Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Broken Promises

For those of you who know me, it is no secret that I am (well, really, I have been) fat. I wasn’t obese, but I have been heavy for as long as I can remember. I am big boned, according to my unconditionally loving mother.

It’s true. I am big boned.

I was also fat.

In the past two years, though, I have lost a bunch of weight by changing the way I eat.

This is the time where you should congratulate me for my hard work …

Oh, geez. Stop. Now I’m blushing.

Okay, in all seriousness, I have been thinking about why I have been able to sustain a two-year journey toward a longer life. I had tried to do this many times before, but never with much success.

So why now?

All over the world, people are unable to break bad habits. The eat poorly. Smoke. Watch Housewives of Orange County.

I think I’ve stumbled onto the secret to breaking those habits …

All of us tend to make promises that are extremely hard to keep.  For years, I promised myself that I would lose weight. And I promised myself I would lose a ton of weight. I also promised I would stop smoking every single cigarette I ever wanted to smoke between now and eternity.

It always started well and ended poorly. I would break the promise I made to myself over and over again and feel like I let myself and my family down.  

Then I would eat a hot fudge sundae and smoke a ciggy to make myself feel better.  

The feeling of letting myself down begat more negative results. I was putting a negative vibration in the cosmos, which then bounced back to me in a way that was amplified.

I used to lose 5 pounds and gain back 7. I would break a one-pack-a-day habit and then replace it a few weeks or months later with a pack-and-a-half-a-day habit.
So why the new (and smaller) me?

Here is what I changed (at least so far).

First, I do what Kathy Kolbe taught me years ago. I COMMIT … to very little.

I have decided that the only way to change a bad habit is to be present in the thought about that commitment for one day only.  

Today I diet.


If I choose to diet, I will; if I don't, then I won’t.

This seems a lot less overwhelming to me. And if tomorrow I choose not to diet, I won’t freak out that this is my choice for me, for one day.  I can always choose to diet the next day, if I choose.

Small victories lead to big accomplishments. Small losses are seldom the “ball game”.  I am two-sizes smaller today than I was in October of 2011. (So I guess in my case, a small victory led to a big accomplishment in the form of a smaller man.)

I am not going to guarantee that I stay that way forever. The only thing I can promise is that I CHOOSE to be that way TODAY.

Your homework: Try giving yourself a break. When you want to change something, try promising yourself one thing and one thing only. Say, “I will change that something today but guarantee nothing tomorrow.” You may choose, guilt free, to continue on your course or to change your daily commitment to something else. You might find that the day-to-day accomplishments really become the habit that replaces those things in your life that you would like to forget.

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