I saw the title phrase on a t-shirt and couldn't figure out where I had heard it. I thought maybe The Princess Bride. Wikipedia suggests I may have heard it on The Simpsons. It is what came to mind as I read Laura's post from yesterday (luckily today's seems more hopeful) and also as I reflected on my mood of late.
I have been frustrated with myself because I look back at my Weight Watchers chart and I have just been bouncing around in the same range since I rejoined in September. I just did a 10K leg in a 5-person marathon relay race this last weekend and I have been grumbling about my slower-than-hoped-for time instead of being proud of myself for finishing it on a very cold and windy (40 mph gusts) day. It's as if I feel that this self-flagellation is somehow productive. But it's not. All it does is drain precious energy that could be put to better use in actually doing positive things to work toward change.
I think that pattern is fairly common, hence the title of this post. Beatings never seem to motivate us or improve our morale, and we continue to try them anyway. Not beating ourselves up can feel like we're letting ourselves off easy. I have had enough negative role models in my life to know that the people who are always abusing themselves for the things they should have done seem to use it as a substitute for action, not a spur toward change. I am not going to be like that. I would rather be like the woman in my Spinning class who is 72 years old and still looks great.
So what's the secret to getting this right and making it work? Today's new Two Fit Chicks podcast has a clue. Special guest Lynn says that maintenance is not a "Hail Mary Pass." I think that's the way most people, even those who are told to say "It's a lifestyle, not a diet," tend to approach weight loss, as if they can get it off as quickly as possible doing whatever and then figure out how to maintain it later. Here's a hint: If you're doing something you hate so that you can lose weight, what are the chances that you will continue to do that thing you hate once you make it to that magical weight goal?
I want to point back to my Energy Management post because that's how Lynn said she stopped her weight gain when she found it creeping up on her. She said she thought back to how she felt at her happy weight. Carla also talked about wanting to feel like she could run, even though she doesn't like running. Both of them had the right idea, though, focusing on why you want to achieve your goal and looking for things you love to get you closer to it. Some examples for me: Spinning classes. Runs in the sunshine (now that we have some). Trying new Weight Watchers recipes. Keeping great food around so that something healthy and delicious is available if I need a snack. Stocking up on (zero-point) fresh fruit. Eating only until I feel satisfied, not until all the food on my plate is gone and my stomach feels uncomfortably full.
I had a dream the other night and was fascinated by this woman in it. She looked so familiar. After I woke up, I realized she looked like the self I'm trying to become. I'm really grateful that I had a glimpse of her (me). It gives me something positive to work toward.
No more negative self-talk. Eyes on the prize, lovelies.