It pains me this time of year - as I watch commercials for a well-known weight loss program, with a very popular spokesperson, that I joined 17 times. And was two days away from joining again, when I had a conversation with myself about the definitions of insanity and success. I decided two things that day: 1) I was DONE doing the same thing hoping for a different result - and 2) temporary weight loss was not actual success.
It also pains me this time of year to see all the gyms and their parking lots busting at the seams. I say this, not because exercise is not good, but because I know the client I have the hardest time helping is the one who over-exercises in an attempt to augment their results. I don't know all the science behind it, but I do know they need to add more food (the right food), which runs totally counter-intuitive to a "dieter" and they are usually the ones with the slowest results. Some exercise is great, but hour-long hard core classes or lots of running, is a challenge. Again I have my theories, but do not know for sure - I just know what I see.
The picture above is from 2011-12 of the chart I kept in my bathroom to track my weight loss. I started at 187 (I am 5'6"). In it I a chronical every five-pound increment. Because truth be told, you don't lose 47 pounds, you lose five pounds, nine times (plus two.) You can see how quick it went at first. You can see March was the month my daughter had her tonsils removed and I was dishing up ice cream for 10 days. You can see in April I started eating veggie burgers instead of hamburgers and forgot to account for the added carbs. You can see in May when I figured it out. And you can see how I wanted five last pounds and it took me the whole flipping summer. Only to gain two back again that next week. I now understand my body is in charge and my "goal weight" is not really for me to decide.
Last week I had a conversation with a client, who had struggled with some Christmas familiy dynamic stress eating - and was pretty frustrated with herself - about how it is a process. I still struggle with how to deal with stress at times in a healthy way. I may not gain weight over it, but that doesn't mean I'm cured from feeling frustration. Your diet isn't going to solve all of that, and certainly not overnight. My point being, I see this time of year as such a futile effort in perfection and it makes me feel a bit sad for everyone out there trying to make that annual renewal. My goal is not for someone to simply reach a healthy weight, but to truly make a mental shift away from dieting. To stop trying to "out run" your eating habits. To stop beating your head against the same wall. To seriously be free of it.
I re-did my website this past week, and am still working on some content for the tabs - but my direction has enlarged a bit. I want to talk about an Optimal Life, not just an optimal weight... because to achieve true freedom - the goal and solution both - lie in that bigger perspective. So check it out. I share what I have whittled down to the Six Keys To Success - and I have three Saturday mini-workshops planned for January 21, 28 and Feburary 4, in partnership with Sylvester Family Chiropractic, The Yoga Barre and Bee Well Massage, all of Shakopee. The workshops are free, though a donation to my Madagascar Fund to help a family in need, is requested. And space truly is limited.
So as you move forward, well into the first week of the new year, ask yourself if you are really serious about wanting something more for your life. I am reading a book right now by Gretchen Rubin called, "The Happiness Project," and she talks about not being unhappy, but knowing in five years she was going to look back and wonder where the time went and whether she was living it as she really wanted. My daughter just turned 11 on January 3rd and as I think back to when she was six, and ahead to when she is 16 - I know the next five will go just as fast as the last. And I for one want to be as present and intentional as possible because this is my life right now - not my next vacation or retirement dream - but all the days and moments in between. I would love for you to join me on that journey - or at least for the conversation.