PEACE OR PIECES?
2 July 2003
The WeightWatchers meeting today was on motivation and whether we are motivated by
things we're trying to get away from (looking fat, bad health, no energy), or things we're
going towards (healthy, more energy, able to fit into clothes, etc.) Sometimes it's a
subtle distinction, but it ends up being a glass-half-full / glass-half-empty sort of
thing. If you're getting away from the bad stuff, then when you have gotten away
from it, it's more difficult to stay there. If you're going towards, then being there
contributes to the goal you've set for yourself, so you're more apt to work toward staying
Our leader talked about how she's managed to keep off 100 lbs for 12 years, how it
wasn't a straight shot and it had detours on her journey, but she finds that she has come
to peace with her body. She talked about the parts of her life that had been in
"pieces," both emotionally and physically and how she didn't want to get back to
that place again, feeling fragmented, struggling with the kinds of turmoils that we here
life before she was able to achieve this inner peace.
(Sounds like a cult, doesn't it....?)
The woman sitting next to me, when asked what roadblocks we'd encountered, could have
been telling my story. She said that when she started it was for the purpose of getting
healthy and she wasn't ruled by the scale, but that as the months have passed, the numbers
on the scale have meant more and more to her and as her weight loss has slowed down, she
finds herself frustrated by the ups and downs from week to week. She says she needs to
focus on a month, rather than a week, and that is what keeps her going.
I remember when I started this program--it wasn't the pounds lost that mattered to me.
It was getting healthier...and I did that. I reduced my cholesterol, I didn't have to go
on diabetic medication, I increased my energy, added exercise.
When I first started, I didn't bother with taking my shoes off when I weighed. The
numbers didn't matter, sticking with the program mattered, getting healthy mattered.
I don't know when I succumbed to the scale. The first day I removed my shoes to weigh.
But over the months, the scale has taken on a bigger role, so much so that I sometimes
lose sight of why I started this in the first place--to get healthier, to fit in a seat on
that plane I'm taking in two months, to feel better about myself.
So when the scale went up one pound today, the immediate feeling was discouragement.
I've been bouncing around the same weight for it seems like forever. It was decidedly a
"glass half empty" kind of day.
But when I think about it, my cholesterol is still down. I'm still diet-controlled with
my diabetes. And most importantly, I've taken off more than 60 lbs and have kept it off
for a year. I've never done that before. Yes, there is more to take off, but right now
losing big chunks of weight is difficult, what with having less control over the food in
the house, and having no possibility of exercise for awhile.
Suddenly the glass became half full again. Maybe I won't quite reach the goal weight
I'd hoped to reach by September, but I've achieved a goal of sorts and I'm heading in the
direction of more such goals, no matter what the scale says.
I still struggle with "pieces" vs. "peace," but I think that I have
more "peaceful" days than "piece-full" days, and that's a nice place