It took me many years to find the road of "begin again" but once I did, I've always been able to find my way back, eventually. I realize that I will have to begin again many, many times in my life; that's just part of it. But for now, I would like to keep moving in the right direction for as long as possible.
So I've been thinking about what happens when I veer off the path. Why do I do that? I know that detours can be important for the journey, but sometimes I just don't want to deal with a dad-gum detour for a while!
So back to the question. Why? I think sometimes I just get tired. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the color of grass on the other side. Sometimes the pressure of staying on track for so long just becomes too much. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I get too complacent.
Many different reasons; one common denominator: I make a choice.
In March 2010, this was my response to the first time in nearly 3 months I did not lose any weight at my weekly weigh-in:
Well, I could have predicted this. Don't get me wrong--I am perfectly happy with maintaining the lowest weight I can remember in about 7 years. I am just a little upset with myself because I can't tell you that I don't know how this happened. Or that TOM came to visit. Or that I have been stressed. Or that I haven't been able to work out. None of those apply. What I will tell you is that I made a choice this week. I chose to not lose weight. When I began to consume things that I had not planned on and had no intentions of recording, that's when I decided I would not lose weight this week. Even though I didn't say it out loud, deep down I knew that's what I was doing.
It was true then and it's true now. It's a choice I make.
So instead of focusing on all the various reasons I may want to veer off the path, I am going to hone in on the choice.
The key for me is sticking to a plan. My plan is a straight-forward eating plan with not a lot of wiggle room combined with near-daily exercise. I could go into more details about my plan, but that's not the point. The point is, when I follow the plan, it works. When I choose to veer off this plan, I am choosing not to lose weight that week. Plain and simple.
At this moment, with clarity of mind, I want to make the decision that no matter how tempting or innocent a future detour may seem, I DO NOT WISH TO TAKE IT. Kind of like you might encourage your child to decide that they will say "NO" to drugs before they are faced with that choice. My thinking is fuzzy when the choice needs to be made.
Take a baby shower, for instance. What happens to me is, in the heat of the moment where cake is being served I will convince myself that I need to experience this experience of eating cake just like everyone else. I might even tell myself that I am depriving myself if I don't have just a small piece. And so I make a choice. And yes that seems like a very small insignificant situation, but just something that small can lead to other small "situations" which ultimately lead to a maintenance week or even worse, a gain week. This I know to be true.
Hear this: there is nothing wrong with maintenance. There are far worse things. But for me, now? Not what I'm going for. Some people can choose to have a week where they are okay with maintaining. I am currently at a place where I know I am deceiving myself if I say I'm okay with having a week where I maintain or gain weight. I'm NOT okay with it. You can be okay with it for you, but right now--I'm not okay with it for me. I may be okay with that in a few months, but for now--I'm not okay with it.
Today I am making a decision for myself that I am not capable of making in "the moments". I am choosing the weight loss over the 5 bites of cake experience. I know this may seem like a really long blog post and all I really talked about was a detour and a baby shower, but as crazy as it may sound I think I just had a huge breakthrough.
Lastly, I would point out that it's tricky to stay true to yourself when there are so many voices speaking into our lives all the time whether it be from people we encounter on a daily basis, the talk shows we watch, the magazines we read, the blogs we frequent, etc. But when you find what works for you--stick with it. When you find what is true--believe it with all your heart. Don't look back. Make the choice to press into what you know is right.