Hit your pause button again because I have two more simple questions (question 3 and 4) on offer to generate your next leap forward.
Strengths and weaknesses are opposite sides of the same coin. Turn over your coins. Are you seeing how your strength opposes a weakness? Do you know your weakness has a strong counterpart? How are you using your puzzle pieces? Or have they been using you?
3. What lifestyle area is too strong and firm?
Locate the strong piece in your weight loss regime. Has it become so strong that it is suppressing another area from developing? Once you find it, brainstorm the options which would soften your strength and allow the weaker, but necessary area to grow. The best ideas come from what people judge as crazy or stupid, so don’t exclude anything from your brainstorming. The best option needs to be:
1. Small enough to manage
2. Big enough to make a difference
3. Fun enough you want to do it
Maybe your daily life and exercise routine run like clockwork, but there is no time left to spend in the kitchen preparing simple honest foods. What part of your strict regime can be softened to allow more flexibility for kitchen time?
Keeping things simple is a cultivated skill, but are you over relying on the same foods day in and day out? Allowing yourself an additional 15-30 minutes at the grocery store, with permission to deviate from your habits, could result in your discovering an unfamiliar seasonal vegetable and fruit, or a novel whole grain. You may even discover your next favorite food.
Maybe your strength is that you are losing weight, but have become dependent on prepared diet meals?
Softening strengths will not make you weak. Nor do you lose that strength. It is yours. Softening a strength allows the space for weak areas to grow. When weak areas have the opportunity to grow, you become stronger.
What strength is growing in the shadow of your weakness?
4. Where is the weak link in your weight loss endeavor?
Believe it or not a weak link is often serving an important role and purpose. Your job is to figure out what that is, and for that, you will need to do some honest detective work.
Examples are gold, so I am going to use one. You really want to bring lunch to work, but it just isn’t happening, even though the motivation is there. Do a walk through in your mind to locate the true root of the resistance. Do you prefer going to and from work empty handed as opposed to toting lunch and returning with something to wash? You like hot meals, but have the idea bringing lunch will be a cold affair. Are leftovers adored or to be avoided? Does eating out enable you to avoid the office lunch room? Is there peer pressure to eat out coupled with subtle bullying for any non-conformity? Have you labeled people who bring their lunch as “cheap” and believe others will see you the same way? Has lunch become the only time of the workday you enjoy? Most everyone has haunted childhood stories, is there one standing between you and your bringing your lunch to work?
What is motivating you to NOT bring lunch?
Zero in on the real reason
You will know when you land on a truth because of the distinct feeling in your mid-section. Once you have it, brainstorm options to find the solution which will address THAT truth. Include ALL your ideas, especially the crazy funny ludicrous ones.
Weak links become strong (in a good way)
when the truth is seen and acknowledged
If there simply is NO REASON why the link is weak, then find a strength that will support it. If you are a social person that hates exercise, then make your exercise the social event you wouldn’t imagine missing. You love a clean kitchen, but hate cooking. How about doing the clean-up for the cook? Baking makes your heart sing, but you’ll never cross your weight loss finish line if you keep eating your creations. How about setting up a trade – your baked items for the neighbor’s home grown produce?
Your cat and dog need to be best friends – not fight
Your cat and mouse should collaborate – not play games
And your lion and lamb so peaceful they sleep together
It is amazing how stable a person’s inner world becomes when they begin to look at both sides of their coins. Let your curiosity turn over the coin of your strength. Then let it turn over the coin of your weakness. Strengths and weaknesses are simply qualities. It is how you use them or how they use you that makes them positive or negative.
Push pause and stop at your self-care station regularly. Clean up is easy when you stop to look when life is good and running smooth. Waiting till something is broken and strangling you makes self-care stations very uncomfortable. Expect to leave your self-care station on a better path than the one you arrived on. In fact, stay at your self-care station until the better path comes into view, call me if you stay stuck too long.
P.S. Weight loss is not a race. Healthy living is a lifestyle you grow into and never grow out of.