When I was a kid, they used to have these maps that had little symbols on them (sheep for cattle, oil rigs for petroleum, etc.) that showed the resources of any given region. I sometimes wish I had a map like that of myself, so I could figure out exactly where to find the motivation I need at any given point to stick with this healthy journey.
One thing I’ve learned is that when I can’t seem to figure out what will help me, I can usually find inspiration listening to others, even if the challenges they’re working on our not directly related to mine. I love to hear people explain the solutions they’ve tried, the blind alleys they’ve gone down, the successes they’ve achieved. It makes me feel like this whole thing is do-able, and worth it.
Yesterday, commenter Victoria pointed out quite rightly that our long term goals need to be internal ones – we can’t just lose weight in order to receive compliments or to look good to others. But in order to figure out which goals might work, I find it useful and inspirational to hear what other people are thinking about.
At a meeting that I facilitated this morning, I got so much energy that it renewed my flagging zeal. I heard from people just starting out, people with a long way to go, and people who have reached their goal. As they spoke, I tried to get a feel for their enthusiasm and energy and optimism. None of them said it was easy, but all of them felt as though it was worth doing.
Its been a dreary, wet, drizzly day in San Francisco, and this afternoon as I was walking to the coffee shop to meet a friend, I had a strong urge to buy a warm, sweet pastry when I got there. As I was rationalizing how I might fit those calories into my day, and whether this was a choice that I would be happy with, I happened to walk past a sports boutique. Now, my current long term goal is to “look and feel good in a bathing suit.” So this was a great reminder of that.
Thinking back to the people that I had heard from this morning, I was suddenly able to visualize how great it would feel to go into that shop and check out the bathing suits. There is an amazing sense of freedom, being able to just walk into a “regular” store and expect that they will have something that fits me. And almost immediately I realized how a food choice made for momentary comfort would not give me the same sense of freedom and pride.
I still can’t find a map of where my resources lie, but I’m beginning to see the signposts.