How many times have you tried to lose weight? I’ve tried so many times; I’ve lost count. After three or four attempts, the waters get muddled. Time and time again, I’ve stared at the numbers on the scale, wondering what the secret is to make that number go down. I know I’m not alone here. You’ve been on that scale too, wondering where that weight came from or if taking off your earrings will take off that extra ounce or two you need to get rid of. You and me, we are walking the same road, taking the same weight loss fork and ending up in the same place. It wasn’t until I did something daring that the scale began to drop. I took the lifestyle change fork. Now it’s your turn. Join me on the path less traveled.
The Lifestyle Fork
Taking the lifestyle fork hasn’t been easy. It has had easier moments than the weight loss fork in that I don’t restrict my diet like I did before, but it has required a shift in mindset and focus. I have been forced to think about painful things without reaching for the brownie I usually use as a crutch. I’ve had to think about the future, not the present, and what effect my current choices were having on my future.
Taking the Path Less Traveled
One of the things I try not to think about is mortality. Sounds weighty, right? Very few people want to confront their mortality. I do it every day thanks to my job as a home health nurse. I see so many people in their 60s and 70s who didn’t make great lifestyle choices and, as a result, can’t walk or breathe without oxygen, or even leave their homes. The thought of that happening to me terrifies me every single day. That terror helped edge me closer to the lifestyle fork. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to convince me to take it.
The other issue that I don’t like to think about is related to the first, but it has a whole new level of motivation attached to it. My son is a year old. I would love to live to see him hit 60. It’s feasible but not likely if I don’t take care of myself. I can’t keep wandering down the weight loss road and live to meet his grandkids. This idea isn’t something I find scary. It is exhilarating. I now have a goal that is much less vague than avoiding the oxygen tank in middle age. It was this motivation, combined with my fear, that helped steer me down the right path. I put down the box of Twinkies or the family sized bag of M&Ms. I chose my son and his future.
This change in mindset is what must happen for a lifestyle shift to begin. I’ve spent so much time avoiding this change in my life because I thought it would be hard. I was right. It is hard. It is during the hard moments that I must sit down, regroup, and remind myself that I can climb the fence in my path if I have to. The journey only ends if I let it. Don’t let the fear of the fence keep you from the road need to you take.
Who or what is your fear if you don’t change? Who or what encourages you to make yourself into a better version of who you are now? After all, what do you have to lose, other than habits you aren’t happy with? Answering these questions will help you make the first steps down the lifestyle fork. I’ll be waiting just inside when you get here.