Thursday, May 17, 2012
The Holy Grail Part Two........My relationship with the scale
Emotional balance is one of the four parts of what I like to call the "Holy Grail" of weight loss. I believe that these core processess have enabled me to make it this far and keep me going. They are the foundation to a successful journey, no matter what direction one decides to take. The path is what people are ultimately looking for.
The key to success is within.
Another factor that contributes to emotional balance is a logical relationship with the scale and more specifically, handling the relapses and over eating that are sure to happen. If you notice I say "IS a logical relationship", not "WAS a logical relationship. Even though I know how far I have come, the work is never done. It is always necessary to regain my balance and center and forge ahead.
One thing I learned early on is that weight loss is not a linear experience. It is not a steady consistent process of the textbook 1-2 pounds per week. My progress looks much like the ups and downs of the stock market. This is important to realize. One week I was up the next week I was down. Sometimes I would see NO progress for weeks at a time. It was only when I would look at my progress over a long period of time that I would see I was not doing to bad. Looking at it from day to day, week to week, or even month to month...ummm not so good. Understanding this fact has saved me from many mental meltdowns that would have otherwise imploded my desire to keep going.
I have also learned to not confuse all weight loss as fat loss or all weight gain as fat gain. I have observed that true fat gain or loss does not happen rapidly under balanced conditions--and thankfully so. Thank goodness my body does not readily give up precious resources so easily. In today's world excessive body fat is a liability. However, back when man lived in a much harder time, and life took a turn for the worse, fat stores determined if you lived or died. It would have been a disaster if your fat stores went into a free fall every time there was a caloric deficit. In fact you may not live to tell about it. The sooner we realize that it is not in our best interest to pursue rapid weight loss the better. So what, if I am not seeing the weight loss that I think I should. So be it, the weight that comes off slower is more likely to stick.
True fat loss does not happen rapidly, nor does fat gain. I know there are extreme cases, but most of us put on a little here and a little there. Anytime in my journey, that I have experienced rapid weight gain or loss, it has been something other than fat - and I have treated it as such. If it is water weight so be it. Who cares?
I have also witnessed a couple of crash and burns because of one to many scale meltdowns. Numbers are temporary. This journey is for life. Stay in the saddle and press on. Let me ask you a ?. So you quit and give up - now what? There is nothing to go back to at least nothing of value. Longevity on this journey hinges on a balanced view of the scale. Focus on total wellness not just numbers on the scale. Plateaus can be devastating to the morale if your only source of positive feedback is the scale. If you look for NON SCALE VICTORIES or NSV's your affirmations come from more than one place. This brings balance to your journey. Life is not fun when you are riding an emotional yo-yo.
My relationship with food has been a rocky one. My addictive tendencies and food addictions have at times, created the perfect storm. There have been so many times that I have been staring at an empty bag that used to be full, a candy wrapper that once contained a three muskateers, or a fast food wrapper that once held a whopper with cheese. I have sat in silence trying to make sense of what just happened. The swirl of emotions, the self doubt, the betrayal of everything that I held dear and important. Unless you have been there it is hard to imagine this dark place.
It was during these times that I reached inside and found the courage to go on. After a few of these time, I finally realized that no matter how dark these occasions were, or how defeated I felt, the clouds would clear and there was no real lasting damage.
I learned that we are what we repeatedly do. So to put that in weight loss English. A one time binge will do minimal damage. A one time nutritional mistep will not derail my entire journey, if you pick yourself up and get back on the horse. If on the other hand you wallow in a binge-induced melt down the damage it does to your momentum and motivation is far worse than any calories you could have gained.
The 80/20 rule applies. If you are doing what you should be 80% of the time and dropping the ball 20% of the time, you will not notice much damage over time. If you do mistep try to gain wisdom from it. Wisdom is what we gain when we pick ourselves back up.
The discouragement over letting myself down had been a companion on my journey. It is what I have done over the long haul that has brought me to where I am today. We are what we repeatedly do, not the result of one bad decision.
Failures are a normal part of any road and I will be darn if I throw out my car just because I hit a few pot holes along the way. Even if I blow a tire in the process. My car is the only method I have to get where I am going. Don't throw your car out simply because you get a flat, simply change the tire and continue on your journey. If not you will spend the rest of your life on the side of a busy highway and it is far safer to keep moving.