Denial vs Acceptance
If denial looks like this:
Then acceptance looks like this:
At least, for me it does.
Because this is my reality. I work very hard to maintain the healthy lifestyle that I have achieved. I must recommit every single day to the healthy eating and exercise habits that allowed me to lose 120 lbs. and keep it off for nearly 7 years.
Is it easy? No. Is it “fair”? Maybe not.
But it’s my reality, and I refuse to pretend it isn’t.
Because I used to weigh 265 lbs, I probably have thousands more fat cells than someone of the same weight who was never obese. I have to work much harder to maintain my weight than they do. Grrrr, sucks for me.
But honestly, so what?!?
I accept the fact that, to maintain my weight loss, I must adhere to a pretty strict eating plan and a rigorous daily exercise regimen.
But acceptance is even bigger than that.
It also means I accept all of my personal limitations and weaknesses. I acknowledge them and create strategies to incorporate them into my life.
If I didn’t, I would fail.
Here’s an example:
Most “diet experts” will tell you to put your food on a plate, sit with no distractions and mindfully eat your portion of food. Oh, and put your fork down between bites and chew 100 times before swallowing.
I understand what they’re getting at, I do. By doing as they prescribe you create awareness of your portions, appreciation for your food, and find satisfaction in smaller servings, thereby eating less.
But that doesn’t always work for me. I don’t sit very often, and no matter what the experts say I will probably always be the kind of person who sometimes stands in front of the TV and eats. I’m not terribly proud of that, but I’m really not interested in what somebody else says I “should” do; I’m only interested in what actually works.
So I do portion out my food pretty carefully, and all of my food choices must meet my two standing criteria: 1) they must be healthy, and 2) I must absolutely love them. But if I wanna stand in front of the TV and eat, guess what?!? I’m gonna do it!
When I talk about acceptance this is exactly what I’m talking about. Too often I think that people feel like they need to be some “perfect” version of themselves in order to lose weight. They must be “good” all the time. When they “lose the weight” (full-disclosure, I hate that phrase) they will become some ideal version of themselves.
No! You won’t! Or at least, I’m not. I am the same person I always was, but now I acknowledge and accept all my weird, wacky food foibles and figure out strategies to deal with them so they don’t undo all my hard work.
If you learn nothing else from me, understand this: I am deeply flawed.
Yet I have done this.
I do this. Every. Single. Day.
I am successful at permanent weight loss because I play to my strengths and I manage my weaknesses.
I refuse to look away.
If you’re ever in any doubt about why it’s so hard to lose weight, reread the words above. Yeah, it’s hard. But it gets easier. And you’re so damn worth it!
Let’s go get it!