Weighty Matters

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Apathy and Laziness

on May 4, 2014

A long time ago, I shared the acronym H.A.L.T. It’s a caution that reminds me not to get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. (We 12 Steppers are big on helpful acronyms!) For the last couple of days, along with the uncharacteristic case of the blues, I’ve noticed that I’ve been particularly shoulder-shrugging-whatever about my efforts and downright lazy about my exercise.

Today I opted to amend the acronym to replace angry and lonely with apathy and laziness. The good news is that I had the realization while I was finally up off my ass, out of my chair, and out for a walk with Nat and Pyxi. I’ll bottom line it for myself. I have work to do. Always. The effort to be a healthy weight and create a life of health and fitness has not ended, nor will it. Ever. This is not something I can do for awhile, get where I want and then stop. It’s my life. I want it and I embrace it.

There are various theories about how long it takes to change a habit and forge a new one. I don’t think there is ever a set number of days or months. It’s more like it takes forever because the commitment to the new lifestyle habits has to be made every single day going forward. Diseased thinking and old habits that are comfortable even when they are ultimately destructive do not magically evaporate. They’re always around, lurking on the fringes, looking for an opening to reinsert into my life. Apathy and laziness are cracks in my foundation, the little openings through which the crappy behaviors can seep. If I don’t seal up those cracks and reinforce my core determination and the new foundation I’ve been building, enough disease can build up and completely screw me up.

I’ve talked before about determination and the need for vigilance. This post is another reminder to myself. Recovery is not an event. It’s a process.

I feel better today. Just having gotten up and gone out for a longer walk than I’ve done since the beginning of the week helps my mindset. It’s a counter-measure to the laziness. Thinking about this, writing about it, and connecting with my determination beats back the apathy. I have the tools. I know what to do. I’m putting on the brakes, calling H.A.L.T. and continuing my journey.

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2 responses to “Apathy and Laziness

  1. pinkpelican says:

    I realized about 18 months after my surgery that I was always going to need some form of vigilance, some kind of program. I realized that JUST because I was successful with the surgery didn’t mean I was *done*. I’ll never be *done*.

    I’ve gotten out of the habit of journaling again; I will probably pick it back up at some point. In the meantime, I’ve had a little weight gain, about 15 pounds, but I still feel strong and healthy and I like the way I look. Most folks have at least a little weight gain. My main goal is to stay steady, maybe drop back 5 or 10 pounds if I can.

    I find it harder to make consistently good food choices; or rather, I do fine at meals, it’s the in betweens that are hard for me. Noshing is a habit, has always been a habit, and once you get past the point where you literally cannot eat between meals because BLARGH (that stage lasted about a year after surgery for me), old habits are waiting in the wings.

    I like chocolate more than I like strawberries. I like cookies more than I like celery. I can plan to eat as healthy as possible, but noshing is about WANT, not about NEED, and it’s still hard to convince myself that one piece of chocolate now is going to make any real difference to my weight in the long run. Intellectually, I know that the empty calories mount up, but in my gut? I don’t WANT to know.

    It’s just part of the ongoing work that you have to do. Realization, understanding, mindfulness, they all help. Doesn’t change the fact that losing weight is a lot easier than keeping the weight off. Because even without surgery, losing weight is a process that has a finite end date. Maintenance is forever. You aren’t done until you die.

    Having realized that I am not going to be totally successful at curbing my food WANTS (because, honestly, asking me to give up ghirardeli dark chocolate for ever and ever and ever? NOT. GOING.TO. HAPPEN.), I am focusing on a combination of trying to put reasonable limits on my food intake (ie, the chocolate only comes to work or into the house occasionally, it’s not there every day) and making sure I get in reasonable exercise every day. And trying to keep myself occupied. I love to read and goof off like anybody else, but I’m more likely to nosh if I’m sitting on the couch than I am if I’m outside gardening or walking or doing something active.

    The one thing I don’t do anymore is beat myself up for being human. I’m honestly not sure you CAN kill old habits. I think you can do end runs around them, and divert around them, and zig when they zag, but anymore I think of dealing with bad habits like I’m playing an unending game of chess. Sometimes I’ll make brilliant moves, sometimes I’ll play with competency & hold at a draw, & sometimes the habit is going to outsmart me. So long as I keep playing, though, I’ll be okay. Nobody wins all the time, after all.

  2. HALT is definitely something I will try to use! Thanks for sharing!

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