I had a friend on MFP (My Fitness Pal) confess some extra eating on her post this morning. All her feedback was so kind, telling her to shake it off and saying that everyone does it. That is very kind and a reaction we all have to someone we care about.
I remembered all the Weight Watcher weigh ins, the people I connected with through RS, (Richard Simmons) and all my friends who are trying to lose weight, we all comfort each other with these kind words. It is hard to see someone you care about struggle, we dig deep to find supportive responses to ease the pain. Now I’m not suggesting we shame each other. That is counter productive. But I think we go overboard on this sometimes. We jump right into soothing that persons sinking spirit, we want to rescue them from beating themselves up. But in the middle of it all we can sometimes become desensitized and miss the life lesson we can learn from these struggles. Also, continuing to just shake it off every time is a slippery slope to self destruction. It just makes it easier and easier to eat things or amounts that stop or slow down our progress.
When has anyone ever just decided they were going to quit a diet? Most struggle or fail over and over and soon just slip off. It’s like when I started gaining some of my perviously lost weight back years ago, some people would say “Why did you gain back that weight you worked so hard to lose?” Well, duh, I got tired of feeling good? People ask stupid questions, with the best intentions but without thinking. I guess it’s human nature.
I really needed to read that post on MFP this morning. I did a personal inventory myself. I have not gained any weight since I started this, but I have had more plateaus than I would like. I know your reaction is that this is normal. But I know I was on that slippery slope. You know, the nibble here and there, a pinch of shredded cheese while you are preparing that casserole. The extra glob of olive oil when you stir fry (100 calories a glob). That huge portion, 1 tablespoon of butter or peanut butter becomes 2 or 3. I preach honesty, but I struggle daily being honest with myself regarding those little grey areas. I think it’s human nature to rationalize our behaviors.
This is what my reply was to my friend; “I have to commend you for posting this. I would probably guess 90% of the time people go off plan, don’t post it or confess. You are brave, because you really want this. I’m not going to tell you, it’s ok, or shake it off, or all the pat answers to make you feel better. I also won’t shame you, because, yes, you are far from alone. But let this be a teacher. Remember how it felt the next morning, and it will help you think twice next time you are tempted. I so respect your courage, and just the fact that you would post that, tells me you really want this! Blessings to you my friend!”
I just want to finish this saying all of these bumps in the road are teachers for us to become stronger. Unless we are truly honest and have trusted friends we can share these things with, the success can be extremely slow or even impossible. My strength comes first from God, then from my trusting confidantes. These people are priceless to me.