Everyone wants the magic secret when they first come to me. They want the effortless solution that will melt their fat away and give them joy. I always disappoint. You can't get the prize without running the race. Trophies, ribbons, black belts and achievements all mean very little to us if they are not earned. A karate master can give you the black belt and you can even wear it and it might change your life for a while with the external recognition and congratulations, but it won't change who you are inside. The same is true for earned weight loss or any other goal you have.
I have many clients who come to me after fast doctor supervised weight loss, surgery, or a stringent diet plan, panicking that they will gain the weight back. I believe it is because they don't own the accomplishment and feel it can be taken away. They have changed the way their body looks, but they haven't done the internal work to maintain it.
Weight loss is hard work. This is not bad news. On some level we need to be challenged. We need to show ourselves what we are made of. Many things in our lives come very easy with the modern conveniences and the abundance of our nation's wealth. Our spirit longs for internal victory,it longs for the test that pushes us to be more than what we are today.
Shortcuts to joy, including overeating and overspending, give us a sense of pleasure temporarily. "Earned joy" is when we do something in our own lives that gives us a permanent sense of fullness without eating. Losing weight the hard way-by uncovering what is causing you to overeat in the first place and then doing something about it-is one of the best ways I know to earn some true joy.
Hard work with a permanent reward is something we ache for. Pushing ourselves to be more and blast through our limitations mentally and physically can be the medicine so many of our mildly unhappy hearts need.
So the next time someone offers to help you lose 10 pounds in three minutes– remind yourself to take the long way and not to sell out to a shortcut. The journey that requires you to work on yourself has a better view and the destination is sweeter than any brownie I have ever tasted.
May 2006 be your best year yet!