They never get you where you want to go. I have spent the last couple of days examining my experiences so far on this journey, and in the process I uncovered a couple of beliefs that I didn’t realize that I had that are causing me to be dissatisfied with my progress and disheartened about the future. The two ideas are connected, one to the other and I will need to let go of both to find any peace.
The first belief has to do with time frame. I had an idea in my head that I would be able to reach my weight loss goal by the end of the year. On the surface it seems entirely reasonable. I mean, I’m trying to lose 100 pounds – that’s about 2 lbs. a week, which is the exact number that doctors recommend. So 100 lbs. by Christmas… 2 lbs. a week… that means that I should weigh X amount by such-and-such a date. And then I hit a plateau that lasts and lasts, and I begin to go from frustrated to dejected. Twice in the last week I have been told by people who know about these things that it can take twice as long to lose the second half of the weight as it took to lose the first half. The first time I heard it I completely dismissed it, but the second time came from my nutritionist. I really don’t like the idea of it taking so long, which brings us to the second wrong belief.
The second belief is that there is a destination – and everything I am doing I am only doing to get me to that destination. Now I don’t know about you, but I am not the best traveler by nature. I really have to work at enjoying the process of getting there instead of just being impatient and frustrated that I have to wait to get where I want to be. I have learned, with practice, to enjoy the scenery and the drive, but it took practice.
This whole fitness thing is very much the same deal for me. I realized that if I can let go of any sort of time frame, it will make the journey much more enjoyable. Hell, even the idea that I am supposed to enjoy the time between now and when I reach my target weight had not occurred to me. And I also have to come to terms with the fact that there IS no destination. Sure I have a weight loss goal, but the real goal is to be physically fit and to feel better, and that’s the work of a lifetime. Much like getting sober, once I admitted to myself that I needed to finally DO something about my weight and health, there was no going back. I can’t pretend anymore. And so the journey has no destination.
Realizing this is just the beginning.