How long does it take?

I was reading a fellow blogger who mentioned making habits and my memory flew back to what I’d previously blogged something about breaking habits (when I quit smoking)

It made me think. (Sorry when I think I blog lots)

But yeah, anyway it made me think, how long does it take? Forever? Then I thought “No not forever… maybe… yes forever”

Is there a time frame on changing your whole life? What we’re doing here, what we are changing either little by little or dramatically, either in the short or long term is our whole outlook on what we do and how we do it and who we do it with. We’re climbing a mountain.

We’re dealing with deep seated issues, some of us will never understand where they come from or why. We’re dealing with genetics which we can’t change.

I kind of got to thinking that we expect to put a time frame on weightloss: “I’ll be at target in 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months” We set interim targets for weight loss. 7lbs by this date and 9 by this. Don’t get me wrong I do it too, I need to but when we do the long term goal we’re effectively setting an end date for what we’re doing and there is no end.

What other life changing experience do we stick a time frame on? What other emotional adjustment do we put a target on? What other mental and physical upheaval do we sit and consciously set goals to accomplish? (OK I know there are people injured in accidents who say they will walk by their wedding or whatever and that’s slightly different I’m talking more about the emotional rather than the physical effects).

How about bereavement? Do we say “Oh well I’m destroyed right now because [somebody I loved] died but if I really put my mind to it, in 12 months I will be over it and ready to continue with my life, I’ll have stopped crying myself to sleep by 3 months and stopped thinking about them by 9 months and at 6 months I will have stopped wishing they were still here. That should do it 12 months and I’ll be all over this. I will have dealt with it and adjusted my whole life and everything I knew and this will be behind me”?

What about divorce? Do we say “Oh well, that’s the end of that, in 6 months I won’t even think of that marriage, in a month I’ll stop being angry about him/her sleeping with his/her boss and it won’t cross my mind again. In 4 months I will stop thinking about the 10 years of wasted life and time I just spent and I will have no more regrets. In 5 months I’ll stop those silly murderous thoughts and shake myself off and love him/her again just for being a person. In 2 months I’ll stop feeling guilty that my kids are now a broken home statistic, I’ll get over that. Yeah, by 6 months my life will be as if that marriage never happened and I’ll be happy again”?

Even redundancy? Do we say “Oh darn I lost my job the career I worked hard for for 20 years, I guess I’ll get over it in 3 months. Let me see, by 4 weeks I will have stopped worrying about how I’m going to keep a roof over our heads and just learned to accept it. In 8 weeks I’m going to make sure that I stop crying when there’s not enough money to buy things my family needs and yeah by week 12 I’ll have forgotten about that career I forged for myself and I will be happy on welfare” ?

Do we heck! We live with the effects of those significant life changes day after day, month after month and year after year (perhaps not in the case of the last one but sometimes yes, even in the case of the last one) we are affected by that change, we are adjusting to that change, we are reeling from that change forever, for the rest of our lives. We learn to live with them, we subdue our feelings, we subdue our pain, we subdue our regret, we subdue our anger and worry but we have to live with it all.

Just the same for us, as former fat people we have to live with it, we will never be free of the fat monster because even if we can totally retrain ourselves to another way of thinking, we will always remember the days when the fat monster was on our back and the way it felt and the sadness we sometimes felt or the rejection and the things we missed out on because of it. As much as we let it go there will be times it pops up.

Goals are good but this is forever and we have to get that right now. Temporariness in attitude when it comes to weight loss brought me from a pretty, chubby 15 year old girl to the 46 year old 300+ lb mess that I am today and I am a mess, no one can convince me otherwise. I do not like what I look like, it is not good. My kids think I’m beautiful and I love that, it helps me, my students adore me and I love that, it motivates me, my friends wouldn’t have me any other way and I love that it gives me a sense of self worth but I don’t like this body and thinking in terms of temporary fixes is a huge contributor to me being here now. It’s why I’ve yo-yo’d all my life, because I got to the end or I reached a target and I thought that was it, over.

There is no “when I’m at goal I’ll….” it doesn’t work like that, we do not keep it up, we don’t. Goal IS not having to think about being healthy, not having lost X amount of pounds, it’s not about being able to run a marathon, goal is about the rest of our lives, goal is loving ourselves, goal is believing we are beautiful and goal is about never giving in to the fat monster again. There is no end date.

So now I want a cake :S  Seriously though I feel we have to be brutally honest and that’s why we have to have a lifestyle plan which is sustainable, our ‘diet’ has to be something we can keep up for always and if that means a minor indiscretion now and then that’s fine as long as we pick back up right away, our attitude to exercise has to be something we can maintain beyond goal and dealing with our psychological issues has to also be a life long attempt at understanding ourselves and why we do the things we do so that we can control ourselves better and keep that finger off the self destruct button.

 

 

 

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14 thoughts on “How long does it take?”

    1. Why thank you kind sir 🙂

      This blog is making me see things in totally different ways I’m actually analysing ME rather than what I eat and what I do, that part seems to be coming pretty naturally, especially with the help of some fab recipes from here.

      Had your quiche again today… yum!

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      1. I’m happy that you like it! I have to update those recipes with some new ones for summer. I really enjoy blogging. Having one keeps the focus on you, and that’s important with changing habits, and more importantly, almost like keeping you in the 3rd person. I feel that I have a bit of accountability to my blog and readers. That keeps me honest and if I fall off, I admit it, but I keep going.

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        1. There is definitely that element to it of other people willing you to do well. I guess that’s one of the reasons slimming clubs work because you are putting yourself out there on the line, your successes and defeats.

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            1. Yes it does. I used to be far more competitive than I am now and I used to thrive off the Slimmer of the Week challenge and was determined to win it. Not to beat anyone but so I had some reward for my efforts. But more latterly that’s become less of a competitive factor and more as you say, proving that I’ve done it. I hate to be shamed and knowing that someone is ‘watching’ makes me fear that shaming if I fail.

              I wouldn’t let it stop me if I gained or didn’t lose, a few years ago I would but I’m so far in the zone this time it will take a rocket to shift me.

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  1. I am working very hard on taking the word diet out of my life. It shouldn’t be a diet. We are all trying to change our lifestyle for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too true, I try to use diet when it refers to what we eat as opposed to an eating plan with the goal of reducing weight. Old habits can die hard but I totally agree with you. If it’s a diet it has a lifespan if it’s a new lifestyle it ends when life ends.

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        1. No, that would be unbearable. We have to develop healthy eating habits and if that means a bit of something naughty now and then so be it, the challenge is moderating that and keeping the vast majority of what you eat healthy.

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  2. Great post 🙂 I am certainly in this for the long haul. There’s no getting around it. My doctor recently told me about a clinic in my city where they assist people to lose weight (not through surgery) and she wants to refer me. I have a friend who has already been for her first appointment and one thing she told me which is significant here is that even once you reach whatever your “goal weight” is (and they don’t set stupid, unrealistic ones, but healthy, sustainable ones), they like to continue to monitor for you for TWO TO FIVE YEARS! And I honestly think if we long-term overweight are ever to have any chance of maintaining a healthy weight and stopping the vicious and destructive yo-yo cycle of continually crashing weight off and crashing it straight back, we actually do need that kind of monitoring. I didn’t manage to keep my weight off last time and I was SO SURE I had changed and nailed it. Now I know better. I just wish I was addicted to something you can give up cold turkey, like smoking, but I don’t really fancy becoming a breatharian 😉

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    1. Thank you for your comments, they really help me to see I’m not insane and I’m not alone in my struggles.

      I think it’s the only way, and that onward monitoring is a great idea. Again I liken it to stopping smoking, after you’ve stopped having a cigarette the support group I attended didn’t say “well, there you go you’ve done it, you’ve not had a cigarette for a week” they continued to expect me to attend for 6 months after my quit date and even then we were invited to attend longer if we wished and it really helped.

      I know slimming clubs give you that life time membership opportunity with free session attendance if you stay in goal but I think once you reach your goal with obesity it’s not jut being weighed that you need or a chit chat about how to lose weight and what others have done, by then you’re in a different mind set, you’ve lost the weight and you need special maintenance support.

      Loved the Marjorie Dawes reference earlier by the way, it made me laugh. I’ve had instructors like here too which is sad.

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  3. Well, the reason I always loved the Fat Fighters segments on that show is that they were funny because there was such a huge grain of truth to them. I don’t always manage but I try and see the funny side of things, even where weight is concerned. You have to – it’s a survival thing.

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