My Situation Autopsy: A Weight Loss Journey
14 Sep 2015
It was a long day. Just one expectation after another.
One crisis after another…
It was an early morning with the kids, a looming deadline for a report.
I’m trying to stay on the right path and eat right, but the stressors of the day weigh heavy.
What I want is a moment to escape.
The school day is over.
I walk through my front door.
The family awaits.
Karate, dinner, clean-up, bath time, and homework,
I’m getting lost in the list of things to do.
I need a moment to breathe, but I’m not allowing myself the time
I’m pushing through the day.
The stress is overwhelming now.
I want something to ease it all. Take the pressure, help me relax.
Something to comfort me.
I see some chips, and I eat them. I like the crunch and the salt… and once I start it’s hard to stop.
But it didn’t make me feel better; in fact, I’m feeling worse.
Now I feel like I failed myself.
I wrote on one of my stressful days a couple of months ago. I don’t know if you can relate and maybe your Achilles heel isn’t food but something else…
Let me tell you a little about myself. I am a full-time working mama. I have a wonderful husband and three active boys ages 9, 4 and 2. Anyone who has boys know they are full of energy and some days I don’t feel like I have the energy to keep up with them. I work as an elementary school psychologist. Regardless of my degrees in psychology; my poor adaptation to life’s stressors have resulted in 100 pounds of excess weight.
As I was writing, I came across a scripture that seemed apropos to my situation.
Enter by the narrow gate;
for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
and there are many who go in by it.
Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life,
and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV)
For a long time, I was walking through the wide and broad road. For me, the wide and broad road was unhealthy food, lack of exercise and overall laziness. When stressful moments arose, I took the easy way out. I would grab a some chips, make nachos, pizza or go through the fast food drive for dinner. I was constantly making excuses for why I wasn’t making better choices. No time, too tired, and too much to do.
I would find myself getting through the nightly routine with the kids, and then sitting on the couch vegging out to uninteresting television and scrolling through my Facebook feed. I wasn’t making good choices. As I said in an earlier post; I started this journey several times before but this time I want it to be different. As my friend Julian Kiganda founder of Bold and Fearless said on Periscope regarding failure, do a situation autopsy. You need to understand why you fail to improve your outcomes. You can’t do the same thing and expect a different result. With that in mind, here are my top five reasons why I failed previously.
1. I didn’t make me a priority. I am a wife, mom, school psychologist, daughter, sister, cousin, and friend. Anyone who knows me can tell you I would drop everything to be a support to them. The problem with that is that I wasn’t doing the same for me. In fact, I was coming in last, and often it entailed me falling over is a slump on the bed at the end of the day. I wasn’t taking time for self-care, and it often resulted in falling short in some of my other roles. In fact, failing to prioritize me was making me miserable.
2. I failed to plan and, therefore, my plan was to fail. As I said, I am always willing to help, but often that came at a cost of personal goals. I had placed my self-care on the to-do list but I never actually scheduled a time to do it. I may have many great ideas about meal planning and exercising, but if I don’t set a time to do it, it most likely won’t get done.
3. Perfectionist mindset. In my mind, it was all or nothing. I work in a school that always have food available to consume. Previously, if I ate something at 10:00 am that wasn’t on the plan, I would give up for the rest of the day and sometimes the rest of the week.
One mistake doesn’t equate to totally failure. The idea is to bounce back.
I would tell my students all the time that just because you made a mistake this morning doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around and end on a high note.
4. I didn’t gain this weight overnight, and I’m sure not going to lose if overnight. It will take time and consistent effort. I can’t be on one day and off for the next three days and hope to see improvement. Most of us learned this lesson in Aesop’s story about the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. I think this is especially true when it comes to weight loss and other areas that involve improvement.
5. We all want quick results, but the truth is that takes time. We don’t become overnight successes. In fact, when it appears someone became an overnight success we forget to look at how many years they’ve prepared for such success. Recently, I read a book by Mark Macdonald entitled, “Why Kids Make Us Fat…and How to Get Your Body Back”. In his book, he talks about making improvements 1% at a time. So every day, I vow to be 1% better than I was yesterday.
For now, I’m going to take the time to invest in me and make time for my goals. I want it to be different this time, and therefore I need a change in my mindset.
What are some challenges do you face when embarking on new challenges?
This guest post was written by Heather Parsons and originally appeared on The Four13 Blog. Heather is a full-time working mother of three boys (ages 2, 4, and 9). Two years ago she found herself less than twenty pounds away from tipping 300 on the scale. Her weight had spun out of control. It was a wake-up call for her that she needed to make changes. She finds her strength through challenging times in her faith and based the name of her blog on the anchor scripture found in the book of Philippians.
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.