Monday, February 04, 2019
My sister is in the process of quitting smoking as of this past Wednesday. YEAH, SISTER!!!!! She didn't tell me until I got to her house on Saturday and, as with anyone going through a major life overhaul like she is (she's been a smoker for 37 years), it is the only thing on her mind right now, 24/7. So we talked about it. A lot. And what I heard via her words, body language and actions, tell me SHE IS GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
So I imparted a couple "mind tricks" that I taught myself when I was successful on my initial SparkJourney because, really, a major journey like she's on is very, VERY similar in a lot of ways. You truly have to set yourself up for success and LET yourself be successful and figure out how to pick yourself up when you hit bumps and STILL KEEP GOING.
And then, this morning, as I'm finishing up Week 5 of my current SparkJourney, I've done a lot of reflecting about why it is so easy to do this right now. And I think it boils down to TRAINING. No one in their right mind would run a marathon without training for it, right? Similar to losing a lot of weight, similar to quitting smoking, similar to a LOT of major life overhauls, in order to be successful, you NEED TO TRAIN.
This is how my training for MY current SparkJourney has taken shape:
1. A couple years ago - stopped gaining weight - LONG before I "gained it all back and then some."
2. Last Spring - deleted quick sugars, the ones I know I need to avoid, out of my food choices.
3. New Year's Day - decided to start tracking my food intake again and make a conscious effort to lose weight.
4. A couple weeks ago - decided to start blogging once a week and find, however long it takes, new SparkBuddies to enjoy this current journey with.
5. This past weekend - committed to not giving up on my daily logging when it gets "easy" again.
I looked back at my past few attempts to get started on Spark and have noticed a pattern. Every time at about the 5th week, I stop logging on daily and tracking. Don't know why. Don't know if I lost interest. Don't know if something else was distracting me. Don't know if I lost some weight and got over-confident. DON'T KNOW. And I don't think it matters. I think that what DOES matter is that I have noticed the pattern and will take steps to avoid it.
TRAINING. What is training? It is the little, conscious steps we take to prep ourselves for achieving a goal. It is the mindful ways we push ourselves to overcome the mini-hurdles that would be good excuses for not continuing IF WE LET THEM.
My sister told me that she had:
1. Been contemplating quitting for a VERY long time now.
2. Decided not to purchase her "usual 3 cartons" from the AF base last weekend and only bought one, at a higher price, so that she could begin the winding down.
3. Went to see the doctor, got meds and nic-gum and MET WITH A BEHAVIORAL COUNSELOR.
4. Hasn't told everyone and their bloomin' brother about what she's doing. She is selectively telling a very, VERY select few people (I was/am the second person she told) that she KNOWS she will need the support of.
5. Is figuring out how she will handle certain situations that she KNOWS will come up and be mini-hurdles.
6. Has bought TONS of candies and nibbles and has given herself permission to gain whatever weight she will (she's a twig) knowing that it will be a price worth paying in the long run.
7. Has got help-line numbers at the ready and is PLANNING to use them.
The list goes on. You get the idea. She is TRAINING to be successful.
Back to me.... us.... anyone on SparkPeople that is working on losing a significant (to them) amount of weight. There are SO many things that go into setting yourself up for success. Being successful is SO MUCH more than following a "diet" and weighing yourself to see how much you've lost. It is about:
1. DRINKING WATER.
2. GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP EVERY NIGHT.
3. HAVING GOOD FOOD ON HAND TO FUEL YOUR BODY.
4. MOVING. LOTS. BUILDING UP YOUR STRENGTH AND MUSCLES GRADUALLY.
5. SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO WILL SUPPORT YOU.
6. PLANNING AHEAD FOR THE MINI-HURDLES.
7. PLANNING AHEAD FOR HOW YOU WILL PICK YOURSELF UP AND KEEP GOING.
8. MAKING PERMANENT CHANGES TO YOUR LIFESTYLE THAT YOU CAN MAINTAIN.
9. VISUALIZING WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE.
10. SMILING. SMILING IS BIG. BE HAPPY NOW. DON'T WAIT TO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO ENJOY LIFE!!!!!
Happy Sparking, everyone!