In the novel, Gone with the Wind, the main character Scarlett often says “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” At the very end of the novel, the love of her life is walking away and her response is to think about it tomorrow. Have you ever done or said that to yourself about something that is hard and you don’t want to face it? I will think about that tomorrow. I have and quite frequently about many things in my life.
Now it is not always bad to put off thinking about and dealing with something that is hard. However, when tomorrow keeps getting pushed further and further away, it can be downright destructive. Sadly there is one area of my life that for about a year now I have been in denial about. I have said numerous times to myself and others, “I will worry about that after….(fill in the blank: we move, the winter is over, this stressful situation is done, etc.)” In a sense I was saying, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Pulling a Scarlett.
It is my weight and eating habits. Years ago after a couple years of marriage where I could challenge my husband in the who can eat more contest, I was overweight. How did I know? My clothes didn’t fit for one, but also because I was tired all the time. Yes, I had struggles and trials that were making me sad and maybe even a little tired and depressed. It was the beginning of my infertility journey. You better believe I was sad. However, sadness does not go away by worrying about it tomorrow and continuing to go the same path. Food does not heal that sadness.
In order to be happy, we have to shake things up and not dwell on what we can’t change. Instead, we need to focus on what we can change and improve. That is what I decided to do years ago when I joined weight watchers with my mother. As my roommate in college once told me, “Exercise is not your problem. It is what you eat. You can forget about wondering why losing weight isn’t working, if you keep eating the way you do!” She was right then and she is right now. Exercise is not my problem. I love to exercise. My problem is that I turn to food for boredom, comfort, and everything else. One day I literally headed straight for the pantry when I got off a stressful phone call. In my head I was thinking, “What are you doing? You are not even hungry. You are just stressed.“
Weight watchers worked for me, because I had to say NO a lot and be careful and selective about what I ate. I was not perfect, but when I had a bad day, I would try harder the next day. The problem is that over the last year, I have been in some serious denial. As the scale number was going up, I kept telling myself that it was not that bad because I was still not at my heaviest number. I was just adding some winter insulation that during the summer I would get rid of it. These thoughts and so many others helped me to actually start thinking and dealing with the problem.
The truth is that the extra weight did and does matter. Since I love to exercise, those extra pounds are injuring my body. For every 5 extra lbs that I add to my body, I am adding 20 lbs of pressure to my joints. This means, that my squats have about 60 lbs of additional pressure on my knees and they hurt. My shoulder injury from push-ups has been struggling under an unnecessary 60 lbs of additional pressure. I am injuring myself for what? Extra food that makes me tired and doesn’t make the stress go away. So that I can live in denial and pretend that I am only a little chunky and my body is just getting old?
This last week I decided that I am sick of being tired and injuring my body. I do not need winter insulation. Instead, I am taking back control of my body and mind from food. I am doing this by no longer eating after I put my girls to bed, drinking lots of water, eating more fruits and vegetables, decreasing the sweets substantially, eliminating stress eating and watching my portions. It is not easy and I am already slipping a little, but I will not give up the fight. I am worth it and if I don’t take control of the eating habits, then I am just wasting my time exercising. I will never have the results I want, without both exercise and healthy eating being a permanent part of my life.
Maybe this is your struggle too. If it is, I commend you for every battle you’ve won, every dessert passed up, every vegetable eaten, every late night snacking desire ignored – and all the water you have flushed through your body.
If this is not your struggle, is there something else that you are putting off thinking about until tomorrow? What is it? Has tomorrow turned into next week, next month, next year? It is time to face the struggle with a positive outlook on your future. Drop the negative thoughts about what is holding you back and go forward with confidence that you can overcome.
I am not on this weight loss journey again because I hate being fat and my body. I am doing it because I love myself and I deserve a healthy body. I want to look good and feel good for myself. I deserve it and so do you. Even if this journey is for me, I know it will not just impact me. As I eat healthier, so does my family. In the end, something I do for myself will improve my entire families’ life. I am worth the time and attention because I am a very important part of my family. So are you!
Have you ever struggled with your weight? How did you deal with it?
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