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.