In my last post I wrote about all the anxiety I've been having surrounding maintenance of my weight right now. I decided to take my own advice, step back, and go through the process of discernment that I outlined. The first step is to accept reality: to look objectively at what's going on.
As I wrote in the last post, the anxiety isn't causeless. My habits are indeed slipping from desirable ones to undesirable ones. My weight has changed just a bit, to a slightly higher (but still healthy) number; but it's clear that my attention is misplaced.
- I am anxious about my weight number, even though
- I cannot directly control it; and
- in any case it might be a perfectly healthy number for me.
- At the same time I am ignoring the slow infiltration of old habits, even though
- I can directly control them; and
- I already know they are not healthy habits for me.
That's the reality that I accept.
Let's see, what's the next step in my process of discernment... "Judge whether a change offers benefits."
Heck yeah. I managed to gain all that willpower and lose all my weight when I concentrated my effort on the habits. I never really did manage to stop being anxious about the number on the scale, but by emphasizing the habits rather than the numbers I was at least able to keep from getting discouraged. I could see myself getting better at self-control, and that was incredibly heartening.
So I'm not entirely sure whether it would benefit me to stop worrying about the numbers, but I am quite certain I would benefit by exerting effort, once again, on habits.
I think it's interesting that when I consider making a change at this level, it's the change in attitude and focus -- not a change in eating. I think that might have been part of the reason I've been feeling so frustrated, with so many false starts -- I've been trying to jump right back to "ZOMG must stick to my habits!!!!" I never considered where my efforts will reap the most rewards. And I never considered whether some of the habits that were useful in my first maintenance period might not be so useful anymore, now that I have four children including one toddler.