Thursday, May 27, 2010

Making Changes

There are two quotes that I am ruminating on this morning. The great Maya Angelou said:
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.

The second is the commonly know Serenity Prayer, originally written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr quoted here it its entirety:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Of course- most know just the first stanza of this- it is widely used in the recovery process from various addictions. 

I am someone who is very apprehensive when it comes to change.  I would not say fearful, but I prefer the known, I prefer to be able to plan my life, I prefer routine.  Change makes me a bit anxious.  There are some changes that just must be made though in order to better our lives.  One example of this is my near constant struggle with my weight.  My doctors have told me that my RA and Fibro would be somewhat better if I were to shed the extra pounds.  The stress on my joints would be less and I would have more energy. 
I am currently in my third go round with Weight Watchers.  My struggle can not even remotely be construed as the program not working.  It absolutely works.  The first time I did it- I lost 20 lbs before I got side tracked by the insanity that was my life then and let it go to concentrate on work, school and moving.  The keys in the previous sentence were I got side tracked and Let it GO.  I stopped working the plan.  The plan did not fail me. 

Weight Watchers has several messages that are important to me.  First- they are not a diet, they are a lifestyle.  They give you the tools, they give you the information and it's up to you to make the changes in your life.  It is only your active participation that will determine how well it works for you.    The second is that they do not- in any way,shape or form, advocate deprivation.  In fact- they teach us that depriving yourself is a sure fire way to set yourself up for failure.  For me- that is 100% true.  When I am told I "can't" have something- it become all that I want.  Rather than deprive yourself- WW teaches you to make choices and to moniter your feelings, your portions and motivations.  Do you really want that ice cream sundae?  Is there a way to make it lower points?  Do you need a large or would a kids size do?  After the first, second, third bite- is it still as fantastic as you wanted or is your craving sated?  And if you are planning to have that sundae- what can you eat during the day leading up to it that will leave you enough points to have it.  There is no guilt involved unless you put it on yourself. 

The important thing is that I am the one who needs to be in the mindset to make the change.  I cannot "blame" the fact that my husband can eat anything and not gain an ounce.  I cannot blame that I am too busy, that I am stressed or any other outside factor.  The change has to come from ME.  Each and every meal, each and every snack, each and every sip, is a choice.  I have to stop making excuses and start using the tools that I have been given and work the program the right way.   Back to what Ms. Angelou said- I have to stop complaining and start changing what I don't like. 

I leave you with something my leader Valerie said yesterday that struck me:  "You need to celebrate the small things.  If you don't celebrate small victories you will forget them.  If you forget them-it's easy to take a step back."  It's time to stop beating myself up over the steps back, and focus and celebrate the small victories.   Only then will I be able to go at this from a positive mindset.  Only then will I win.   

3 comments:

Living It, Loving It said...

Some good advice and I relate to the weight thing. I am right there with you and I know that the weightloss would do wonders for my symtpoms. Good luck.

rheumablog said...

"Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time ..."

I like this part of the serenity prayer best. It really IS the key to success in living mindfully. It's not easy -- we are all prone to getting caught up in the complexities of life, keeping our thoughts fixed on past failures or future dreams, while forgetting that this moment, right now, is the one that's most important.

You CAN change what you want to change, Jules. You know it; you've done it before. And not all change is unpleasant -- sometimes, it can be a real adventure. Why not enjoy it? Why not keep your eyes open for the gifts? Why not allow yourself to feel great because you're the one making this positive change happen? You're the one in control.

May your effort to change your diet for the better and thus become more healthy and live with less physical (and mental) pain be a total and triumphant success. I'm out here rooting for you. I know you can do it.

Best,
Wren

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