Have you noticed that some people count every calorie, know every minute of exercise they’ve done, and how much they have left? And others can tell you whether or not they’ve hit their goals, but not to the ounce or the second. And still others take the attitude that healthy is a state of mind and as long as they’re moving in the right direction, it’s all good?
Different styles, different approaches, but, we hope, similar successes, with one of the main goals being weight loss and maintenance.
These differences slapped me in the face this week, as I was discussing the ‘when is it enough’ question with some friends. Some of them have had fabulous successes, losing 50 pounds or more and keeping it off. These particular women push themselves to the limits of their exercise capacity, and eat a very limited diet. They reminded me of my old WW days, in which I weighed and measured everything and never stepped off program until I came within 2 pounds of my goal.
I used to be obsessed. But at one point, I realized that I was simply trading one obsession for another. Another way to say this was that I was no longer dealing with emotions with food, but was substituting the WORRY about food to deal with the emotions.
Somewhere along the way, I said ENOUGH. My personal goal is balance, both internal and external. The journey is important, as it’s the way to learn how to actually live a sane and happy life. These friends, with their conversations about pinching ¼ of an inch on their triceps, or seeing a wrinkle in their skin, say that they’re happy, but sometimes, like this week, they end up saying ‘why can’t I be happy the way I am???’
The answer is simple, actually: you can be happy NOW. That doesn’t mean you can’t work on changing your body contour, or tightening up some part of your anatomy, but allowing these physical issues to run your life and define your self-worth is self-defeating in the long run.
My measure: if a friend came to you with these issues, what would you say? would you join them in the self-flagellation? or would you try to steer them into a less punitive view? Do you deserve less?