I love a roadtrip and I realize that we all pack differently when we’re going away. I have fond memories of my family all piled in the station wagon driving to our summer home 8 hours away. I remember being a teenager packing nearly everything I owned for those vacations. It didn’t matter how long… everything went.
One summer my grandma and grandpa pulled up to our summer home on their motorcycle. They were on a cross country trip and my grandma had only a small bag with all her stuff.
I remember being amazed that they traveled so light. Let me tell you about my grandmother, she was (in a word) glamorous. I mean my grandma was always “put together”, beautiful well dressed and always “done up”. One evening playing cards I asked her how she did it. She explained, “I only pack for 3 days, because no matter where we go there is always a washing machine.”
I had forgotten about that conversation until today. It is sage advice for life.
Never pack more than you can carry.
Turning Failure into Success
Sticking with the road trip metaphor, life isn’t always as easy as picking a destination on the map and driving there.
No sometimes, Life is like a vaudeville act. You get in the clown car, while juggling 6 balls, while singing 3 part harmony (all by yourself)… constantly opening and closing doors … all the while the audience watches and you do everything you can to avoid the hecklers…. or worse… the silence of crickets. And the baggage… don’t get me started on the baggage.
I fail all the time. I accept that as part of my learning process. It’s how I determine what works for me, and what doesn’t.
The trick for me is to be prepared to learn from failure. To recognize how I set the stage for the vaudeville act, rather then the nice quiet drive upstate. It’s about taking my life off auto-pilot and taking back control. It’s about my decision to pay attention.
For instance, I am done kidding myself about sweets. You know I actually used to say I don’t have a sweet tooth. Mostly because I don’t crave sweets. AND that’s true, another truth is, that if there are sweets and I start eating them, I can’t stop.
I know this because of failure.
I know this because I remember eating 1 cookie… then another, then another, then another.
I know this because I could take a fork to a coconut cream pie and just keep eating…
I know this because I can eat until something is gone.
The stories I use to disguise the excuses
It’s not just habits of eating, it’s habits of thinking. I realized there’s all kinds of baggage packed into this journey.
For instance, I noticed that when I think about how much I weight I always add: but I’m also tall, to the end of the thought. Yes, I literally think that in my head.
Guess what, doesn’t matter how tall I am… 230 pounds is 230 pounds. I’m over 50, it’s hard on my knees, it’s hard on my hips. I can’t bend over to my stomach to get to my shoelaces. It’s not just weight, it’s health and wellness. So, while I am tall… I don’t need to be 230 pounds.
Then there are all of the ways I tell myself about what I deserve to eat or drink. If you’re following our podcast then you know when I started this journey, I was literally drinking 1/2 gallon of half an half in my coffee every week. A HALF GALLON! I know. It’s crazy what we tell ourselves we deserve.
Guess what I deserve more than a half gallon of half and half? I deserve to enjoy life and be active and vibrant. I want to have the energy for adventures when my kids are grown and out of the house.
Success is very motivating
I remember, Annie was losing weight. We were talking and she was telling me how much weight she had lost, and I really wanted to experience that too. We decided to start this blog and our podcast, but I still wasn’t ready to change much, I still wasn’t ready to take complete control, so I picked up a book called The Metabolism Plan. (side note: I strongly suggest this book for the information it provides about inflammation and especially how we eat that causes chronic inflammation) and I had lost maybe a few ounces but I kept going back and forth, it was frustrating and I felt like I only had a general direction, but I needed more guidance.
Meanwhile Annie was reporting success week after week. I decided to give Weight Watchers a try.
I expected the online plan to be very similar to MyFitnessPal, because it was just an app… but it wasn’t.
There’s something different that happens in my brain when I see my 32 points for the day… as opposed to the 1200 calories that My Fitness Pal would offer.
32 points. ONLY 32 points. I needed to be very careful with my points.
This felt like a road map, and because Annie was experiencing success… it felt like the road map to success. And it is.
I just want to say… that if you’re struggling to lose weight, consider the baggage you’ve packed for the trip, consider the map you’re using and the destination you’ve selected.
Understand that you will certainly continue to get what you are getting by doing the same thing you are doing… change one little thing… and you can change your life!
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