I love this image from Ranch House Designs.
(A fun piece of trivia: Rachel Cutler of Ranch House Designs was an intern in ANR Communications when she was a grad student at MSU. We knew her before she became famous. 🙂
The message can symbolize whatever it is that you’re attempting to do: losing weight, mustering the courage to speak in front of an audience, practicing a new language, learning how to tie your shoes….
And, if experience has taught me anything, it’s that regardless of how good we actually become at doing whatever it is that we’re doing, there will still be those days when things just don’t turn out quite so well. But don’t give up.
Don’t give up.
I wrestle with self-esteem issues and have for as long as I can remember. I’m assuming it traces back to middle and high school since I wasn’t overly popular and was made fun of and stuff. I really have no idea why, looking back now, but it was what it was. And I was shy deep down to top it off. I’m still an introvert, but I’ve been known to disguise that trait when I’m in comfortable surroundings. It can be a hoot to watch or scary as Hell, all depending on which side of the road you’re standing.
I mentioned to my son last week that I’ve always struggled with low self-esteem.
He said, “I know you have Mom. That’s just sad. You need to just get over it.”
Talk about getting a comeuppance. And from a 12-year-old.
But he’s right.
In all seriousness, I will never tell you – or imply – that making changes is easy. Or for the faint of heart. But I will tell you that you won’t fail. I repeat: you will not fail. Even if you have to start over again tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that, trying again is still an act of moving forward. Find that little nugget – no matter how small it may seem to be to you – that is a positive, something that you have learned from the experience, something that you can build upon. Sometimes that means digging deeper and stretching the meaning or correlation.
You won’t fail. I repeat: you will not fail.
Here’s an example. It may not be the best example, but it’s an example. I have always struggled with emotional eating – and frankly eating anything that’s just “there” and looks appetizing. I’m not hungry, but damn!, that chocolate chip cookie looks good and one won’t hurt me. Oh, what the heck, I’ll have another one, two…you get the idea. And donuts. My goodness, I love Quality Dairy donuts…and Tim Horton’s donuts and Meijer donuts. And cake. And let’s not forget ice cream. My God, I like ice cream. So…I guess I have a sweets problem. Now I have a coffee addiction. Instead of eating any snacks throughout the day, aside from an apple if I must have something, I’ll grab another cup of coffee. Let’s just say I drink a lot of coffee. A. lot. of. coffee. But I’m not eating sweets.
What’s the takeaway? I was not going to be able to pass up the stuff. (For those who say, “well, just don’t have it in the house!” OK, you can handle that conversation with the others living here. 😉 I’m not going there. It’s a fight I’m not having.) I realized this after taking and stuffing “just a half cookie” into my mouth. And then marching my butt over to my phone to type into my Weight Watchers app that I had just eaten half of a large cookie…4 points. I did that twice. I don’t do that anymore.
Same goes for portions. I like to eat. A lot. And by “a lot”, I mean great big quantities. Or, I should say, I used to like to eat a lot. It took me about five or six weeks from when I first started my weight loss journey, but now I simply don’t require that much food. I simply can’t consume it; I don’t need it. The night I only ate half of my steak and saved the rest for the next day? One would have thought I’d won the lottery by the way I was whooping it up that I hadn’t eaten it all. I had never, ever not finished it all before. It was on my plate and I was supposed to finish. But for some reason, I had this little chat with myself.
Conscience: You don’t need to eat all that. You’re not hungry anymore.
Me: Yeah…but it’s there. It’s cut into pieces.
Conscience: But are you hungry?
Me: No. But it’s there.
Conscience: But you don’t need it. You’re not hungry.
Me: Hey! You’re right!
Pan off to watch me patting myself on the back.
Examples for you might range from realizing you need to save up points – or your regular serving of fruit or whatever (if you’re on WW) – every Tuesday night because when you’re favorite TV show comes on, you ARE going to want to eat something, to packing a portable breakfast to eat on your way to work so you don’t end up binging on other things before lunch.
The idea is for you to identify the issue or problem, acknowledge it, and then address it with a possible solution.
With the second example, it might look like this:
- Identify: I binge mid-morning because I’m hungry.
- Acknowledge: I binge mid-morning because I don’t eat breakfast or the right kind of breakfast.
- Address: Pack a breakfast that I can eat on the way to work so that I’m not hungry mid-morning.
Sure it’s going to be hard. If it was going to be easy, you would already have done it!
Challenges have their rewards.
And you are not going to fail.