It’s a simple lack of organization, both mental and physical.
Coming into this adventure in weight loss coaching, I was completely convinced that giving up the foods I loved was going to be difficult and, in some cases, danged near impossible. I was wrong.
The endless servings of sugar, processed foods and diet soda that I have loved for years and have used as a panacea for everything from boredom to a bad hair day are gone, and I don’t miss them. They didn’t love me back! Letting them go turned out to be a relief, like when you finally sever ties with someone toxic in your life. There’s a brief pang, and then you’re free, because you don’t have to worry about feeling like crap after every encounter anymore. THAT is what makes the food part easy for me.
My biggest challenge has been the day-to-day management of everything else. I realized the other day that this is where I have dropped the ball on every self-improvement project I’ve ever started. I have always been able to master ONE part of a plan, like exercising regularly OR eating the food that fuels me properly, but I have NEVER been able to put them all together. I thought it was a character flaw, but it’s not!
It’s a simple lack of organization, both mental and physical. You have to have a strategy, and it has to be good enough to keep you one step ahead of the game. I’m not talking about being super organized and having everything mapped out — that’s SO not me!
This is about launching a two-pronged preemptive strike on your everyday life that protects you from unforeseen circumstances (because there WILL be some!), and enables you to recognize that the promises you make to yourself are every bit as important as the commitments you make to other people.
This is another spot where Greg’s coaching has been incredibly valuable. She explained the critical part preparation plays in success, and did it in a way that allowed me to see exactly where I had been shooting myself in the foot on previous weight loss attempts. When it comes to your health, failing to plan really is planning to fail.
My purse has gotten a little bit heavier, but now I’m ready for whatever happens. My husband used to tease me about being able to field dress a deer out of my purse, but now I can do something even more amazing. I can keep my blood sugar stable — no matter what. I’ve got my Stevia, little packs of healthy nuts, and a couple of squares of really dark chocolate on board at all times. That’s enough to cover a plethora of emergencies, like sweetening my coffee in a restaurant without using their crappy aspartame or sucralose, allowing myself a treat when everyone else is having dessert, or just staving off starvation when a meeting runs past feeding time at my personal zoo.
The other prong is accountability. I’m not talking about being accountable to everyone else in your life. We’re women — that’s just part of the deal. I’m talking about learning how to be accountable TO YOURSELF, and doing it without feeling like a selfish cow!
Greg and I were talking about this during one of our weekly coaching sessions, and she asked me the absolute best question: “Why is it okay for the commitments you make to yourself to be less important than the commitments you make to other people?” Uhhhh… I sat there for a moment in total (and REALLY uncomfortable) silence, and struggled to come up with one single reason that I did everything I said I was going to do for the rest of the world, yet continued to let myself down. Holy crap! Perspective is an amazing (and sometimes disturbing) thing!
She provided me with a really cool tracking tool that helps me make sure I’m keeping my commitments to myself. I write down specific goals — it works for any commitment I make — then check them off when they’re completed. It sounds simple, but it’s SO powerful. It takes about 10 seconds, and I can see, right there in black and white, if I’m keeping my word to myself. And I am — most of the time!
As for my weight loss, I’m still standing on top of the first plateau. But this time, instead of pitching a tent at Camp Self Pity, I’m hiking steadily to the other side. I am taking the time to appreciate the good news my tape measure continues to share (9 inches gone!) and the fact that I’m fitting into clothes I haven’t worn in a really long time. The scale may not be showing it, probably because I’m building some serious fat-burning muscle (c’mon, think positive with me!), but I can now SEE progress in the mirror. YEAH!