Saturday, November 29, 2003
Take a Load Off
posted by Julie |
Freeing yourself to lose weight
Pens out. Keyboard ready. A Journal assignment for your weight loss journal, blog, letter, note to self.
For many people who finally lose weight, who lose it once and for all, there is a doorway. A transition. A threshold they step over. It's often a big, important one. Some people describe it as a "click," a "switch," a "point of no return."
I like that last phrase best.
Ask 100 successful losers how they finally lost weight for good, and you'll often hear something like this, "I don't know, something just clicked."
How do people get to that click? There appear to be lots of ways. Fear is one common path. Fear of impending loss, of life, work, ability, relationships.
Or instead of fear, many people "click" through the simple realization that we do each, indeed, have an inalienable right to pursue at least good health, at best happiness. Even if you're a woman. Even if you're a mom.
Finally acknowledging your grown-up status can help. Growing up comes with a slow, slow, so slow dawning that pursuing happiness is entirely up to you, no one can provide it for you.
And so, something clicks. And you're ready to lose weight, and keep it off forever.
Now it's time to, quite literally, take a load off.
It's not always a good idea to look for the metaphor in your illnesses. But with extra weight, the metaphors can be useful. Being weighed down. Carrying extra weight. Carrying a load. Taking on too much. Taking on more than you can chew.
You see where this goes?
You may not be losing weight because you don't have time. If you don't make the time to lose weight, it's not going to happen. You have to make exercise and eating right a top priority in your life, if not THE priority, for the time it takes to remove the excess weight and form habits to keep it off. We're talking about a 3-year commitment.
So, for the next three years, what are you going to give up? What are you going to choose not to do so that you have time to give yourself good health? Do you need to change jobs? Give up committees? Resign posts? Who do you need to learn to say no to, and when?
Don't try to steal the time from your sleep, from grooming. But could the house be less pristine and still livable? Can the kids do a few fewer after-school activities? Can your significant other or your children or your co-workers take on some of your duties for awhile?
Make a plan. Write it out. Throw off the weight of the world to give yourself room to get well.
Wondering what I did? Quit my job. Quit three clubs. Scaled way back on activism. Scaled way back on social lunches and dinners and drinks. Stopped cooking so darned much.
Know what? I haven't lost a friend over it. My world hasn't crumbled. My family is relieved. No family member goes unfed.
You have to make time to take time. And you have to take time to maintain your body, or suffer the consequences of your own oppression.
Worth reading every few days: The Declaration of Independence
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