“The real moment of success is not the moment apparent to the crowd.”
George Bernard Shaw
In weight loss terms, we think of the moment of success being the day we get into those size 10 jeans or walk ito a room of family & friends in a close fitting cocktail dress and hear the gasps of adoration and amazement when they witness your complete transformation.
But this isn’t really the moment of success. This is the reward you get for sticking with your task, up to acquiring that moment of success and after it. The moment of success is when you skilfully navigate the rocky path of going ‘off plan’ then getting back onto it.
When you are new to an eating plan and have done everything ‘perfectly’ since the day you began, it is easy to think you have cracked it. You have now changed. You have adopted this new healthy eating lifestyle for life and this is now the ‘real me’. But it isn’t.
Sooner or later you will have an incident, wake up in a bad mood, experience hormonal bodily changes, or just feel a feeling wash over you that you cannot control, that makes you want to abandon your plan, eat ‘what you want’ (in your mind, this will likely be all those fatty, sugary foods that you have declined since embarking upon your plan) and generally stick two fingers up to the diet, to the goal you have set yourself.
It happens to everyone, it is completely normal, it is even welcome because it gives you a brief respite and a chance to indulge your inner child that is currently having a tantrum inside you for chocolate! By all means, indulge. Go off plan. Have your ‘forbidden’ food and enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty. If you are going to indulge then do it without guilt and really enjoy it, savour every mouthful. Relish each bite. Then bask in the warm glow of satisfaction that you get from a full belly, and if it happens then also feel the pain of an overfed stomach, the uncomfortable bloating, the lack of ease when sitting down to the toilet to ‘go’. That is part of the experience when you have been nourishing yourself with healthy food and suddenly you go off plan. You have to take the rough with the smooth.
This ‘going off plan’ is normal and gives you some balance in your life. No-one can be ‘perfect’ forever, so embrace it.
The real slimming moment of success comes when you get back on plan. When you re-gain your focus, and once again go back to caring for your body in a healthy way, nourishing it and enjoying the low fat treats that you learn to make for yourself when you are focused and in the moment. This is me in the photo – at the gym this morning because it’s a fresh year and I’m back on plan!
It may take several times at doing this before you can really claim getting back on plan as the ‘moment of success’. If you are anything like me, I need proof that I can do it before I claim that quality as my own. I wouldn’t say after one ‘blip’ then I’m back on the plan that ‘I can do it’. I have to have several blips and several consequent recoveries before I can truly say to myself, I CAN DO IT. And I say this so firmly because I know it as my truth.
It means my weight loss is slower than most. I am not a slimming motorway- straight to destination with single minded focus. I am more a country lane walk. A ramble to my destination taking the scenic route but savouring more scenery on my journey.
By doing it my way, I have learned the skills I needed to learn to stay at my target when I get there. I know how to maintain. If I have a slight gain after a period of indulgence, then I get my (metaphoric) ‘big girl pants’ on and apply myself to the task at hand, to get me back to where I want to be.
This truly is the moment of success.
It is the moment no-one else sees. The moment when you are alone and making decisions for yourself. The moment no-one will give you any credit for when it happens because they don’t know about it. But it is also the moment that no-one can take away from you because it is internal.
You are strong. Your moment of success, when you lay claim to it, proves this. Keep that faith in yourself because you CAN do it and so can I. And we will.