The Discipline of Change

In my last post, I revealed that a t-shirt was the catalyst for the changes I’ve started making over the past two years.

One deliberate shift in my behavior (what I was eating) caused me to fit in a new t-shirt.  That was the first small step I took in realizing that, even after countless years of believing otherwise, change was indeed possible.

And a few months after that, as the Earth’s odometer flipped from A.D. 2011 to 2012, I found myself a hundred pounds lighter and in desperate need of a new wardrobe.  So we put the money into new clothes, considering it a worthwhile (and necessary) investment.

When we make big changes in our life, it’s tempting to hang on to things from our pre-change world.  You know, just in case things don’t work out.  But I didn’t want to give myself that parachute.

So, I donated all of my pre-diet clothes.  All of them.  Nothing left but the new, smaller stuff.

It’s true that failure is always an option, but we can also opt for success.

I made up my mind that I had worked too hard to simply turn around and head back to where I had started.  That had been my normal for far too long, and returning to that normal was not an option for me.  So, I put the energy into learning the terrain of my New Normal:

  • What I needed to eat, and in what combinations, and when, and how much.
  • What I could still eat, but how much of that was too much.
  • What I didn’t even have the urge to eat anymore.  Or drink.  (I’m looking directly at you, soda)
  • How big of a weight window I could give myself, so that I wouldn’t completely obsess about staying this particular weight, but would also know when I’d strayed too far and needed to cut back on some things.

Learning how to be disciplined in those things helped me build a sturdy foundation on which I could successfully establish my New Normal.

And two years later, I’m still walking this road successfully.  Even better than that, though, is the fact that successfully maintaining my weight loss has encouraged me to seek some other much needed changes in my life.

The moment that I saw myself in that t-shirt for the first time has served as a tipping point in my life.  Developing the discipline necessary to keep the weight off, even if it were only to be able to keep wearing that shirt, has been one of the best things I’ve done.

What do you think?