My husband’s been lamenting his health lately…
For years he’s been advised to lose the pounds however, current lifestyle choices put him in a danger zone of sorts. After a recent health scare during our Vegas vacation, he seems to have a renewed sense of urgency to shed the pounds and get healthy. Surprisingly enough, he asked me to help him get there.
Now, I like a good project as much as the next person, which is why i’ve accepted my husband’s challenge to help him adopt a healthier lifestyle. I’m worried about his health and frankly, I’m tired of hearing him whine about it. (Where I’m from, there’s no crying in baseball.)
That may sound brusque but I’ve been along for the ride on many of his crazy “I’m going to eat healthy and get in shape” trains that inevitably derail.
As many people often do, my husband’s frequently tried to lose weight before. He’s attempted a bevy of approaches including everything from fad diets and extreme exercise programs to popular and mainstream diet options like Weight Watchers, South Beach, Zone Diet), and all to NO avail.
Time and time again, he’s tried these various programs or concocted his own weight loss spell because he thinks it will provide him with an out from his labyrinth of unhealthy living. But it never does.
While he has the best intentions, he seems to leave basic math out of the equation and gets a bit militant about what he’s allowed to have. He deprives himself of things he likes and instead of learning moderation or how to make a healthier choices he goes through a ‘have not’ cycle that makes him crave that which he’s ‘given up’ much faster.
Eventually the stringent thinking he tries to subscribe to backfires and suddenly, he’s throwing a rebellion for one and caves to cravings but instead of having a bite, he binges. That inevitably kicks off a self destructive cycle where he’s trapped in a perpetual continuum of self-loathing. It is beyond sad to watch.
From there he spirals further, ending up as a yo-yo dieter cautionary tale. Off the rails and reeling from defeat, he begins to overindulge in all the bad habits he disavowed a few days before. Now he’s heavier and feeling more defeated than before, if that’s possible.
Everyone knows there’s an unfortunate and accompanying stigma associated with being overweight. Society fat shames the obese & praises the scary skinny so it’s no wonder deterred dieters enter an inner dialogue of self destructive thinking. It’s madness.
I totally get it’s hard to break cycles. While i’m not overweight I’m not in the best shape either and I’ve been working on it steadfastly for a decade. I really believe the key to sustained lifestyle changes lies in changing your process–not in just the day to day choices you’re making but also, the rationale behind your decision making.
Dieting is stupid and by design, sets users up to fail. What my husband should be focusing on, instead of drastic eating and exercise programs, is a paradigm shift in his thinking. He’s not giving up anything, all he has to gain is the benefits from healthy lifestyle choices but he quickly forgets that and caves to his inner critic when his cravings get a ninja grip on his brain and won’t let him think otherwise.
Self-doubt is an inner bully trying to push you around & kick your ass. It’s a negative inner dialog seems to be the loudest when individual willpower is low. Don’t let it. Yielding to your inner critic found lurking inside is a trap. Free yourself.
Working on one’s health is a process: therein lies a crucial point for anyone on a journey toward any goal, health or otherwise. Goals take time. Establishing clockwork takes time. Stay on the path, keep on trucking and continue on the journey.
Getting in shape is part black magic a sprinkle of luck, and a heck of a lot of determination and I firmly believe that if you change your perspective and you change your world.
Here’s hoping i can help my husband alter his and realize he’s not giving up anything but trying a nutrition program that incorporates portion control, math and regular physical activity (and I don’t mean walking to the fridge to get a new seasonal IPA).
Really, I mean it all with love.