Our Quest to change our lives began in Feb. 2010 and we lost 224 lbs. This is the story of our continuing Journey through the ups and downs of maintenance.
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rationalization

I have been realizing how much this little word has contributed to my obesity in my past and how it tries to take over my thoughts at times even now.  On dictionary.com, the first definition of rationalize is:  
to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.
This is a key way that I have sabotaged myself, by basically deceiving myself or allowing myself to be deceived in my choices of what I eat.  It’s those thoughts like:  This is the last one, I’ll go exercising later and burn these calories off, I’ll start fresh tomorrow, I really deserve this, I’ve had a hard day, it’s just a small bite, it won’t hurt, and on and on.   
First and foremost, I’ve had to FACE the fact that I have rationalized my eating choices and that it is NOT ACCEPTABLE anymore.  In my mind, I’ve even decided to attach a picture of myself to every food choice.  A healthy, on-plan choice will be an image of me at my goal weight and remembering how great it feels.  A high-calorie, unhealthy, off-plan food choice will be an image of the past morbidly obese me that was in constant pain and full of self-loathing.  The me I NEVER want to go back to.  
With each food choice, I am choosing one or the other!  
THAT is the plain reality!
The fact is (in my opinion), that the feeling of having no control is a deception!  The feelings of being out of control or not being able to conquer a craving or bad choice are real feelings but not based in truth or reality.  the TRUTH is, we have a choice!  I have a choice as to what I eat, what I think, what I focus on, and how I choose to steer my life.  We each have MORE control over our lives than we may realize.
For me, this journey of losing weight and getting into a healthier lifestyle has been even MORE a spiritual journey.  I am working on giving into the desires of my spirit over the desires of my body (mind over matter).  It’s about “bridling” the appetites and desires (cravings, sabotaging thoughts, etc.) of my physical body and allowing my spirit and the influence God (my Creator) to guide my choices in what is best for me.  This is why prayer has been my secret weapon in overcoming.  I need to remember that even now!
So those have been my thoughts as of late... as I continually refocus and realign myself to my healthy habits.  I will not give in to thoughts of having no control like I used to in my past.  I’ve seen for myself that I DO have power to control my thoughts and my choices.
Here is a simple plan that is working for me:
  1. Keep unhealthy (high fat, high calorie) trigger foods OUT of the house and/or OUT of view completely!
  2. Keep lots of healthy on-plan food choices in my house and readily available.  Plan ahead of time for going out.  Keep healthy snacks with me when out of the house.
  3. Drinks LOTS of water!
  4. Pray every day for strength to overcome temptations & negative thoughts.
  5. Find ways everyday to be active and move my body.
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On a new note - my husband has started back on the Take Shape For Life Plan and we are excited to help him get down to his goal weight!  He lost 100 pounds in our quest to change our lives but didn’t quite get to his goal.  Then he had to move to Utah for 5 months while the rest of us were in Oregon preparing for the move.  With all he suffers from stress and us being several states apart, he put on some of his pounds he lost (20-30).  So now that we are back together and settled, it’s time to focus on him.  So much of the focus has been on me and getting to my goal weight, having my surgery, running my first 5k, keeping up with my blog, etc.  It’s now his time to continue this journey and reach his goal - and then BOTH maintain.
I realize so much moreso now, how much choice and control I DO have over my life.  To change things takes EFFORT and WORK, and sometimes we shrink from that.  But then down the road, we’ve often only created more work.  NOW is the time to take control of our lives!  We are worth living a happy and healthy life.  If you don’t like your circumstances, then CHANGE them.  If you don’t feel that you can, then write down what you need to do and your goals, write down a plan of action and then PRAY everyday to be able to do that.  I know for myself that God hears our prayers and does grant us power to overcome our trials!
Rainbow we saw the other day while driving - it goes right into the lake!  Gorgeous! 
Life is good and SOOO worth it!  One good choice at at time.  
XOXO ~Margene

7 comments:

Absolutely, Positively Josie said...

Margene! Thanks so much for helping me out on my blog! I've been swigging water all day after your helpful reminder. Funny how I'd just let the water drinking go.

I love your plan, especially #4, and I love that you acknowledge this as a spiritual journey! Putting those mental pictures with food choices...that's a cool strategy!

<3

Karen said...

Great post. It feels so good to make choices that bring health rather than unhealthy things.

Thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

Sometimes when we get healthier..it gets easier to rationalize a bad choice...after all, it wasn't one bad choice that got me 100 lbs overweight. But the thing is, momentum is everything. I like the idea of attaching a mental picture or image to the choices. IT seems like a very good way of deterring b ad choices. Good post.

prairieprincess said...

Amen, sister! You have articulated some things that I have been thinking about the last few days: how much of this battle is the spiritual battle. Great post!

Joy said...

Great post my Friend! I love your action plan!! So excited your Hubby is going back on plan. He will reach his goals!!

Keep up the great work and stay focused!!!

Miss you!!!!!!

gracies tough journey said...

Great post. It is so spot on. I agree that more so than a weight loss journey it is also a very spiritual. I have been on my journey for now, one week shy of a year and each day is a new day. I sometimes feel that each day is the beginning again. But now more so than a year ago, I know I am not alone and I really never was. Sometimes I thought I was. But,as the saying goes, I now am found. God Bless dear friend. Gracie

Rettakat said...

Wonderful, wonderful post, Margene! And how blessed your husband is to have such loving support. I know he'll make it to goal, too. It's his turn, and his time. :-)