I have two special friends, male and female, who have been extremely successful in their quest to lose weight and get into living a healthy lifestyle. Like myself, they have done it the plain old fashioned way of taking it slow and steady, losing weight and allowing their minds to be transformed along with their shrinking bodies. They have had good days and bad on their journeys to get where they are now. Nothing happened over night, but it did happen.
Now a much, much slimmer version of their former selves they have learned skills along their journey to stay successful. Eating better, eating less, building in their favorite “treats”, exercise and a positive attitude. These things all contribute to permanent success.
As things go in life, all of our paths have intersected and I now have enjoyable relationships with each of these people.
I found it interesting that in totally separate conversations, they voiced to me what I’ve often pondered myself on this journey.
“Why do some people get started and quit? Why do some start, re-start and start again and then something happens and it “takes”?”
All three of us have used the illustration of crossing over the bridge. Funny, because we each had this same thought and shared it within our conversations.
Maybe, perhaps, because we get it.
I think most people would agree, it’s fairly easy to put weight on, but requires a lot more from us to remove it.
Discipline to say “no” to things we want to eat. Discipline to pass on seconds, or foods we know won’t best support our health and wellness goals. Sacrifice to make room in our schedules for exercise or to get up earlier. Dedication to a new way of living that at first feels unfamiliar, foreign, and down right uncomfortable. Willingness to finally get real with who we are, where we are and how we got there. Not to mention a certain amount of tenaciousness to hold onto wanting to be successful like a bulldog with a favorite toy.
You see that ? All those things, they start in your head.
We tend to think of weight loss as just a body thing….” I’ll just stop eating to much and lose weight and it will all be fine” without realizing the huge part our minds play in the process of truly becoming successful.
Why do you think people who are going to undergo major weight loss surgeries are encouraged to go to counseling classes to help them process not just weight loss but what will be required of them from a nutritional stand point? Sadly, so many of these will go back to gaining all that weight again because even though their bodies are changing, their minds haven’t made a connection to a new way of living, they are still thinking about all the food that got them to that point in the first place and wanting to eat in the same ways.
Like many others, they will not have “crossed over the bridge”.
It’s that place where it all connects together and you understand exactly what has to be done, that it will be a process, and you simply settle in for the journey. You take a single day at a time. You strive to make the best choices (nutritionally) you can. You stop viewing eating good foods as a form of punishment. Exercise becomes just as valuable as brushing your teeth each day. You allow your body to slowly and steadily go through the losing part just like it did the gaining part. You get that there will be days that will bomb and you dust off and keep going.
You love yourself on the journey.
The journey, that crosses you over the bridge into freedom and into a new way of living.
A permanent lifestyle change. Welcome to the other side.