I remember calling Wade about a year into this journey when I hit a really rough patch.
I told him I had been PERFECT for weeks on end (dramatic sigh!), ate perfectly, exercised daily and I had gained weight… (whiny disbelief, verge of tears…)
Pissed off despair would be an accurate description of my emotional state. He had seen it several times.
His job was to talk me back onto solid ground…
Wade patiently listened for a bit and then said something like;
“You’re not just doing this for today. You know that.
Your work will show up on the scale next week or the week after if you keep at it.
And maybe the weight gain is just because you need to s*&%.
And *&%$ing breathe. Just breathe Bets.”
(This is how Wade remembers the conversations as well. 🙂 )
I have the benefit of some distance, perspective and without a DOUBT, I have a certain amount of selective memory about this whole lifestyle journey I have been on.
I know that.
When I think about WHY I hung in when things got crappy (pun intended) it was largely because I had some strategies that I used to get through the rough and trying times.
I was FOCUSED on reversing type 2 diabetes. No doubt. That was the driving force. But sometimes you just need something smaller, something you can get your hands and mind around when you are overwhelmed with chasing down a REALLY big goal…
These strategies work most (but not all!) of the time to keep me focused and motivated on some level. I think they are worth suggesting JUST in case one of them happens to work for someone else…
1. Incentive/trade-offs. What would you do with that handful of cash that you did NOT spend on fast food? Buy a new jacket, running shoes, go somewhere fun?! Knowing I was trading off McDonalds for Maui really worked for me…
2. Goals. Once I signed up for my first race/event I was not going to waste the money by not being ready. Signing up for a race/event gives me something aspirational and fun to focus on. Then taking the additional step of telling some friends or the entire world of Facebook (depending on your bravery) ups the accountability factor.
3. Phone a friend. A friend who has permission to be honest with you, who knows about your journey within the context of your life. NOT to (just) whine and moan and complain. But for voiced perspective on WHY you’re fighting this battle. The right friend can remind you that you might just need to poop to solve all of your problems. 🙂
4. Look (briefly) to your past. Take stock of where you ARE and where you have BEEN. We typically do NOT see the subtle, daily, positive changes. Sometimes it’s the gentle, visual nudge you need to just to look at an old picture. I look at this:
Hannah took this picture in an iris garden that was in full bloom and we had such a GREAT DAY! But I can clearly see all of the weight in my face. That red hooded sweater was my favorite and was a size 26/28. I know I weighed 250ish. I know I was on insulin, sticking myself 3 times a day. I KNEW then that my life would have to change or diabetes was going to win. Yet I was so overwhelmed with the idea of where to start losing 100+ pounds that I was doing nothing and HOPING this would all just go away and I would wake up magically thin and fit…
Posted next to this…
And I can SEE the difference.
No guessing. No selective memory. 🙂
I know what I had to do to get to this point.
I’m having a great time, randomly ran into Hannah and Jeff in the middle of the forest while we were all enjoying an activity I never even knew existed 3 years ago. Trail running?! Who knew?!
Before, during and after pictures remind me that even if I am not where I want to be, I have still made undeniable, positive progress. Big or small. Progress, is progress.
Incentives, goals, strategies, trusted friends.
I know that none of this is new. These are ALL old, time-tested tactics that work. But this is my gentle reminder to think about putting them to work for YOU. 🙂
So, please TELL me what incentives you have lined up, or the goals you have set or what a friend has done to keep you focused and positive.
I would really, truly LOVE to hear your stories! Really!