"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Staying Honest

I'm almost three weeks into this vegan life and I have to say that somedays I feel that I'm starting to wane. My weight loss is noticeable but it's not significant enough to celebrate yet. I mean, I still can't wear my wedding ring and that cute little black dress is still pretty snug. Long term gratification can be hard when I'm looking at almost a year to reach my true goal. That seems like forever in my book and I'm a "live in the moment" type of person. It's a good thing I have some support systems built up, but I'm wondering how strong they are.

Last night I experienced a bit of a set-back. Been working hard on a project all month, spent hundreds of dollars and untold amounts of valuable time that I could have been doing something more lucrative and when it fell apart it forced me into a bit of a tail spin and the first thing I wanted was FOOD. I texted a friend and said, "I want ice cream" to which that friend said - "I won't if you don't". Right answer! I didn't and I woke up this morning glad to have been honest to my goals.

Sometimes staying honest means being honest with your emotions. Instead of trying to stuff them down, pretend they don't exist or bury them with the good feelings that we get from eating our favorite foods, it's good to be honest with disappointment and experience the pain that comes with negative emotions. It's not always easy because NONE of us wants to feel pain - we are all pain avoiders and who can blame us. The very nature of pain is UNPLEASANT. But if we lean into the pain eventually we work through our discomfort and can move on. We all need a shoulder to lean on at times and it's alright to do so. Good friends and loved ones want to be there for you, just as you are there for them sometimes.

Being honest with ourselves is also crucial when we are undertaking some kind of transformation in our lives. I have a little free tool that keeps me honest with my food goals, livestrong.com. If you sign up and go to "my plate" you can record your daily food and exercise intake. You can plug in your weight, lifestyle and weight loss goals and they will tell you how many calories you need to consume plus they will break down your food into carbs, proteins, sugars, sodium etc to ensure that you get the proper diet. With your exercise they will even estimate the amount of calories burned. There are all kinds of articles and forums for additional healthful support if you need it. And did I mention that it's FREE? Yes, it's a great tool to keep you honest and motivated. Just make a promise to yourself that you will not lie and that you will continue to record in it every day. If you have another program that works for you, by all means, do that. The point is to be brutally honest with yourself about your food intake, exercise and emotions and you will be able to weather the storms of disappointment without throwing your goals out the window.

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