The other day I was testing incoming Kindergarteners. I asked each child to build a tower of cubes and then I had to count how many of the twelve they could balance before the tower either fell or was dismantled. One clever child put two and three cubes on the the tower at a time. She was the most efficient builder – maybe she’s a future engineer!
Finding balance is a funny thing, it’s not a permanent way of being. It’s shifting and repositioning, adjusting and pausing – finding balance requires deliberate movement and strategy. Once it is achieved it is not a permanent state of being – eventually it falls or is taken down. In many ways, we are all trying to build a tower. Our cubes to balance are health, family, career, finance, friendships, politics, charity, and so on. As we yes, or no to these things we are stacking our cubes, and our towers either stand or fall.
Lately, I have been finding it difficult to coordinate my weight loss/ maintenance goals with my life. For so long I have been able to strike the balance that has made this journey possible. What comes with that are these states of disequilibrium. There have been periods of time, like now, where I can’t seem to catch it – balance eludes me and my “tower” falls. Yesterday was the turning point, I said yes to my health so I could say no to the old habits (overeating) that used to help me deal with stress. I found my balance.
Self-discovery never looks as profound on the screen as it is in the experience but this was a profound moment. I have uncovered another facet of this journey. I was able to look at myself in a very open and objective way. In other words I saw myself free from excuses or avoidance, instead of looking away I leaned in and paid attention to what I was doing and why I was doing it. I have been overeating to avoid stress and that’s not really helping me. It’s so true that you can’t unsee something, once you know it’s there. In my case I could see the old behavior for what it was and so I was able to turn it off. I rolled over 6 SmartPoints and had a satisfying day on plan.
My last words to you today are, don’t beat yourself up. Be kind, and you should expect to see your “tower” come cashing down because striking a balance on this journey can be daunting. However, keep rebuilding because each time you do you’ll learn something new and important about who you are. You can do it, I believe in you.
I have to remember that this journey is the rest of my life. The journey is also the destination. It’s been really difficult over the past few days, but I’m not alone. I keep thinking about what it means to call out to another, “A little help?” Then the ball is tossed, it’s caught and usually with smiles. The thing is the asking for and the giving of help is cathartic. I am so grateful for my community because this is too hard to do alone.
Today a teacher’s assistant made a joke that maybe I should gain some weight. Yes, that happened. I don’t think she meant to be insensitive, sometimes people don’t realize how their words may be received. I include myself in that crowd. I’m sure if you were to go through my posts, you’d find things that could be misinterpreted. Words are powerful. Sharing my story is one way I was able to get to goal and achieve Lifetime status. Now it’s an important part of how I manage maintenance. This is where I try to be completely honest about how it’s going.
So… how’s it going?
I’ve been struggling lately, I have found myself picking at food and not tracking. Eating some foods that are not helpful and tend to make me hungrier. For example, I love cereal but it’s not a good food choice for me. I’ve been finding myself in the kitchen on the hunt for something to eat when I’m not really hungry. It’s only just recently over the past few days, that I’ve been able to turn it around. I’m tracking and I’m rolling over points. I’m being thoughtful about what I eat and how much. I’m working on being mindful and that helps a lot.
I guess I’m learning not to be so fixed with my story and to just be open to what is really happening now. I can do this, I can do this. I can do this. So can you.
I was running an errand today, and I noticed some people who had a lot of weight to lose. The warmer weather is on the way, and being overweight or obese in the hotter months can be brutal. I couldn’t help but to think about how grateful I am to have lost the weight. Then I thought about how easily it an be put back on. Everything comes down to a choice. A choice to follow the program and stay in engaged, or a choice to return back to old habits. It’s not really possible to unsee the damage old habits can cause. As I think about the upcoming week, I have to consider all of this. Maintaining weight loss is a forever story, and I am happy to have to space to share my version of that story with you.
Understanding why weight loss is so important is the one thing that separates long lasting success from a temporary victory. Weight loss is too hard to maintain unless there is a real and meaningful reason to keep at it. The conversation this morning was very honest and real, and it is really making me think.
I listened very carefully and I heard four categories of people on the journey:
WW Mavins – Erin became Lifetime! Go Erin! She shared her strategy of keeping peanut butter cups in the freezer to have on hand when she needs one. She also shared about going out for dessert and not keeping that food in the house. She is a fan of the Schmidt 647 Italian bread (as I am). Having this bread on hand helps because it offers a full sized sandwich that is more substantial for 2 sp. Members like Erin are flying high and feeling amazing because accomplishing this goal is a life changer.
Motivated Mamas – Lorraine shared how how she is finding new ways to keep her food interesting and satisfying One new thing to try, she is using Better’n Peanut Butter at 1sp per serving it sounds very promising. Members like Lorraine are in the I can do it phase and are doing just that – they are both inspiring to others as as they can be perplexing. They seem to have figured out something that can be so elusive to others.
It’s easy to use names when people are successful or feeling strong, now I’m just going share profiles I notice. These members are heroic to me because I understand in a deep and personal way what they’re going through.
Foxhole Fighters – Other members are in survival mode. They are fighting the weight loss or maintenance battle and don’t know if they will win or lose. They are fatigued and worn out. They attend the workshop, they share, and they are in a very real sense phoning in for backup. Members like these are in a tenuous situation – this phase may either lead to a comeback or a setback. These members inspire me because they are fighters. Even though this is hard, they are fighting the battle and that is really quite remarkable.
Nay Nays – Some members are beaten to the point that they have almost given up on weight loss. They come to the workshop but inside they aren’t convinced this will ever work. They start to say things like, “This program just doesn’t work for me.” When people say that, I believe them. I believe them because who can blame someone for feeling this way. The most amazing thing about these members is they keep coming. They come because inside there is still some hope that they can turn things around.
I can describe these phases because I’ve experienced each one. The thing that pulls me to one over the other is the proximity to my “why” and how deftly I am able to grow my #willpower. This post, is dedicated to my #why and #willpower. Here is a quote from my updated page #Why:
Being on Maintenance has taught me to appreciate and value willpower. I used think that willpower was the thing that made weight loss unsustainable and that it made this journey more about struggle than joy. I was wrong. Now I think that my willpower is like the fuel and my why is like the motor.
Jenn Hayhurst #Why
I’m glad you’re reading my post. I’m glad that you are on this journey. No matter what phase you’re in be grateful that you’re in it. You are not unconscious to the issue – you’re in it and dealing with it. If you need to refuel your willpower or tune up your why. You can do it.