For better or worse, thoughts AREN’T actions. Good intentions aren’t good actions. (And thankfully bad intentions aren’t bad actions either.)
Weight loss update: I’ve still lost over 30 pounds. I reached long-term my personal goal of 175 and then have been hovering between 176-178. But I’ll share that, according to the CDC, I’m “supposed” to be 164 or less. I’m not discouraged. I’m super pleased with having made it this far. There are so many wonderful positives to my success to date – I feel strong and fit and trim.
But as soon as I say “made it this far” and “success to date,” I immediately congratulate myself and fall into the realm of what I’ll call – success stagnation. Call it a plateau, call it whatever you like. We’ve all been there.
This leads me back to – thoughts aren’t actions. Try as I may, I can’t think my way to weight loss success.
These days, several months into our weight loss journey, I KNOW what it takes to lose weight (follow the Weight Watchers program, track your points, it’s that simple). And, I KNOW I have a few more pounds to drop. But THINKING about losing a few more pounds and THINKING about smart choices and eating within my points range and THINKING about not eating those homemade sugar cookies right out of the oven (damn you kids!) isn’t the same as DOING.
Recently, I was thinking about all my good thinking and congratulating myself for thinking about healthy choices – thinking about making healthy meals in advance, thinking about skipping the rice at dinner once or twice.
All this thinking led to a new realization: thinking is tiring. Don’t laugh!
In this world of hectic schedules and abundantly available (usually unhealthy) convenience food, I spend so much of my time and mental energy on thinking, planning and executing for healthy eating – it’s tiring. And, it’s not just planning for good eating – it’s also planning to avoid unhealthy choices.
Healthy eating isn’t difficult. And yes, you need a positive attitude and positive thought process. But in a world where we already have so much on our minds – kids (health, schedules, grades), bills, taxes, job security, relationships (spouses, friends, neighbors, colleagues), wouldn’t it be nice if we had one less thing to think about?
Wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to worry – did I finish all the hard-boiled eggs? Did I finish the last of the yogurt? Do I have enough apples to get me through the week? Am I prepared to pass up bagel Friday/donut Monday?
Sometimes the siren song of – take a break, relax, don’t think so much – comes to me. This siren song would have me not be prepared to drive passed McDonalds without stopping. This siren song would tell me that buying my lunch is OK, I deserve it (and use 3/4 of my daily points on a tuna melt with chips mid-day).
All this thinking led to another new realization. Like it or not, thinking isn’t doing. Thoughts aren’t actions.
When I focus on positive thinking, sometimes I lose sight of my actions—or non-actions in this case. Success requires thoughts AND actions.
It can be easier not to think, not to plan, not to act. But thinking without action has little benefit. I need to stop patting myself on the back for all my positive thinking. My positive intentions won’t lead to weight loss.
I have goals and I’ve made those goals a part of me. I’m on a path I chose and want to pursue. And I have to move in that direction – with all my thoughts AND actions.
It’s time to act. Or soon, at least. Maybe I’ll be a little lazy for a little while longer. But soon, soon I must act ;-).