In the end if I lose this battle the only one I fail is myself. Am I proud of the attempt? Yes. Am I proud of myself for dedicating myself fully this time instead of trying the latest passing fad? Yes. Am I constantly encouraging myself trying to keep myself going? Yes. Are there days I feel I have failed? Too often. I can let the fear grip me and overtake me until I give in. I can let the voice of fear penetrate my thoughts until it takes over. I can let the wave of fear wash over me until I feel there is no hope as I suffocate beneath its weight. But what do I gain by giving in and giving up? How do I help myself if like every other time I decide it is too hard and I don’t want to try anymore? What changes will I see if I cave and quit? Nothing of course! If I am going to succeed, I have to let the fear motivate me. I have to face it, confront it, and guide it instead of letting it guide me.
The bottom line is this – you either conquer fear, or it conquers you. Each day I am faced with some type of fear. It may be fear of being the “fat” one at the gym. It may be the fear of looking stupid if I don’t have a plan on what I will be doing at the gym. It may be the fear of eating too much or eating the wrong thing. It may be the fear of going too far and becoming obsessed with trying to eat right and workout. It may be the fear of letting others down or failing myself. But each day I choose to rise above it. Each day I choose to face and confront it. Each day I make the choice to rise, not run!
I do want to clarify a couple of things from yesterday’s post. While being honest – I want to be clear as well.
1. Although my love for food in general started at a young age, things didn’t get out of hand until the last 15 years or so. I was out of school and in the workforce before the weight really started piling on. While not skinny I was stil at a fair weight through school. A little overweight, yes. But not anything drastic by any means. My body is not built to be stick thin. That is one thing to remember. Everyone has a different build and body shape. That is in no way an excuse – just the truth and obvious if you look around. Growing up we still had home cooked meals. I was not fed junk food growing up. But even too much of the right thing can be bad. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn’t brought up this way.
2. With that being said, the weight is my fault and my fault alone. I made the bad choices in my adult years that got me here. While there may have been enablers along the way, the ultimate choices were up to me. I learned to make poor decisions and became an enabler myself for those around me. I also learned how to sneak food and eat extra when no one was around to see. Definitely my choices and my bad decisions. On that level I obviously knew what I was doing was wrong if I felt I had to sneak food and eat extra when no one watching. Otherwise I wouldn’t have felt guilty and thought I had to do it in secret. But as I said in yesterday’s post it is amazing what lies you can tell yourself and even more amazing you can learn to believe them.
3. I got myself here and will get myself out. While support, encouragement, motivation, prayers and love are wonderful boosters and greatly appreciated, I am determined and will accomplish this! I am not going to use any fad diets or secrets to quick loss etc. This will be real, honest efforts and hard work and determination. Only then can I look back at the end of the journey and say, “I accomplished this!”
4.While I have been filled with shame on the inside for many years (keeping it to myself for the most part) I will now hold my head high for the remainder of this journey. I AM WORTHY no matter what anyone else may think!