pounds & persistence

my journey toward fitness and wellness and faith

Hard Work

Weight: 254.2 lb.

My husband has an expression about money. When we’re buying a big purchase and he’s swiping the credit card or handing over a stack of cash, he’ll remark “Wish it earned as fast as it spends!” That’s definitely how I feel about weight loss- wish it lost as quickly as it gained! I mean, one bad decision, a couple of splurge-y meals or a weekend of carefree eating and you’ve gained a few pounds! But one healthy decision, a couple salads or a weekend of working out and working hard, and the scale might budge a pound.

At the end of the day, dieting, much like earning a pay check, is hard work. And so are most of the other worthwhile things. Like building character. In fact, hard work, dieting and building character are all so closely related, I’m surprised people ever talk about one without talking about the others. I know I’m certainly in the midst of a character building season, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about where my hope lies, where I find my happiness. I’ve been exploring the concept of what I value, what is dear to me. In fact, the sermon at church yesterday was about just that kind of idea, and seemed so well timed to me. I’ve learned that, in the past, I’ve used food to soothe an emotional need- I’m feeling stressed, so I could use some chocolate; I’m feeling worried, I could really go for some mac & cheese; I’m feeling happy, let’s celebrate with cheesecake or ice cream! And it’s great, truly wonderful, that I’m capable of feeling this range of emotions, but the way I respond to them may need some work. Essentially, I’m realizing how much I need to re-train myself.

Training is hard. Anyone with a kid or a pet can attest to that. And I’ve somehow trained myself that exercise is horrible and that eating whatever I want is fun, even necessary in certain emotional states. But now that I’ve begun the process of evaluating my emotions when I’m drawn to certain patterns, I need to change those patterns. At my first WW meeting, our leader told us to that it was important to celebrate successes, big and small. She also told us that not all successes would be on the scale, that it was just as much a success to realize that instead of watching a movie with your usual bowl of ice cream in hand, you now chose a bowl of cherries or a cup of tea. She told us that these behavioral changes or mental shifts needed to be celebrated. So today I’m going to celebrate the fact that I’m acknowledging these emotional triggers of mine and seeking to do the hard work to combat the urges when they occur. I’m going to celebrate that this hard work will build character and help me respond more positively to even my negative emotions. At least I know, and knowing is half my battle.



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2 thoughts on “Hard Work

  1. Kathie on said:

    Don’t know if you have been following all of the developments in neuroplasticity but basically we are learning that centers in our brains are strengthened by behaviors and beliefs, for good or for bad. The really great news is that as we change our behavior and beliefs there are actual physical changes in our brains to go along with that. None of us have to continue in old self destructive ways and as we change our brains change with us, to support us.

    I mention this because this morning my trainer said to me, apropos of something she saw on my face, “It’s amazing how powerful the brain is, whether for you or against you”. And then I came home and read your blog where you are really wrestling with all of those links and associations that lead to unwelcome behavior. The power of grey matter! It’s so hard wired. but isn’t it great to know that we can change the wiring–to be our friend, our advocate.

    Here is an interesting link that explains neuroplasticity in a little more detail. If you want to skip the blah blah blah drop down to the paragraph HOW DOES NEUROPLASTICITY WORK? I like the pruning analogy, out with the old un-useful stuff, in with the new helpful more meaningful stuff, or said another way “what we feed, grows”. We have to nurture the new pathways.


    Good luck this week. I think you are fabulous and I love your posts!

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