I was chatting with my mom yesterday, and she said something that I have thought about several times since then. She was not feeling great at the time, and her days with my dad – he has Alzheimer’s – are rarely peaceful.
Here is what she said: “This is a strange life we lead . . . we just get up again every day and do it all over.” At first I thought she was referring to their specific situation, but after a little clarification, I realized that she meant all of us!
Get up. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. Busy ourselves with something. Eat again. More activity. A little more food. . . Go to bed . . . .
Hmmm. That may be true, but I do believe what we do matters, and I am excited about the possibilities of each new day. Easy for me to say. I am not 86 years old with failing health and a very high maintenance husband. (Anyone who has seen Alzheimer’s up close and personal knows this is an understatement.)
I can see how it can feel like a hamster wheel sometimes, especially when life gets to be tedious – and just plain HARD. I also know how much our thinking affects attitude and outlook.
I started thinking about how this might relate to weight loss attempts. I hear the weariness in a client’s voice as she describes all of the past tries – followed by the failures and new attempts – over and over and over . . . .
It can be so discouraging to continue the pattern, but it is also difficult to break out of it. The hamster wheel comes to mind again, or maybe Bill Murray in the classic movie Groundhog Day.
There is some degree of risk involved in trying something new. Still, if your weight loss is ever going to be sustainable, it will happen as a result of consistency – and a certain minimum level of comfort. On and off is never a good way to work at lifestyle change.
I think we should redefine what being “on” means. For long-term success, the definition of being “on” needs to be flexible enough to keep hope alive. In other words, it requires a high probability of success, and the feelings that go with it. If this sounds like a head game, ask yourself this question: “Do I have better results when I feel successful or when I feel like a failure?”