Slow and Steady
My modus operandi seems to be dive in full force, flail, suck water, and then crawl up on the shore to recover. Over and over again. I’m in a hurry, All. The. Time. I love the idea of swimming across the water, but I rarely get more than a few feet from the shore before I crash and burn. I flail instead of swim, expending huge amounts of stressful energy that get me nowhere.
This is how my health goals are working right now, lol! I’m not happy if I don’t see real results real fast. I push, strive, groan….and break. I’m not patient enough to do things “slow and steady” – I need the end result NOW.
This whole past week has been frustrating. Not once have I gotten up on time. Either my phone has died at some point in the night due to it’s faulty charging jack (doing the work today to get that fixed!) so there’s no alarm in the morning, or it starts its “too-early-to-wake-up-but-let’s-get-there-slowly” serenade at full volume coming out of my speakers instead of my sleepphones – or sometimes coming out of both! This wakes my husband – and his sleep issues are the main reason I wear sleepphones to bed – so I can have an alarm that doesn’t wake him up! – and I panick to get the stupid thing turned off, which kills the whole “wake up gently” purpose of the early wake up call. I find myself then lying in bed knowing that if I get up at this point I’ll be too tired to be useful, but also knowing that trying to get effective sleep in the next 45 minutes with my now-racing heart and buzzing brain is useless. The trials of running my life with technology.
I’m finding myself demotivated, frustrated, and going backwards instead of forwards. When my day starts out like this I spend the day playing catch up, and my current workload is pretty heavy, so there aren’t a lot of free hours to play catch up with.
Sometimes this scenario leads to my screaming at myself about what a loser I am – always helpful. Ahem.
At other times I find myself sitting down with some clear thinking in place making some good decisions. A rare treat, but not unheard of.
I want to get rid of this weight. I want it gone NOW! I want to beat myself into submission and make it happen. I am ready to literally whip myself into shape. But then I ask myself – in one of those rare lucid moments – “How’s that working for you so far, Darlene?” I mean, the truth is, I’ve been doing just this very thing since the weight-gain genes were aroused from their slumber when puberty hit more years ago than I’d care to admit.
So, if this isn’t working for me so far – in fact, this great routine has added about 60lbs to my rather small frame – what’s the alternative? We’re back at that whole “Be nice to yourself” routine, and taking it slow and steady. The tortoise was probably right.
Last night I sat down with my favourite weight loss book – The Four-Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace – had some giggles over Martha Beck’s writing style, released some tension, and decided to give in. 33 years of doing it my way haven’t really brought anything but frustration. Martha likes a gentle approach – though she’s all for a bit of a jump-start – and she likes slow and gentle mind-set training rather than trash-talking self-mutilation. Maybe it’s really time. Slow and steady weight loss instead of all this panic.
And I know I’ve said this before, but I can be somewhat thick-headed about things like this…
So, if I go at this slow, lose a pound a week, create good habits, I’ll be where I want to be this time next year, and with the habits in place to keep me there (what a concept!) If I’m nice to myself I won’t be showering my inner body with stress hormones that make my body hang on to fat for dear life. I won’t be living the fight-or-flight routine regarding my weight loss that I’ve been doing for the past 33 years. Maybe I can just relax about all this stuff – hahaha!
So how does Martha Beck suggest I start? Do 15 minutes of movement today, and see if I can cut about 100 calories from my diet – ball park. I do this for 4 days. Celebrate, and do it again. When it feels easy to me I increase the movement by about 5 -10 minutes depending on what still feels easy to me, and see if I can drop another 100 calories or so, and do that for another 4 days. Ideally I string these 4 day challenges together until I have a habit I no longer need to think about.
In the meantime her book is filled with a whole collection of little four-day habits that I can take on as I feel able, that will retrain my mind and body to behave differently. I will start to think and act from a place of “thinner peace”, creating new mindsets and little tricks that make the whole process fun and easy to manage.
Yep. I think I can do this.
|Be A Star!
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