"The future comes one day at a time." --Dean Acheson
In the last week or so I've had three people drop me notes about seeing my before-n-after pix and reading my story. They've been extraordinarily kind, and I blush to confess one of them said I'm 'inspiring.'
I very nearly just tossed off replies along the lines of 'Remember, if I can do it, YOU can do it!' But I drew myself up short: what would I have thought two years ago if someone had shared their success, and I read they'd lost half their body weight, improved their health, and achieved their goal(s)?
If she'd said 'Oh, well, it was nothing - if I did it, anyone can do it,' I think I wouldn't have believed it. I can imagine telling myself the following:
1) 'It's probably easier for her. She has--' More money, to join a diet group. More time, to work out. More strength, and more energy, and better health, and... You see what I mean.
2) 'She's not as old as I am, so she didn't struggle with losing weight like I do.' Which is, of course, complete nonsense. If you have 140 pounds to lose, it doesn't matter if you're 28 or 58 or 88, for that matter.
3) 'I bet she doesn't have to worry about tracking all her food - she's probably a lot better at eying portions and resisting temptation.' You know that's not true; I'm just explaining what I would have been telling myself.
That gives you the picture. What my - dare I say it? - stinkin' thinkin' would've amounted to is excuses. 'I can't because--' 'S/he could because--' 'It's different for me.'
No, no it isn't! It's the same hard struggle for everybody. Whether you join a weight-loss group and have meetings and face-to-face support, or whether you learn and develop your own 'plan,' it's still difficult. Whether you change your lifestyle and incorporate diet changes with exercise, or whether you just improve your diet and fitness 'a little,' it will still be just as tough. Whether you've had surgery or worked with a dietitian or simply used Spark as your guide, it's hard.
It's hard every day. It's a choice, every day. It will be that way forever - for me, for the rest of my life.
I started out thinking 'I want to be THERE, but THERE is so far away. What I do today won't make a difference.' And after enough days like that, after enough false starts and I-give-up's and negative self-talk, I finally thought: one day. Just one day. One day of... call it deprivation, call it sacrifice, call it missing out on the goodies and walking for ten minutes, ONE DAY won't kill me. I can do one day.
So I did that day. I made a choice - well, truth be told, probably several choices: breakfast, lunch, supper, snack, walking - and made the right decisions THAT day.
There have been enough good days, days of good choices, that I've gotten this far. (And no, I'm still not THERE yet.) It's not luck. It's hard work, and determination, and times when the despair is overwhelming. It's refusing to give in to temptation - no, not. one. bite, because one bite will undo me. It's gritting my teeth and not looking back at wasted years and procrastination and regrets. It's doggedly moving in the right direction, little by little, millimeter by millimeter, no matter how small the achievement and how tiny the progress.
I'm not tougher than you are, or stronger than you are, or smarter than you are. I'm not luckier and I don't have better genes. I'm no different from you at all - we're exactly the same.
But months ago I made a choice - one day. Just one day. The days have added up, to years now. And I still make that choice each and every day. I don't always win. I don't always make the right choices. I'm just as fallible as you are, just as weak and confused and prone to feeling I can't do this, not even one more second.
But I do. For any 99 steps backward, I manage to take 100 steps forward. And that one step - that one choice - is what has gotten me here.
So yes, I guess if I can do it, anyone can do it - YOU can do it. But you hafta make that choice. You have to take one little step in the right direction. It's such a little thing, but it's a hard, hard thing to do, the hardest thing you will ever do. And you will have to do it forever - for yourself, for the rest of your life.
You can, IF you want to.