I Kept Failing
About a month ago, while I was lying in bed reading (no, not one of my steamy novellas this time), I realised something unsettling, yet fundamental to my future development, both as a writer and as a woman. Not necessarily in that order. Trust me, this won't be a pessimistic post, nor will it change the world as such, but it definitely reflects the way my view changed. On myself, on my part of the world, well, pretty much on everything.
Okay, so here it goes. Has any of you ever tried to pursue a diet, hoping to lose weight, only to end up gaining more and more pounds? Even despite all the exercise, all the effort, you were going nowhere? Fine, you can put your hand down now. Yep, you too. Where were we? Ah, the diet. No matter what I tried, or how hard I punished myself, nothing ever worked. Sure, there were always quick results, ones that then brought with them a temporary satisfaction. I achieved something great (meaning I lost a pound or two), so I could celebrate, right? Treat myself, if you like. As a reward. Of course, the innocent chocolate cake went straight to my waistline, demolishing all that I achieved the previous month. Was it worth it? It sure seemed like it that time. But...
Oh, there is always a but...
I paid the price later, big time. It was as if I enjoyed punishing myself for slipping. And I don't care what any fan of BDSM says, pain doesn't always result in pleasure. And yes, I could have chosen any other topic. The failure doesn't have to be about weight, it can be any kind of achievement - or the lack thereof. So, why does it never work? Or at least why it never worked for me?
The answer is simple, yet so elusive. And here is where I feel like I should refer to my two favourite pass-time activities (apart from writing obviously), namely reading and puzzles. Oh, I used to love a good puzzle. And the harder the puzzle, the better. It provided a bigger challenge, and as such, a much greater reward in the end. I was literally obsessed with the whole process. Putting the picture together, piece by piece, until it was whole again. Of course, I would get discouraged from time to time, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would succeed. Why?
Because I knew what I was aiming for. There was no question of 'if' I get there, only 'when' I get there. The same with reading. Have you ever thought about wanting to finish a book, right after you started it? Because you weren't reading it fast enough? Unlikely. Well, at some point, if it turned out not to be your cup of tea, you might have paused it for some time or left it completely, but that's different. I hope you see where I'm getting at. You knew that the book was finished (by the author), and it was only up to you to get to the end of it - again, no question of 'if', only 'when' that happened.
So, why is it so difficult with exercise, or any other achievement? Isn't it the same? Well, yes and no. It's the same, because the ball is still in our court, and as we know, time and effort does equal results. Of course, I'm not saying I will do it the perfect way this time. That would be far from the truth. But that's why I'm saying that this realisation changed my view on my whole life. Slipping a few times is okay. Not wanting to get out of bed one day, wearing pj's and eating chocolate, while stuffing yourself with salad the next - also okay. And I will probably be doing both. But it's okay.
Even when you are doing the puzzle, from time to time, you get a piece that doesn't fit. You need to try it a few times, in a few different places. Sometimes you even have to start the whole thing again. But you know what? It's still okay. Because, deep down you know that eventually the picture will be complete. All you need to do is keep at it, and voila, you are done, without even noticing it.
Theoretically, this should be simple, straightforward and self-explanatory. And yet it isn't. And I've been asking myself the reason behind it for so long that I almost forgot the question. The real question I was supposed to be asking myself all this time.
The Bigger Picture
And that's exactly what I realised while lying down on my bed, reading the other day. And alas, this time there was an answer, too. I failed at all these things, because somehow along the way I lost sight of the big picture. I forgot to trust myself, to have faith in what I already knew - to have faith in myself. I thought about it, and started to look at it as I did back when I was piecing puzzles together. Back then, I never questioned my ability to complete the puzzle, even if I didn't see the big picture. I knew I had all the pieces I needed, and the only other thing was time.
And guess what? I'm succeeding. Slowly, but surely. I had to realise that weight loss (and you can substantiate that for love, relationships, careers, life) isn't a sprint, but a marathon. And I might not see the finishing line yet, but I know that I will win. It's not a question of 'if' any more, because I won't lose sight of what's truly important. And that's the knowledge that I did everything in my power to make things work. Now all I need is time...
Love, till next time