The Path never ends … how Lucky we Are!
Most of us are unhappy with our current weight and just want to lose a few pounds.
That’s the starting point and end point right there. “I am fat, and I want to be 40 pounds lighter. When I am, then my goal is complete and I can move on.” Pretty straight forward and understandable. The only caveat about thinking that way is that it isn’t all that effective for a couple of reasons.
1- Mentally it’s tough to rationalize putting in all the effort required to change your body in that way for such a short term goal, (1 year of effort to be back to the way you used to be?) And, in the back of your mind you KNOW that once you achieve your desired weight that more effort will be required to maintain it etc.
2- Goals involving your health are not like other goals in life. For example, if you wanted to save money for a house or a trip, you set a financial target and once you reach it, the process is over. You buy the house or enjoy a trip and move on. If you wanted to write a song or complete a marathon then the same thing applies, do it, cross it off your list and move on.
But with health and weight loss specifically, you can’t just eat the way you used to and stop exercising once you’ve lost the pounds you set out to lose. You know that you’ll just end up right back where you started, except now you’ll also be demoralized.
Health, and maintaining a healthy weight is a permanent fixture of life.
WORKING WITH rather than AGAINST this Fact
The fact that our health and weight, are things we’ll need to contend with for the rest of our lives can be viewed as unfortunate. This if all we see is the difficulty, pain and sacrifice that comes with it – which by the way are real AND no fun. You have to give the devil his due!
But there is another side to this perennial aspect of our being, and that is that WE CAN BECOME WAY MORE than we ever realized. If you engage in the process of trying to better your diet and weight, then new directions, goals, aspirations and possibilities present themselves to you as you improve.
You can’t see them initially though.
You need to orient your thinking in this way first!
1- Accept that this will be a life long thing.
2- Make sure the process is enjoyable and NOT painful!
3- Tell yourself that if this is a life long thing, and you have no choice but to engage in it, then you may as well DREAM BIG, and become excited about what’s possible for you, because it is.
That formula right there, of accepting the task, making it fun and then getting excited about how much you can improve, how much you can change from where you are now is extremely effective.
Like the woman in the picture who is incredibly strong, incredibly fit and incredibly feminine, all at the same time. She didn’t start out that way, but it is where she is now, and she can still get much better, which is the motivation she needs to keep going.
THE EXCITING PART IS THAT THE PATH NEVER ENDS
See how far along this sample journey your thoughts took you, or would have taken you when you starting thinking about changing your body. [Most people don’t get beyond the first third simply because it’s difficult to see more than a few steps ahead of any process]
- Overweight by 70 lbs and sedentary
- Loses 3 pounds per month
- Eats healthier and finds recipes that she enjoys even more now
- People are noticing the change
- She’s never hungry
- She can now walk up a long flight of stairs
- More travel options open up for her due to her being in shape
- Her social sphere expands as she meets people at the gym
- She partakes in activities and 5k runs – self esteem increases
- She’s lost 50 lbs and is a different person
- Buys new clothes
- Has more energy
- Doctor says her health has improved markedly
- She plans for a longer life with more goals not related to health
- Learns Hip Hop
- Enters a Spartan Race or joins a lifting club
- Sees the doctor less, pushing her limits of optimal health
- Takes up rock climbing
- Her confidence expands into other areas of life
- She has more and better friends
- Her relationship with herself, her spouse and kids improves
- She is making everyone else around her better JUST by example
- She is a positive influence on others and finds meaning in this
- Sex is better, insecurities in general take a backseat
- Plans to hike the Te Araroa in New Zealand and creates lasting, strong bonds with her hiking mates
- Life is suddenly rich
You get the picture. It’s not just about a few pounds or looking better. It’s about what possibilities open up for you in life as a whole. But you need to take a few steps forward in order to see and believe that the next few are possible for you. Then you take those and keep going etc.
Improvement in this way never stops, and that EXCITEMENT of what you can become and what life has in store for you is the DRUG that keeps you going, and allows you to see that the effort you put in is not simply for a few lost pounds, but for your entire life to be an adventure.
If you see it that way, the effort isn’t that much of a annoyance anymore and so stops being a hurdle.
IT’S GOOD THAT THE PATH NEVER ENDS
Because that means that the HIGH you feel doesn’t either.