Yellow Rose commented over at a blog I follow that she has a quote posted in one of her rooms in her house. It goes like this:
"The one who reaches the top of the stairs didn't fall there." -Bergsma
Was there a time in your life when climbing a flight of stairs was nearly impossible? Each step was so hard. We needed the hand rail. We put one foot up, then lifted our entire weight on that leg to get the other one to the step and then we rested before repeating that until we finally made it - out of breath, winded, weak legs, etc. Some of us are still there, some of us have made progress, some of us can easily do the flight but it wasn't always so easy.
It was hard work to get to the top wasn't it? Each step has a name. Each step is an achievement and the closer we get to the top where our goal weight is, the harder it is to keep going. We are out of breath; we are tired; we are angry with ourselves, we are pouting and doing the "poor me" thing. We are glad when we get to the top but have you ever noticed how easy it is to go "down" that same flight of steps? Easy squeezy lemon peazy (where did that come from?). We can undo all of our hard work pretty easily - remember?
Have you ever stood at the bottom of the steps looking up and thought about how hard it was going to be, how much effort it would take? There are no elevators, only steps. We cannot be carried; we cannot fly. The only way to get to the top is to take one step at a time and we have to do it ourselves.
OK - this flight of steps has 7 steps in it.
Step 1 is the "why", something clicks, enough failures and we know what we have to do and have decided that this time we can endure some hunger, we can march ourselves to exercise class or the gym or whatever our chosen means of working out is. We may be diabetic or borderline; our blood pressure is too high; we are so tired of carrying around this extra weight; we want to wear nice clothes. We are tired of resenting others for their slimness and know if we want that too we have to do it for ourselves. If those slim people get fat it won't make us any slimmer. We need to watch them not other fat people. We will learn more from slim people anyway. We already know how to get fat. I saw a cute quote, "If we are what we eat then I need to eat a skinny person".
Step 2 - review step 1 and start getting in at least 64 oz. of water a day. Don't tell me you can't do that. That's ridiculous. You won't do that is the right terminology. If a doctor said each day you didn't consume that water you would break out in a flesh eating fungus would you do it? Use a straw. Keep water in the car. Do it. The reason we are not thirsty is we are not drinking enough water. What? If we don't drink enough water our bodies hold on to the water they do get. Once enough water is being taken in the body lets go of what it has been retaining.
Step 3 - review steps 1 and 2 and start exercising 3 - 5 times a week. Exercising can be a walk. Those who carry around a lot of extra weight will be slow at first and the walks will be shorter. It gets easier. Do it before the day gets in the way if at all possible. Find a buddy to walk with or go to the gym with or go to the Jazzercise or step aerobics class with you. This is a lifestyle change. It is a behavior that will become the new normal.
Step 4 - The first three steps are the basics I think. If we can get step one nailed down and make steps 2 and 3 our routine, our normal, the eating is going to start leveling out. My personal opinion is that the eating plan should be your own. We don't need to be told how much, what, and when to eat. With that said, I have lost my weight twice with Weight Watchers and I think that helped me get to this point. It is a part of the path to guilt free eating/not eating. Weight Watchers teaches what a portion looks like. Weight Watchers is very healthy but now I eat low carb (not no carb) with fruits and vegetables on my own because I want to. I starved myself in college to the point of my hair falling out. I tried to make myself throw up but thank God I wimped out - I would have been bulimic for sure. I have never tried the Nutri-system/Jenny Craig foods. I heard someone say that you can do the same thing buying the frozen Lean Cuisines/Healthy Choice/Smart Ones and do the same thing (portion control) but the goal is real food that we have at home. Use a coffee mug for the chili you make, the smaller plate thing works - buy yourself some new dishes just for you. We have all dieted long enough; we know what to do. Following someone else's rules usually leads to rebellious eating.
Step 5 - Get rid of "stinkin' thinkin' ". Practice catching negative thoughts and immediately changing them to something positive.
"If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought." -Peace Pilgrim.
Thoughts are things. They matter. They have power. We are all connected through thought.
Step 6 - If you haven't read about painting your toes please do so. Our appearance affects how we feel about ourselves and I know I need to be more careful about it. Have you ever stayed in your pajamas all day? I have - I felt like a slug. Duane's mother used to get all cleaned up and looking nice if she was going into town for a gallon of milk. I go in and pray I don't run into anybody I know. Save the sweats for the gym or lounging around the house; I don't know about you but I look like a bag of doorknobs in them.
Step 7 - Connect with God. There is a source of strength there. There is comfort and peace. If you are not a Church goer I have a place for you to start. Here in Indiana at 8:30 a.m on TBN on Sunday mornings there is a pastor named James Merritt and the show is called "Touching Lives". He just wears slacks and a sweater or shirt. There isn't permed hair, jewelry, crying/stomping/wiping sweat and all the showy stuff. I am sure he has a web site.
Now we are at the top of the steps, the landing, our goal is closer each time we climb those steps without skipping any of them. It is easier to go down the steps and stay the same or undo what we have worked for.
The steps are always there, however. We can climb them at any time and go as fast or as slowly as we are able to.
We can fall down the steps but we have to climb up them. At least if we fall forward we can get up where we are and proceed. If we start falling, we usually end up at the bottom. If we are counting on falling to the top of the stairs, it's time for a reality check.