Well Hello November (A Thank You and Tribute to My Cousin Debbie)
Friday, November 01, 2019
So it's another November. I don't really mean anything by that, as it could be any first of any month on which I decide to write a blog, but it does seem like the days, weeks, months and years are going by faster and faster. And usually they are the turn of a calendar page without even the blink of an eye.
But over the course of the past couple of months, for the first time in quite a long time, I feel like my presence on SP is for the reasons I originally joined it: to find support and information relative to what I have always called my "Journey to Health." Very often in the past a blog like this would be a personal call to action for myself setting up a "plan" that always ended up creating more work and stress than helpful in reaching my goals. So I am not going to do that.
But something inside is making me write this blog, perhaps to make a commitment to myself if nothing else, that I will continue to work hard, to remember that I have spent most of my life putting myself in the physical condition I am in, and that I can never forget that I want to do better, to be better, then I cannot allow one day or one week or one month of falling out of that mindset to sideline me for longer, or permanently, if that makes sense. I know that setting short and long term goals is an important part of succeeding, but the goals are only a means to and end, not the end unto itself. So it's important to set the goals and work towards them, but success should be measured not by whether you've met the goal nearly as much as by whether you are still working on it when the timeframe ends. We can always adjust goals, what's more important is that we continue to work on them.
All that said, I do think there is a stress point to all this. If you continually set goals and don't do the things you need to do to even take steps towards achieving them, then you have to stop and look at yourself in the mirror, and ask "do I really want this?" Or "do I really want this now?" Or "is my goal realistic" Because as bad as it is to give up on goals, I believe it is perhaps even more dangerous to continually feel like you are trying to dig a hole in beach sand, where the harder and more frantically you dig, the faster the sand just keeps collapsing back into the hole. That can lead to such feelings of failure, disappointment and inadequacy.
I guess the hard question in all that is determining whether you are truly not ready or if you are being lazy. And honestly, I guess it's easy to argue that if you are lazy then you are not ready. But it's interesting, there have been times when I have thought I was being lazy but what I really was being was afraid to pursue my goals. The most obvious fear would be fear of failure. I think that is the fear that keeps us from getting started. But when we do manage to get started, I think another equal or perhaps even bigger fear can kick in: fear of success.
What? Am I crazy or something? Who could ever be afraid of succeeding? Well, I'm pretty sure that I am. Not that I've been close recently to success on this journey. Indeed my progress has been the wrong way on the scale for many years now, interrupted oh so briefly by momentary lapses into finding a groove. But for me, the most dangerous threat to continuing forward in the right direction on my journey is actually a little bit of success. I have noticed lately that when that scale reads something lower than it has read in years, I suddenly have a day (or two or three) on which I cannot be satisfied from a hunger standpoint, or I am mindlessly grazing and eating everything in sight, thus sending the scale rocketing upward.
This has happened in this latest iteration of Tina's Journey to Health. But the sage words of my dearest co-soldier in the battle to a healthy us, my cousin Debbie, keep repeating themselves over and over again in my mind. Just keep going forward, do not stop going forward. You can't care how long it takes, you just have to keep moving forward.
So self-awareness is important, no doubt. And there are many tricks in the book to help with staying on track. But Debbie's advice has been most helpful to me in the past 2 months, and I will keep it, as I do her, close to my heart as I move forward. I wish for each of you a (little bit) older, wiser cousin (or friend or mentor) to help guide you through your toughest journeys.