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This is my third episode of PODSNACKS: The Art of the Diet Podcast. It shall be a weekly podcast, published every Wednesday, starting next week, on September 2. The daily blog will still be written but the podcast will be weekly.
People, how do normal humans do a podcast every day?? I DO NOT KNOW.
Today's episode is about how to NOT solve your weight problem or any other problem that becomes more comfortable than uncomfortable.
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Here's how to not solve your weight problem:
Join a national weight loss program, pick any of them, any one of them, believing you'll solve your weight problem. Keep paying their fees, months after months, year after year. The problem? You never reach your weight goal. Sound familiar? Or, if you do, you have to rejoin the program in order to lose the same weight, or a good portion of it, over again.
I have to begin with a photo to illustrate this doozy of a deep thought of the day.
This is a self portrait taken a couple of winters ago by my lovely expensive camera and wide angle lens mounted on a suction tri-pod on the right side of the front hood. In addition to being a potentially hellacious loss of my main camera and favorite lens, I had a flash unit in my lap, a small remote wireless trigger in my right hand, and I had to coordinate all those things to achieve my vision of the finished photo that I had in my mind.
In recent years, I've developed an aversion to driving long distances, a surprising thing to me as I've been described as “you look like you own the world when you drive.” This agin' thing is narrowing my world and I'm sure anxiety plays a role but, if I was off the highways of life, I wanted to at least document what it feels like. I broke down the end photo this way:
I wanted a photo of me in my car, in motion, while I was driving and looking anxious, but didn't want to achieve this image by having any cars on the road that I could crash into or could run over my camera if it fell off. So, I went to an industrial park parking lot on a Sunday morning. Positioned the starting point of the car near a strand of trees because I knew they would look dynamic on the finished photo if my shutter speed was open enough.
That's the techie part. But, why do I share this story today on this blog?
I had to really get out of what I was comfortable doing…#1 discomfort: exposing my camera to a suction mount on my hood was terrifying to me despite assurances by B&H folks that it would work. I knew in order to get the right photo, it would take many trys at having all these things, the flash, the remote trigger, all being pressed at the same time I was holding the wheel.
Yeah. Kids, do not try this at home unless you are an octopus. A rich octopus.
But, what's the connection to this blog?
I know that there are a lot of folks out there not making progress with weight issues but “thinking” they are working on them. Week after week “thinking” you are on a solidly healthy path but, in effect, not making progress toward your weight goal is the same thing as not being on a plan except worse, in some ways. If you are not on the healthy path to begin with, at least you are not feeling guilty about your failing efforts or delusional about making progress. At best, you are content with staying within the status quo.
The meeting I go to week after week, year after year, seems to have fewer folks who reach their goals. Maybe, in fact, there are fewer people to begin with, I don't know. But, I can't remember the last time someone in the group reached their goal. There are many who return to “start again” and there are those who come week after week and go up or down but it does not appear to be a solidly descending line.
They get stuck. What I worry about is when I'm stuck, I am not at my best. Take avoiding the highways for example. Yes, I can take a photo of what it “feels” like but there's a real downside. My world is narrower. There are many events I don't go to anymore, like a workshop in photography, for example, that I would have normally hopped in the car and gone to, I don't go now. I try to teach myself on line as best I can. I am dependent on someone else to drive me to those events I can't get to on my blesséd back roads that I don't mind driving at all.
It is a supreme pain in the hind quarters. But, I don't really do anything about it. I'm living with it, resigned to it, swerve around it as best I can, like a body in the road. (OMG) And, with each day I swerve, my world narrows.
I think folks who are living with their weight issues by joining a group but don't ever seem to reach their goal within the group after months and months and years, may have a form of this handicap. I'm not saying you don't have your up and down weeks. Not. At. All. What I'm suggesting is that when that is ALL you have and not a steady descending line to your goal and maintaining that goal, there might be some degree of “being stuck” in the membership mix.
They know they've got a problem. They decide a group support will help. It does. But, it doesn't seem to get them from Point A to Point B. It would be like me joining a group of folks afraid to drive on highways who want to get over the fear, and years later, still a member and still afraid of driving on highways. Does it help me to talk about the fear/anxiety issue? Maybe. But, when does talking about an issue become permission to have the problem and make it even harder to solve?
If I'm still not blasting down the highway with the top down and tunes blaring, and restricted to Sunday morning parking lots to create my art, I must just want to show you my problem rather than solve it.
I'm here to tell you that even though I'm sharing this problem, I have no incentive to solve it, but I did have the incentive for the weight problem.
I did it by getting way way, WAY out of my comfort zone: weighing myself every week in front of another human. Like it or Not. And, there were many “Not” days. Every. Week. Year In. Year Out. There was no option in my head to skip it. I set up the discomfort rules with full knowledge of what would make me uncomfortable. It wasn't a sadistic “discomfort” but a “truthful” discomfort. In other words, combat the “comfort” of negotiating a problem you don't tell the truth about in the first place, not even to yourself.
And, if you have done that every week weigh-in at a meeting of any sort, but not reached your weight goal, substitute a non-meeting “official” person and see if that kickstarts your plan. Develop your own witness protection program I mentioned in another post. Do something you've NOT been doing to get you off the “STUCK” block.
I am living proof, as I wave and pass you on my scenic side roads, that being too comfortable with a problem is in the long run one of the best ways never to solve it.