As Steve Martin would say “EXCUUUUUUUSE ME”!!!… but what just happened?? Where did it go? Tell me did we not just put away the backpacks and crusty lunch bags and pull out the sunscreen and flip flops? (my daughter shudders every time I slip up say “where are my thongs”?). Could someone pleeeeeease just whip out their magic wand and make that glorious summer come back???
There is no avoiding it, the cooler months are soon to be upon us. I saw a t-shirt once that said we should combine the months of February and March and call it “Farch” and I agree with this idea 100%. There are only two things I begrudge my parents for and they are: #1. not buying that Tim Hortons franchise in Oakville back in the ’70’s (“Donuts Garth?? who’s going to buy donuts??” seriously…they actually had that conversation 😦 ), and #2. not raising me in southern California where I was meant to be raised.
So here it is, September and already those languid, humid days are behind us, the nights are longer, and the leaves are starting their beautiful kaleidoscope of change. Its funny (well not really but that’s always how we start these sentences), in the spring most of us either verbally or mentally say “The good weather is finally here! I’m going to get out more, get more active and eat healthier!” It’s a time of renewal and good intentions. Patients will opt not to come in until September because the weather is great, there are (a myriad) of better things to do and wonderful vacations to be had.
All of a sudden we turn our heads for a millisecond and BAM!…its fall. The clinic becomes a hive of activity. Appointments never get missed and our waiting list grows. It’s a bit like January 1st. Most often the chorus sounds something like “weeellll..it was summer. There was better food, more entertaining and it was too hot to exercise”. That’s okay though. A couple of months hiatus is fine. Maybe the weight stayed the same or maybe a couple of pounds went on. No biggie.
So now its getting cooler and soon it’s going to be really cool, in fact its going to be stinking COLD (California Dreamin’). Who wants to exercise when its that cold?? And Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner with all the yummy foods, temptations and excuses for indulgence. Then of course its the chocoholics dream day Valentines. Follow that with Easter and throw in a few weddings and birthdays along the way. Suddenly…its spring!!!! Yay! “The good weather is finally here! I’m going to get out more, get more active and eat healthier!” Hmmmm…and a full year has gone by and not much may have changed.
What I’m getting at is, there are ALWAYS going to be reasons not to exercise (its too hot, it’s too cold, I’m too busy, I’m too tired). There are ALWAYS going to be special occasions and opportunities to indulge (it’s this thing called ‘life’). We can’t use these things as obstacles that are keeping us from living a healthier, happier and more satisfying LIFE.
Goals and Setting the Bar…
I believe having goals in life is paramount in achieving any type of success. It worries me however when people come into the clinic post surgery and present a goal that is measured in pounds or dress sizes or months. If you look at this journey in that manner you may be unwittingly setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration. Because life DOES happen. Holidays and parties and ‘slip-ups’ DO occur, and weight loss may very well come to a stall at these times. It is so very important to look at living with this band as a making a lifestyle change. You have this wonderful band and yes it can help you lose that weight by controlling your hunger. In fact it can do that very, very well when used properly. But as I have said before it won’t MAKE your life change. It won’t MAKE your life better. Its made of soft silicone. It’s a device without a brain, a conscience or motivation (sounds like my son on certain days…I won’t say which one in case by some miracle they read this). YOU however have all of these things right?! Sometimes they all work beautifully together and sometimes…not so much right? That’s ok.
Setting small, attainable, realistic goals is important. Remember: don’t set that bar so high that you can’t possibly get over it. That is just begging for disappointment and defeat and who out there wants that? Try some reverse psychology. Dr. Michelle May (of “Eat What You Love and Love What You Eat”) suggests setting that bar so LOW that we can’t possibly NOT get over it.
Achieving a goal and knocking it off your “bucket list” (so it doesn’t become a “@#*! list”) is INCREDIBLY motivating!! And that just fuels the fire and makes us want to keep going. And it is all about keeping going. Set those small attainable goals and work towards them every day. Make healthier choices that are going to help you get over that bar. Eat better. Eat properly. Move more. And having said that…Dont forget to ENJOY LIFE ALONG THE WAY. If it doesn’t totally derail you (and at some points it may) don’t say ‘no’ to the parties and celebrations and dinners out because you have a band or because you have a goal in mind. These are some of the many things that make life enjoyable. Conversely don’t use those events as excuses to consistently over-indulge or as reasons not to live a healthy lifestyle. Life with the band is not a race. It doesn’t end and things don’t go back to ‘normal’ when you reach your ‘goal’ whatever that may be. Life with the band is about lifestyle change. THIS is the ‘new normal’.
We only go around once, and the older I get the more I realize that life is like (no Forrest not ‘a box of chocolits’…OMG thats so ‘yesterday’ :)) ‘Leviathon’ at Canada’s Wonderland….its scary, its thrilling, its exhilarating and its over waaaaay too quickly (I experienced Leviathon for the first time this summer…my next business venture will be selling ‘Depends’ at the entrance to that ride). Don’t put life off until ‘tomorrow’. Make your goals realistic. Work towards them everyday by leading a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly… Don’t give up if you slip up because we ALL do.
Yours in Health, Fitness and an AWESOME ride,