Another great question from my suggestion box! Still have a question? Feel free to submit it here:
Kate B. says:
You seem so upbeat most of the time. How do you stay focused, motivated, and most of all… happy? I don't know if happy is the right word, optimistic, positive… how do you not get overwhelmed by how far you have to go? I can't seem to figure out how to do this.
This is something that is hard to explain because it has to do with feelings, which are ever so fickle! I've talked some before about how this weight loss journey seems different than all 3189 that have come before it in my life. In this lesson: Attitude is everything.
The fact is, I'm not upbeat all the time. Maybe it seems like I'm upbeat MOST of the time. Can I blame that on anti-depressants? (Totally kidding.)
Every day is a battle. Every day is filled with dozens of choices. Take today for example:
- 7am: Woke up late. Was supposed to be at the gym at 5:30am. <Choice 1: Move all other workout days around this week to make up this day. Thankful I did an unplanned 10 mile bike ride yesterday after work>
- 8am: Staring in the fridge. Eye hubs' pre-made PB&J he made for lunch. My stomach grumbles. <Choice 2: Go for the greek yogurt and grab my liter of water (I don't eat bread or sugar)>
- 8:20am: Waiting for estimator to come out and look at repairing something in my house. Head to the refrigerator again. Stare at a 2nd greek yogurt. <Choice 3: Shut the fridge door, sans 2nd yogurt, and grumble>
- 9am: Sitting in Starbucks line. See the sign for a Gingerbread Latte (sugar-yum!). Drool a little <Choice 4: Order a grande red eye w/cream. I normally go for a venti, but since I missed my workout, don't want the extra cream>
- noon: Come home for lunch to eat my pre-prepared pork tenderloin and salad. Eye a bag of potato chips that hubs left on the counter instead of putting in his cabinet. <Choice 5: Ignore the chips, eat the pork.>
- 12:45pm Head back to work, want to stop at Starbucks again. <Choice 6: Drive on by. Leave the calories behind. Grumble, and grab a cup of green tea when I'm back at work>
- 1pm Am told there is extra signature salad, sandwiches and bakery goods from Cosi in the office lobby. Stomach grumbles. Mind grumbles. A brownie sounds freakin' fantastic. <Choice 7: Avoid the lobby and the food. Keep chugging my water>
And the rest goes on. I won't bore you with all the details. But today? I wasn't particularly excited about being on this journey. I was dreaming of foods I know will derail me, and I missed a workout. Add that to the fact that I lost 0 pounds last week and am still bummed about it. I'm not even close to halfway to goal. In previous attempts, I would have gone home, cried, and probably indulged in something not great for me, or skipped the gym tomorrow – this time on purpose.
At the end of the day though, I can look back at each of the choices I made and know that I don't regret them. I do regret missing the gym, but I can redeem myself by changing my workout schedule and making it up later in the week. It's these little victories that confirm that my journey this time is one that is shifting my entire lifestyle. My perspective is changing, even when the scale is not.
What's the alternative?
The alternative would be for me to grumble audibly to the whole world. To talk about how hard it is, or how frustrating it is. While these are true statements, there is so much good that is coming out of this journey.
- If I weren't doing this journey, I wouldn't have done a 5K
- If I weren't doing this journey, I wouldn't have gone on a cruise
- If I weren't doing this journey, I would have never met such wonderful friends – in real life and virtually
- If I weren't doing this journey, I would be too ashamed to dance
- If I weren't doing this journey, I wouldn't have discovered spaghetti squash
- If I weren't doing this journey, I wouldn't have tried spinning
- If I weren't doing this journey, I would be sitting on my couch right now 87 pounds heavier – or more. At the rate I was gaining, I could easily have been 100 pounds heavier than I am right now
So do I still have forever and a day to go on this journey? Heck yes. But looking back at what's happened so far – everything that this new-found health has given me, it is 100% crystal clear that for my long term happiness, I MUST continue. Can you grumble along the way? Absolutely. But that means you must celebrate even more when you get there.