Starting is tough enough.
Starting over is harder still. Continuing? Sometimes harder than both starting or rededicating.
The honeymoon from the excitement of discovering something new is over. The initial excitement 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 but 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 as 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.
See, 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 the smallest little car, but by golly was she 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 she 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, she 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 seat belt, 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 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 the mechanic and his vehicle, 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 you 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, it’s yours. Take care of it. Own it. Keep it running.
It’s a great little chassis you’ve got there.
Enjoy the ride.
This is a terrific post! Thanks for helping us to make sense out of the life-plan. It’s not just about shedding the pounds, but maintaining, and learning along the way. Very well-put.
Thank you so much, Lauren! It’s really hard because that first week is weight loss up the hiney. Then it stops. What then? I mean, heck. Do we stop brushing our teeth because it’s no longer fun, or do we do it because we know it’s the right thing to do for tooth health?