Learning Patience – Diet Day 26
For as long as I can remember I have struggled with having patience. Some of that struggle is self-induced and part of it is environmental. We live in a society where instant gratification is not just expected but demanded. No one these days wants to wait for anything. Whether it be traffic on the freeway or service at a fast food restaurant we expect results to occur immediately.
Being impatient is not something I have just come to realize I’ve known I have this personality defect for quite some time and I have wanted to immediately fix it but that never seems to work. Before beginning this diet I needed to reach some sort of agreement with my subconscious that I would not freak out if I didn’t get results quickly.
That is of course easy to say before you begin something. But all of my years living with myself I knew it was never going to be that easy. The Take Shape For Life diet seemed to understand me and my insane need for results. At the end of the first week I had lost ten pounds and it felt great!
The problem with a big number like that in the first week is that you come to expect that every week. After all, I am doing the exact same thing every day so why wouldn’t I expect the same results? That is where I started to fail.
There is absolutely no way for those kinds of weight losses to continue each and every week. For one, it is not healthy to lose weight too soon. My body is going through several changes and as a result weight may not come off as quickly but I could still be making progress. That all sounds good on paper but when I stepped on the scale after the second week and saw I had only lost three pounds I was not happy.
I kept reminding myself that I was still losing weight and was getting closer to my goal even though the number was not a huge one. I remained diligent and continued to work hard to make sure that I could rebound and have a larger weight loss number for week three. You can probably imagine how that played out.
After refocusing and adding exercise to the program I lost a measly 2.5 pounds the third week? How is that even possible to have the weekly total slow down while my level of effort speeds up. To say I didn’t take it well would be an understatement. I was beginning to question whether to even continue this diet. Given the rate of diminishing returns I would actually start gaining weight as this thing progressed.
For the first time since I began this journey I questioned whether or not I could be successful. This coupled with the constant reminder of what I was missing really took its toll on my psyche. But then I came to an epiphany of sorts.
I didn’t gain all of this weight in three short weeks. It took years and years of poor eating and lifestyle choices to get me to where I was before I began this diet. Why should the weight just fall off without hard work or time passing?
This has acted as kind of a mental awakening. I looked back over pictures of myself from 1998 through 2011 and saw the slight changes that came with adding a couple of pounds here and there. I was lulled into thinking that this was a result of getting older not because of something I did.
I seemed to be content with the knowledge that I put on five or six pounds a year and didn’t really seem that motivated to move the scale in the other direction. It was easy to sit in front of the computer snacking on a bowl of ice cream or a candy bar. I thought of this as a stress reliever after a long day of work. I exercised extreme patience when it came to putting the weight on, why should I not have that same level of patience taking the weight off?
I’ve had the opportunity to interview several Major League Baseball players over the past 14 seasons and there is always one cliché that you can guarantee to get during the question and answer sessions, “The baseball season is like a marathon; not a sprint”.
I wish I had a hot dog for every time I heard that phrase but then if I did, I’d be dealing with a lot more weight loss issues that what I currently am. That same cliché that I dreaded hearing is likewise applicable to about everything in our lives. This diet is like a marathon and I too need to take it one step at a time.
Even if I don’t lose another pound on this diet I should be content that I now are more aware of how I need to approach these life changes. Oh who am I kidding, if I get on the scales on Friday morning and find out I have only lost a pound or worse didn’t lose any weight this week I am going to be freaking mad. Alas, maybe I’m not as smart as I think I am and you can’t change a lifetime of mental habits regardless of how much you should.