Saturday, June 17, 2017

Chapter 2, The struggle

Around the 5th month of being on plan, I started to falter. Things had been going so well, but all of sudden I found it difficult to stay on track. I began reverting back to some of my past habits. Knowing what I knew - how simple this could be - I couldn't understand why I was struggling.

For the next 3 months (Mar-May 2017) I have maintained my weight loss. I tried several times to get back on track, but could only get a couple of days - to maybe a week in, and then I would completely blow it (and I mean blow it BIG). The one thing I'll say, is that in the past - by now I probably would have given up. But I couldn't. Because I knew this amazing gift I had in my hand was THE one! I knew it would get me to where I wanted to go, so I held on. I kept trying. By May, I still wanted to understand why this was happening, I just didn't get it... so I started some serious self reflection.

I came out the other end of this reflection... a different person.

Just a side note... some may say "Sam, you're a Health Coach. Why are you telling people about your struggle to stick to your Health Program. How will they trust you to help them?". Well, because life is a struggle sometimes. I would be lying to myself and others if I pretended that I haven't struggled. Sometimes it's IN the struggle, that we really find out what we are made of. When my clients struggle, I will be able to completely sympathize with them. And to help them move forward. And ultimately - that's what I want the most. To help.

So what did I learn that has changed me so much? I'm so glad you asked! :)

When I began my journey (you can read about that in a short post here) on this program, I needed relief. I was struggling to breathe. Physically and mentally. I just needed to have relief. My "Why" was to lose 130-150lbs so that I could be healthy. But mostly... I was focused on losing the weight. Problem was, once I lost the 56lbs, I was relieved. All of sudden life wasn't such a struggle. And I gloried in that!! Thanked God for that! I was jumping for joy! But why wasn't I able to move on?

Well, because I had fixed the problems that had been motivating me to change.

It wasn't enough to keep me moving forward.

I've come to the conclusion that as long as I am focused on "weight loss" and "fixing myself", I'll never get to where I really want to be. Instead, I need to be focused on the outcome that I want. I started to paint that picture. To get it really clear in my head. What does my "optimal health" really look like - and "why" do I want it? I thought about it so much, and pictured it so much, that I could feel, taste, smell, hear, and touch what it felt like! And it was good!!!!! I want it bad.

It was then that I knew. If your in it to fix it, it won't last. You'll only get to the point that you start to release the pressure on what you're trying to fix. Change, REAL change - life altering change - will only come when you start focusing on the positive outcome! It will become the driving force that will get you to your goal. (This is HUGE!!! Did you catch it???)

One of the things I considered a lot, was how I would like my diet to be when I get to my optimal health. What kind of relationship with food I would have. Food won't be "bad" or "good" anymore. I won't feel bad or good depending on what I've eaten. I won't be "bad" or "good". I'll eat for nutrition. I'll eat to thrive. I'll make food choices for the majority of the time that I know will help give me the energy I want and to sustain my life. And of course, there will be times I will have a treat! And I'll enjoy them. I will be satisfied with a piece of cake (instead of the whole thing). And I'll continue to eat well the next day, instead of spiraling into a food/guilt tornado.

As I became comfortable with this idea, it donned on me. Why am I waiting??? Why was I waiting to have that kind of relationship with food, until I weigh 150lbs? I need to start that, NOW. Not just need, I wanted it! Craved it! It was then that I realized just how much power I had been giving food. I had given it the power to define who I was and how I felt about myself. 

NO MORE!! I took my power back!

I started to change my vocabulary when it comes to food and eating. I took out Bad/Good and Right/Wrong, and replaced them with Better or Best. I don't use the word cheating - because again, that implies I've done something wrong. Now I say modify. These tiny alterations have had a BIG impact on myself, food, and how I feel about it all!

In the end, it comes down to this. I want HEALTH. I want VITALITY. I want to THRIVE. And of course, I still want to lose weight. But losing weight is not the driving force anymore. As I make choices that I know will carry me to my optimal health - the weight loss will be a simple side affect. As a wise man recently told me, your weight is only a metric. Something to help you know that you are making good choices.

My weight does not define me. I get to do that!

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