I’ve been in this “last time” weight-loss/maintenance mentality for nearly 7 years (how crazy is that?). Enough time to sit back and recognize cycles. There are times when I’m all in, no holds barred. There are times when it takes everything I have to stick with it. There are times when I’m, “Eh…whatever.”
For instance, I’ve learned to not look ahead at the assignments on the syllabuses for my courses because I get so dang anxious about all the stuff I have to complete before the end of the semester, even though the end of the semester isn’t until mid-December! My teachers didn’t cram every assignment into one week because they know it takes time for students to take in every aspect of a particular course. They don’t expect us to know how carbohydrates are absorbed until we know what the heck a carbohydrate is. They don’t expect us to know how to prepare a complete meal for 300 people until we know how to order and figure (using math…of course…which gives me a headache) the proper amount of food needed (“as purchased” vs. “edible portion”). Looking ahead only gives me sleepless nights. Who needs that?
When I read the following blog from January 2009, I was reminded to “stay with the drip,” to stay present. So I am posting it here again…probably for the 10th time, since I seem to be reminded of this often…to remind myself that I am losing 10 pounds the right way and I’m learning dietetics the right way. Slowly. In order. In the moment. I hope it will speak to you, too, whether you are losing, maintaining, studying, raising children, taking care of someone, or otherwise needed in some capacity. Breathe. What else do you have to do right now?
“With dripping drops of water, even a water jug is filled.” Dhammapada 121-122
How many times have you read an inspiring quote like this and said, “Yeah…I’m going to remember that,” only to fall back five minutes later into the same old same old?
This quote, though…I need to give this quote props. When I read it on Tuesday night, I was distracted by the sound of water dripping in the kitchen. Thinking I’d left the faucet slightly on, I ignored it and figured I’d check it out on my next visit to the kitchen. A few minutes later, I heard “splat, splat, splat” and I knew it wasn’t the faucet. We were having an ice storm, and what I found was water dripping from a leak in the roof.
I dug out a bowl and a towel and laid them under the drip. Water dripped slowly with an off-beat cadence for another few hours. Eventually it stopped and the bowl had filled to a few inches. I could have dumped it into the sink, but then I thought, What the heck? and watered one of my plants instead.
What a little serendipitous outcome. If my original plan had been to gather enough water from this roof leak to water my plants, I’d have been ticked off at all the time it took to gather a few inches of water. But my plan was to merely save my kitchen floor from a mini flood. The bonus wasn’t foreseen.
But isn’t that what a “diet” is? A bucket and towel and only one hopeful outcome? But when you stick to it, that rudimentary plan reaps far greater benefit. That’s what most people who aspire to lose weight miss.
I remember when I weighed 300 pounds and all I wanted was to lose weight IMMEDIATELY! As in RIGHT NOW, the moment I decided to join Weight Watchers. But it didn’t work that way. Not everyone gets that because right now, Weight Watchers centers and gyms all across the country are filled with people wanting a torrential wave of weight loss rather than a slow, steady drip.
But as so many of you reading this know (and I realize I’m preaching to the choir, but with the hope of reaching a few new eyes), weight loss is a slow, steady drip. Four years ago, when I started this journey, if someone had told me I’d still be grappling with weight issues after the big loss, I’m not sure I’d have kept it up. But plugging along month after month with the drip, drip, drip of a pound here and a pound there, it wasn’t (and still isn’t) so bad.
What I’m saying is, stay in the moment. Day after day. Count your calories, Points, fat grams, carbs, whatever, but stay with it. Stay with the drip. Your bucket will fill up eventually (and your ass will diminish). Be patient. Be still.
And remember, roofing contractors don’t usually work in the winter. You’re on your own.