Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Is it worth it?
Sticking to the plan is hardest for me at night. I could have had the healthiest day of eating and then get thrown off of my game by forces that compel me to put food in my mouth. Usually it's to sooth an emotion like boredom, frustration or anger. Sometimes I'm feeling happy and I just want more of it. And what better way to increase my happiness than to eat 2 Weight Watchers mini bars, a frozen brownie, popcorn (you need something salty to counter the sweet), and one of those delicious chocolate chip cookies from Costco (back to sweet)? By the end of my rampage, I have consumed everything but the kitchen sink because I have become a mad woman for 1/2 an hour. It's as if there is a buzzing demon voice telling me that I'm not satisfied and I need to find what's next to assuage my angst. And when the 1/2 an hour is up I feel disgusted and ashamed.
These truly are forces for evil fighting against my scale. Now, because I have found some great tools at my Weight Watchers meetings, sometimes I can muster up another voice asking me:"Is it worth it?" Unfortunately, the buzzing demon wins often and it is a constant battle of good and evil inside my brain.
I remember when my meeting leader wrote that phrase, "Is it worth it" on a big poster and drew a heart around it. Sometimes the answer to that question is yes (cheesecake on my birthday) and sometimes it's no (eating peanut butter out of the container with a teaspoon). Seeing that little message was a eureka moment and I took a picture and set it as the wallpaper on my iphone. Believe it or not, it reminded me of a Jewish teaching that usually pops up around the High Holidays when I am preparing sermons.
Maimonides (a famous 12th century commentator) writes that a Jew must view herself and the entire world as equally balanced between good and evil, and that her every word, thought, and action can tip the balance towards good or evil. Each of us can have a tremendous impact on the world and on ourselves.
Well....that is a little overwhelming to think of myself as having that much power. Talk about pressure. But let's think of the implications. Each and every moment has the ability to change the future. The immense injustice in the world can make us feel helpless to change anything, but this teaching says that important change starts with the very next decision you make. That is empowering and I think that the same principle goes for weight loss.
When I first began my weight loss journey 14 years ago, the idea of losing 40 pounds seemed impossible. But Weight Watchers told me, start with a smaller goal and 1 action step. Lose .8 and get a bravo. Lose 5% of your weight and get a cute little 5% key ring. Make one change this week in your diet. Introduce one fruit that you don't normally eat. Walk for 10 more minutes than you did last week.
It also erases the past. The only thing you need to think about is the decision you make right now. It doesn't matter how many times you have put the pounds back on. This is the moment to make a change. Not tomorrow or Monday, right now, and only you can do it.
In essence, it all comes down to this moment. Growth and change only happen through small decisions made in the present. Sometimes I say that I will never be able to keep up a healthy lifestyle of eating, but I'll let future Dahlia worry about that. Right now, the only thing I have to ask myself is, "Is it Worth It" and I'll go from there.
Posted by Dahlia Bernstein at 4:37 PM