Sunday, February 28, 2010

Advice, given and needed

I posted this, today, in Richard's Clubhouse to a new member who has an astronomical amount of weight to lose.  She is saying all the right things, but the trouble with the printed word is that there are no emotions, facial expressions, or tones of voice to know whether she was just committing herself to a new path in life, or it was another way to beat herself up.

It seemed to me that my answer was blog-worthy, so here it is:

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I have a question for you.  Is your confession here because you just needed to vent to take the next step, is it another way for you to beat yourself up?  Because the way i see it, you have nothing to apologize for.  You are where you are at, and to be angry or sorry or apologetic won't change it.  It's tough for us to understand what we've done to ourselves, and the "why" is incomprehensible.  I'm actually finishing up a book right now about my own journey that is not a "how to lose weight"  (we have Richard for that, thank you), but more about my own journey to self realization.  I still don't know why I got to where I got, or why I was able to turn it around, but the tale lends some insight into it.

What advice I can give you is look at your words without anger and self flagellation.  You have committed, today, to a fine course of action.  If you are really committed to it, you will still have days that you don't keep with program or that you make mistakes.  Instead of beating yourself up over them or walking away, try to look at them dispassionately, figure out the circumstances that led to them, and figure out how you can change your environment so that they don't happen again.

I had to give up a set of friends... eating buddies, if you want to know the truth.  There are markets that I cannot go into.  We have a Henry's market that even now I can NOT visit because they sell the best malted milk balls in the world in a bulk bin, and I can't resist them.  I control my environment by never allowing myself to go in, even though I know they are a spectacular market in every other way.  I started by forcing myself to do small amounts of exercise.  Then I built on it as I was physically capable.  I still have never claimed to like exercise, but Richard makes it very tolerable and I look on it as a one more necessary habit like brushing my teeth.  It is not optional.

But the biggest thing I did was stop constantly beating myself up, and I almost never think more than a day ahead.  I don't even set mini goals of 5 pounds, because for me, even that small commitment is too much stress.  I just do the best I can do with the program itself, and if I am doing it right, the numbers invariably follow.  As for goal?  I never set one, even as Richard pressured me to pick out a number.  Just as my starting weight was "just a number," so was that elusive goal, and the difference between the two just depressed me to death.  Instead, I would just tell Richard that I was working the program and that I would know goal when I got to it.  That system worked just fine for me.

Think about what you are doing, when you make mistakes, instead of beating yourself up or denying them, analyzing them and make changes to your life so you won't be exposed to the same situation that allows you to make them, and not worrying about the number... I think those may be your ticket to long term success.

And remember, it really doesn't matter how long it takes to get to goal.  I took 3 years, and I needed every single day that it took to make the emotional adjustments that were required to cope with my new reality.  I have never regretted a day of the time during the losing process, nor have I regretted dealing with the hard emotional work in learning to deal with  maintenance.  Time is on your side if you will only recognize it.

28 Posts in 28 days.  Today is day 28.

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To the people who are so kind as to visit my blog, I am in a quandry.  I am looking at the nablopomo challenge for March, and since February turned out not to be hard to do, thinking about continuing for another month.  But I am not sure.

How many of you are reading?  I don't get a lot of comment back, even as I know that my posts are not necessarily open ended to evoke discussion.  Do you want me to continue?  Or should I go back to posting when I feel the need, and not feel the pressure of a challenge?

This is your chance, if you are involved here, to weigh in on the question.  Tomorrow is March 1.  That's when I will need to make the commitment.

Thank you for coming along on my February journey.



Anonymous said...

I want you to continue..I read yours every time you post..But then you'll just say I'm being bias..Love you!

Wilda said...

Dear Laura
Yes I would like for you to continue it but if it is a burden for you then just post at will. I have been checking a couple times a day as I have the time to see if you have added anything new to your blog since doing it daily. I realize that I do not always post to your blog it is because sometimes what you are going through really hits me hard and I don't know what to say. I have been so worried about you and everything else that is going on around you.

Annie said...

Hi Laura,

Yes, if you are capable..I would love you to be able to continue into March..I have so enjoyed reading everyday in February...It has been a joy following your blog and know it will be the same in March...

Much Love,


janet said...

If you decide to continue, do so only if you will not beat yourself up if health and personal matters prevent you from posting every single day. I think you started, and have continued this blog as an outlet. Do not let it become a punishment. I enjoy reading you so as long as you keep this space a haven rather than a chore, then keep going.


LI Laura said...

I'm reading, and I will continue reading regardless of what you decide to do! <3


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