I'm going to do it my way...
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
I was in my thinking place this morning (call that the shower, where so much of my best thinking happens that I sometimes wonder why I don't live in that little stall) and came upon this issue, and have been arguing with me ever since:
The other day my good friend and neighbor stopped by on her way home from her moms at our little family 5th of July BBQ. It was late in the day, and it is always just so good to see her. She knows my whole family, as I do hers, and our boys are the same age and go to school together. She looks fabulous these days, as she prepares for a family trip to Hawaii. She hired herself a personal trainer, and gets up early in the morning and goes and does her workout. She says it works because she has someone pushing her, and someone to answer to, and it costs her a lot of money whether she goes for her workout or not, and that has been a very good incentive to go and get it done.
That conversation brought me back to my visit with my doctor back in May, when she told me point blank that she thought, for this phase of my journey, that she really thought I needed more support (personal trainer, doctor supervised program, therapy, goodness, she even said the S(urgery!) word for the first time ever) than just relying on myself to get it going. And I thought how strongly I reacted to that statement, and how much I disagreed with it then, and I have to say, still do. But when I thought about this whilst I took my shower this morning, I did begin to wonder why I had such a strong, visceral reaction. After all, what's wrong with a little support? And isn't that what we do here at Spark, we give and get support from our fellow Sparkers?
So that is where today's blog was born, and now I feel the need to poke away at it a little, to see where I land with this thought.. Because truth be told, there really is nothing wrong with garnering a little support, with getting by with a little help from my friends (be they real friends or hired friends..).
Here is my basic conclusion: when you finally decide that you have to make the very core changes that are necessary to convert to a healthy lifestyle and subsequent weight loss, the most important spark in that process MUST come from within you. If you have to reach outside of yourself, then my thought is that any success you might have can be undone once that source of support is gone. Results can be jeopardized by the loss of that exterior support, no matter how often you say during your successful times "never again." I have said "never again" on so many occasions, I have almost lost track. I said "never again" when I lost a lot of weight during my early college days, with the help of a woman's gym I joined and daily attendance there and huge amounts of support from the staff there. I said "never again" when I thereafter joined "The Diet Workshop" and did an intensive program with lots of support and lost a lot of weight, only to gain it back. I said "never again" when I began seeing a nutritionist in consultation with a therapist, and lost a whole lot of weight in my late twenties and early 30's, only to gain it back. And in between those large weight loss periods of time, I went to Weight Watchers, The Diet Center, went on The Atkins Diet, the Rotation Diet, the Water Diet, and a thousand other diets that I honestly could not possibly list here, or even remember. I have lost and gained hundreds of pounds in my life, and the one thing each and every time I regained weight has in common is that I had not changed my lifestyle. I had gone on diets that I couldn't wait to get off of so that I could have that piece of cheesecake. I banished those negative self image thoughts to the scrap heap without ever killing them. I didn't treat my body like the shrine I should have by adopting a life's routine, including exercise and changes to my eating patterns that could take me into the future.
So this time, it HAS to be different. It MUST come from inside me, not from some external motivation that might very well work, but which cannot and will not be guaranteed to be with me for the rest of my life. The only constant we can count on for our future is ourselves. We will always have ourselves. So we have to be our own best cheerleader, researcher, whip-cracker and caretaker.
So I will take my researching skills and find my own best methods. I will allow myself to call an hour in the pool playing war with a squirt gun with my son, chasing him and being chased, hiding behind floats and noodles, swimming under water to sneak up on him and squirting him in the face, laughing when he does it to me and being thrilled at his laugh when I sneak up on him and scare him, a work out. On the other hand, I will take an hour tonight and go walking with my friend, in the steamy heat of a July day, and walk and talk and sweat up a storm. In the last couple of weeks, workouts have been both of those things, and more: an hour of street hockey in the driveway, of throwing batting practice to him and his teammates at the baseball field, of doing all sorts of crazy activities on the Wii fit, or just hopping on my exercise bike and riding hard for 20-30 minutes..
If I want that cheesecake, I will have it, albeit just a little. I will not beat myself up, I will continue to write down every morsel that goest into my mouth, I will continue to eat within an hour of waking and then every 2.5 to 3.5 hours, eating lots of protein in my snacks and meals, and being kind to myself when life gets in the way. If that means losing a pound or pound and a half a week, so be it. It took me decades to get here, I think losing a little bit at a time is okay, as long as I keep moving forward.
I do not ever want to look back at the weight loss I had and think about something or someone that is not there anymore. No one can take me away from me, no one can take what I learn and put into action for myself away from me. And that is why, despite the fact that I might get quicker results from reaching outside of me for support, I choose not to. Is that stubborn? I guess, but I believe it is the best way for me. My way...