Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Quote Day

Your life does not get better by chance,
it gets better by change.
~ Jim Rohn

Gonna change my way of thinking
Make myself a different set of rules
Gonna change my way of thinking
Make myself a different set of rules
Gonna put my good foot forward
And stop being influenced by fools
~ Bob Dylan

(This ended up being kind of long. Apologies in advance.)

A Friday Quote twofer this week! Because the first quote is the essence of what I want to say, but how could I miss the perfect opportunity to throw in a Dylan lyric while I'm at it? Heh.

Years ago, I blamed my bad luck on everything that was wrong in my life: a husband who was, shall we say, nipping at the heels of insanity; my girth, of course; my children's distance from me, both physically and emotionally; my lack of money, lack of opportunity, lack of hope.

The common denominator in all the unfortunate circumstances of my sad little life was … me. Until I could accept the fact that I was the one who made those choices, pushed people away and settled for less, and decided to do something about it, nothing in my life was going to get better.

It's a bit of a cliché to acknowledge that we humans resist change, but there you go. The fact is, most of us go kicking and screaming into new ways of living. Here's the thing, though: When the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, then and only then will change happen.

And when that happened for me, I could stop blaming bad luck and start giving myself the credit I deserved.

My biggest and most profound change happened more than two decades ago, when I had my last drink of alcohol. I didn't know I was an alcoholic at the time, all I knew was I was fat and out of sorts and trouble seemed to follow me everywhere I went. I joined Overeaters Anonymous, and they told me I needed to abstain from sugar, white flour and red meat.

So I did, and I made the conscious decision to put alcohol in the sugar category.

My OA sponsor also was a member of Al-Anon, and she thought I might be rewarded by going to some meetings. Hey, I wasn't going to argue with her success. She had everything I wanted, that's why she was my sponsor. So I went, but what I heard was person after person sharing their experience, strength and hope dealing with people like me. One week, instead of going in the Al-Anon door, I opened the Alcoholics Anonymous door and found my true home.

AA hasn't solved my weight problem, though. Um, duh. I did lose a significant amount of weight shortly after I got sober, but haven't been able to maintain that loss. What I have maintained is my sobriety, and that truly is more important than a normal BMI.

What AA has solved, for the most part, is my resistance to change. Whether the changes I've been incorporating into my daily life recently result in that normal BMI or not, they're still working. I'm getting ready for more active "golden" years by lifting those baby dumbbells. (Thank you, thank you, thank you, gingerzingi, for continuing to nudge, prod and suggest that strength-training would make a difference. I couldn't have run – excuse me – RUN! most of my four miles yesterday had my legs not been a teeny bit stronger than they were two weeks ago. Also? Your post yesterday was so good. SO GOOD! Exactly what I needed to hear, especially that pithy statement about time and energy. And that body-image article you linked to. Thank you!)

I'm replacing diet soda with water, which is not only weaning me from artificial sweeteners, but also saving me money. Water's free for me – I drink from a well. As long as the natural gas drillers stay out of the neighborhood, I feel like my water's safe to drink, and there's plenty of it. In 30 years, our spring-fed well has never gone dry.

The other changes I'm making – no snacks, a daily walk, journaling my food/exercise – are great tools which could be beneficial for who-knows-what situation I might find myself in 10 or 15 or 20 years from now.

While it might sound like I'm planting myself in the future (an impossibility, after all), I'm actually consciously living in the now. Now is all I have for sure. And even though it's been less than two weeks, and even though my weight remains the same, these few changes are helping me feel so much more energetic and strong and motivated that I'm going to, as Gladys and her Pips like to say, keep on keepin' on.

1 comment:

gingerzingi said...

Wow! You are incredible! Seriously, you RAN four miles? Holy cow, woman, I can't run four blocks. Not even if zombies were chasing me.

I am SO glad you are seeing benefit from the weight-lifting. Maybe that will be the factor that leads you to love it, and not resent it as something you "have" to do. At least, that's how it worked for me. I did not, at all, love it at first. But when I starting seeing results - I remember the time I PICKED UP the big television in the living room so I could move the furniture, and totally shocked myself! Like, wow I didn't know I could do that! That's a cool feeling.

p.s. LOVE the phrase "nipping at the heels of insanity"