Starting out is tough enough.
Starting over is harder still. Continuing? Sometimes harder than both starting or rededicating.
The honeymoon and excitement of discovering something new is over. The initial elation of the first few pounds that came off seems like a distant memory. The first time you stepped on the scale and ogled your first amazing and steady stream of losses will never again be quite the same.
Now you’re back to where you started, or you’re partially there, or you’re moving forward. Still you might not feel progress is as quick as you’d like. You feel like you can’t do it because you’ve never been able to stick with anything before. I mean, what makes this any different, right? This is just like every other time you either sabotaged yourself or messed something up because you knew you couldn’t make it anyway. Starting over isn’t romantic. The magic of rediscovery seems to be wasted.
You feel like you’ve been through this all before. You glare at the eggs. You don’t even find any humor in taking out the Muenster and ‘cutting the cheese’ when your significant other asks you what you’re doing. The light is gone. You’ve given up.
That’s ok. For now. But keep reading.
Life is a series of choices we make. Some of them are wonderful: having children, not having children, starting that business, writing that book, taking up gardening. Some of them are not the best decisions we ever made: going for a chest wax, trying the Epilady on our armpits, getting a pet indoor rabbit when you prefer your appliance cords largely unchewed, thinking roasting marshmallows on lit sparklers is really funny when you were inebriated in college.
No, you can’t have the total beauty of the first time over again, but what if? What if, instead, you looked at something as being new the second time around?
I had a car once, a long time ago. It was my first car, and I bought it from my parents. It was a 1979 Toyota Corolla, and it was a small, 2-door car, but by golly was it reliable. Not only was she a good car, but she could easily seat 6 people (convenient if you need to get your friends to the high school dance, so long as everyone was comfortable in their sexuality enough to sit on top of each other), and it was a stick shift, so the amount of control I had driving up and down the hills of Seattle looking for punk rock night clubs was pretty wonderful.
It wasn’t a new car, but it was new to me. I owned it, and good, or bad, and even when I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to pour oil down the dipstick (well, I knew it came out there, so why not?), I knew that car was my responsibility. And to me, it was a wonderful creature.
Looking at your lifestyle the same way makes for a different attitude.
You own it. It’s yours. It’s wonderful and unique. Sometimes you pour the oil down the dipstick, but you eventually figured it out when your best friend came over, and between fits of laughter, he let you know how things really worked.
Such is the way with life. You wear your seatbelt, buy your insurance, pass the driver’s tests, and occasionally you’re going to get a ticket. Sometimes you might think you can jump the sidewalk, and you find your car being realigned the next day. Getting the occasional tow home because you tried to take a shortcut over moguls in the Safeway parking lot makes for good stories later on, even when the situation is exasperating at the time, and the tow truck driver is snorting with laughter as he hooks up your rig and takes your credit card number.
Laugh. Call the tow truck. Get home safely.
The same applies to your way of eating.
Learn what works for you and what has caused you problems in the past and keep going. It is worth it.
Most of your life will be spent in maintenance, so there is a little bit of magic in beginning anew. Not again, but anew. Look to your strengths and reaffirm your weaknesses. When you falter, don’t give up.
As a mechanic, you can inspect your plan. Use experience and don’t repeat mistakes again if you can help it. Once I figured out I really could add too much oil to the engine of a vehicle (and did), I learned something new. Did it mean I shouldn’t ever own a vehicle? Heckola no. It meant that, like all of life, learning is quintessential.
If you take care of your car, it takes care of you. Whether yours has 150,000 miles, or 900,000 miles, whether you’ve overhauled the engine, or it’s holding on every time you push start it down a hill at your local community college parking lot in Tacoma, WA, it’s yours. Take care of it. Own it. Keep it running.
It’s a great little chassie you’ve got there.
Enjoy the ride.
That’s right sista!!
We all have to take care of us if we want to get to 900,000 miles… or age 90. Thanks
How right you are. Today I was thinking about these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (I actually believe them to have been calling my name, taunting me in the grocery store while I minded my own business) and the whole time I thought how I have been low-carbing for about three and a half years now. Three and a half years and I have yet to meet goal!!! I have lost 40 of the 100 lbs I planned on shedding, but I let myself loosely follow the Atkins plan quite too often. It does get rough but I think that you really hit home with this blog and I really needed it! Thanks for somehow knowing exactly what I needed to read and helping me get serious, seriously 🙂
Great post, Cleo! Thanks for the encouragement you give every day.
It seems as though you were writing that just for me. 🙂 Very nice correlations as I am starting over. Ten carbs-worth of my husband’s yummy beef and veggie soup didn’t throw me off at all, and I’m down 20 pounds as of this morning. Woot.
You have me thinking about aspartame now. And how I drink at least 4 cans of diet pop a day. At least. Hmmm, well I recently discovered Boylan Bottleworks Vintage Diet Soda Pop (sweetened with splenda).
I may try to kick aspartame sometime soon (but if it was going to kill me, I would have been dead when I was 20 … unless it is like bee stings. A beekeeper knows that even though they have been stung thousands of times in their life, the body can suddenly go TILT! game over in reaction to one sting.
Chai Latté says
I adore this analogy! Except, when my last car gave me trouble, I traded the bitch in and got a spankin new one! 😉 If only I could do that with my body!
Thanks for another wonderful entry!
Amy Dungan (aka Sparky's Girl) says
Great post! My lc honeymoon ended a long time ago.. I’ve spent the last few years just trying to keep the marriage together. I’m determined not to divorce! 😀
Expertly written, Cleochatra!
Lee in Nashville
Could there BE a better post for me to read today?? I’m on Day Two of Induction for what seems like the umpteenth time, my weight is hovering dangerously close to a milestone going the WRONG way, and my hormones are driving me crazy. The best-laid plans can go awry, and I was on the verge of getting angry instead of getting back to work. Thank you so much for your encouraging post. I will come back to it often, as I’m sure I will need it.
Sugar Bush Primitives says
Great post, Jamie
That is the biggest challenge to a lowcarb life – learning to live with the day to day ups and downs.
Good on ya, Sweetie!!
Great Great post and I needed it today. I’ve been onplan, but not really having a “spark” to it. Not sure why, just complacent, but just like a good “marriage” you have to work at it. It’s my job to keep the spark in it if I want it there. (And I do).
So, off to find one of your great recipes to try tonight to spark things up a bit.
Your writing struck me in more ways than one today. When you wrote the part about “should I never be a car owner”, I thought about my failed relationship that has/had devastated me. Because I failed in this relationship, does it mean I am never to love anyone again. Reading your blog…..NO WAY, I’m just off to find a better love….Someday….but for today…I’m gonna love me.
That was just what I needed to read today. Thanks!
I have to agree with all the other comments. Excellent post and right on the money! I find my biggest hurdle is keeping on plan when my life takes a turn. Like the renovations we’ve been having done here. I couldn’t use my kitchen for about a week, so unfortunately I took that as a pass on doing what I know is good for me. Sort of a vacations from health if you will.
If I could just figure out I’m doing that before I had eaten all the junk…giggle
Hugs and thanks for the reminder that I’m worth the effort.
Tim & Tamara says
Echoing everyone else, but FABULOUS post Cleo! We can’t “give up the fight”. I chose low carb because it’s the first thing I ever did that actually had me losing weight. Going back to old ways and that weight came back. Low carb and I are on our second honeymoon right now (okay, maybe our 30th really…), but I know the honeymoon will eventually end. That’s when I will have to remember, like a marriage, my committment to this, my vows to myself.
Holy Communion says
I swear you had me in mind when you wrote this. I am “starting again” and it is not the same as last time thats for sure. Thanks for such a great post