Friday, July 26, 2013
I have struggled with getting to a healthily, happy weight for much of my life. Whenever I would bemoan the lack of progress in my weight loss (usually because I had stopped doing anything conducive to weight loss), my dad would regale me with the tale of Rocky. Up before the sun comes up, fighting (literally and figuratively) for a dream through hard work and unfavorable conditions. Rocky probably did not have a whole heck of a lot of fun during those sweat-filled, bandana-wearing training sessions, but he did them anyway. Because they were a necessary step to a goal. No overthinking, no excuses, no ifs, ands, or buts, just pure doing.
Maybe that's the trick. Maybe Nike really does know what it's talking about when it's telling its consumers to "Just do it".
Here's what I do know. When I watch movies like Rocky, I can't help but feel that is what is required to truly succeed. To view one's situation objectively and then take necessary steps to obtain the desired result. Even the lovely Audrey Hepburn knew this to be true when she said, "You have to look at yourself objectively. Analyze yourself like an instrument. You have to be absolutely frank with yourself."
I am an emotionally driven person on the whole. I generally take pleasure in thinking. But thinking can be dangerous in the weight loss arena. It gives us time to divert our motivations, create obstacles and excuses.
Whether thought is a weight loss detriment or not remains to be seen. However, all I can say for sure is that whenever I think about the struggles associated with weight loss I always hear my dad in the back of my mind saying, "Be like Rocky". Then "Eye of the Tiger" begins thumping away in my mind, and I can't help but feel like success is possible and that hard work can feel truly satisfying.
So my friends, when the mind starts to reel and the little anti-weight loss demons seem too much to bear, remember:
"Be like Rocky."
Saturday, July 20, 2013
I often curse the new ads that have started plaguing the beginning of YouTube videos recently. However, while waiting for a trailer to begin, I took notice of the ad running before it. Check it out below:
This particular ad is actually a Dove commercial entitled "Dove Camera Shy". If you took a peek at the video I am sure many of you can relate. How is it that something so innocent, and innovative really, as a camera can cause such a strong reaction in people, particularly women?
Native Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century believed that having your picture taken could steal your soul and often refused on spiritual grounds. While I'm fairly sure most of us who run from the camera aren't necessarily concerned about it taking off with our souls, I do believe there is something inherently personal about being photographed.
I am passionate about photographs. The preservation of a memory that can take place in just an instant and be passed down through generations (technology is amazing but I believe in still printing out the special ones) astounds me. I cannot count the times I have looked back on old photographs and felt as if I have just relived a moment in time. But when you are overweight and/or otherwise unhappy with your appearance, running from the camera becomes second nature. And who can blame you--I don't want to be forever immortalized in my current state and sometimes I feel like my weight intrudes on a perfectly good memory in picture form. Not necessarily something I want to look back on.
But don't let the picture steal your soul. When you're photographed, smile. You're on a journey, someday you may (or should, really) look back on those photos and remember how hard you worked, how much you cared about your life to change it for the better. Don't be camera shy, smile, fake it 'til you make it, don't let the memories of your struggles be overshadowed by your successes. The struggle builds you, you are allowed to smile about it.
Friday, July 19, 2013
I was driving home from class tonight, passing under a bridge just at dusk, when I looked up and saw something beautiful. A bird was quite literally soaring across the bridge. Wings outstretched, the last rays of sunlight shining through its paper-thin feathers. For the briefest moment I closed my eyes and let the wind pouring in the window touch my face, and I felt it too--weightlessness.
And not just weightlessness from the pounds weighing down my body, but relief from the constant suffering I put myself through by prolonging weight loss because of fear, self-sabotage, and lack of will to continue. For just a moment, I let all of it go--physical and emotional--and let myself feel the weightlessness that bird must feel soaring in the twilight air.
The moment left me quickly and I drove home, feeling once again tortured by a continuing barrage of thoughts about weight loss, food, my body, my health, my looks. I closed my eyes, sitting at my desk looking out into the settling sun, and I realized that if I ever want the peace and freedom of that soaring bird I must prove to myself, to no one but me, that I am capable. No more selling myself short, no more self-sabotage, no more tomorrows or Mondays or 1st's. Just now. I do not want to see another sun setting and feel disappointed in myself. I want to look at the birds in the sky buoyed upwards and onwards by their outstretched weightless feathers and feel as they do.
You could technically call this Day One of a weight loss plan, but I have thought of it that way too many times. This is just plain and simple IT. My time, my time to begin and never stop. But birds traveling long distances cannot make it very far on their own. That's why they travel in their neat little V patterns, to keep the headwind from taking them all down. I hope together we can push past that headwind, and I can't wait to become a part of the community here on SparkPeople. So happy to be here!
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