The Line Of Least Resistance and The Excuses That Keep Us There
I can't tell you how many times I've heard: “I don't know how you do it,” or “I wish I had will power like that,” and several variations of the same. When somebody says something like that, I completely understand where they are mentally. I lived in that place. I also think to myself oh my, if they could only have seen me at my absolute most out of control state, perhaps they would understand that this isn't a club where they can't join. I can't go back, so I have to rely on telling stories about how bad it became. I knew that I had some seriously bad food behaviors, but the scary thing wasn't necessarily those things, it was the feeling of I may never be able to control this and survive, I just can't do it. Or so I thought. I not only thought it, I convinced myself that my inability to “get with it” was incurable. I was so lost my friend. I didn't want to hear “it's a lifestyle change.” Because the word “change” meant I might actually have to put forth some effort. I was right at home at the line of least resistance. I lived there. Oh it was fabulous! The line of least resistance was so easy. You get to eat as much as your body can physically hold and if you have to move, you're either on your way to bed, on the way to the fridge, on the way to a fast food drive thru, or somebody is chasing you. The fear of letting that indulgent lifestyle go was often too much to handle. So I would make excuses, rationalizations to make myself feel better. “Well, I'm addicted, what can I do?” I just wrote a long comment on another blog about the topic of “food addiction.” It is real. But it is beatable. How? I had to let go of the idea that I was a “victim.” I had to get super honest about my excuses and rationalizations that kept me fat. Have you ever known someone who's been on a plan for years or a member of a support group for years, but still they're significantly overweight? Why? Why isn't it working? Based on my own experience, I would say it's because they haven't completely let go of their addiction to making themselves feel better about their addiction. Make sense? I was always way too easy on myself. “I'm too stressed,” “I'm too busy,” “I've worked hard, I deserve to cut loose,” “I actually like being fat,” (I recently heard that last one from a friend and co-worker of my wife) “I'll eat all this tonight, but tomorrow I'm right back on track,”---all of these are invalid excuses and rationalizations. Saying things like that will keep us firmly at the line of least resistance. The 100% honesty within me had to identify anything and everything that threatened my success. If it's a thought or action that is counterproductive or potentially damaging to my weight loss goals, I have to stop for a second and evaluate it, then kick it to the curb as I call it what it is...nonsense! I'm completely finished with excuses and rationalizations that kept me at over 500 pounds for so long. Those days are over. I no longer drink a soda pop because “I haven't had one in so long,” and I no longer eat my weight in fried mushrooms and pizza because “I've done so well, I deserve a reward.” I no longer lie to myself about my motives with food, “I can't start in doing good until after the birthday party next week, you know they'll have cake and ice cream.” What that really means is “I just found another reason to allow myself to continue eating whatever and how-much-ever I want for another week!” The frustration and the years of tears and struggles are over, all because I decided to empower myself to change, and I did it with a radar continually watching for excuses that make me feel better about making bad choices. Do I still have stress? Yes! Do I still have an extremely busy schedule? Yes! Once these two big excuses were rendered unacceptable, I started moving toward these dramatic changes. You can't say, “Oh Sean—you make it sound so easy---you're just a different breed.” (that's a quote that somebody said to me the other day) NO I'M NOT! I'm just a guy that had to break this down into a very simple approach. I had to get very real and very honest with myself. I had to stop feeling sorry for myself. I had to stop being the victim. It's not an impossible thing for anyone. You have to believe me, I'm proof.
My calorie budgeting skills were slightly off today. By 7pm, I had exactly 40 calories left for the evening. Very unusual, but it was fine. I still haven't used those 40, which really goes against my “every three hours” approach to metabolism control. I will budget better! How can I ever feel hungry or deprived when I normally eat something every three hours? I'm eating all the time! This isn't deprivation, it's moderation.
I'm really looking forward to a nice weekend. Next weekend is going to be crazy busy in my line of work. I'll tell you more about that later! I better hit the hay. Goodnight and...