When Success Seems Small



One pound.  That’s what I lost last week.

It seems so insignificant and small.

The joy of losing so much weight the week before came crashing down as I stepped on the scale this morning. I was fully prepared for another huge result.  I had been following my plan to the T.  Why would I expect a less-than desirable weigh in?  I must have made an error somewhere along the way.

In my analysis of last week, I came to some conclusions.  My food consumption is still like that of a hard-working lumberjack and yet I seem to stay hungry.  I am drinking more water than in the past but most likely not enough. I have not started the exercise program that was recommended for this lifestyle.  I am eating more fruit than is suggested for weight loss.  No, I am not following the program to a T after all.

I am not one to sit in my discomfort for too long.  After a short abusive moment in my head, I realized I had two choices.  I could head to the kitchen and pop a frozen waffle in the toaster or I could take my 1lb weight loss and turn it into a victory!  I chose the latter.

Staying on course when the light becomes dim can make for some challenging moments.  In the not so distant past, I would have given up.  Talked myself into failure.  Reasoned that success is clearly not my option.  But what do I truly have to gain by staying in that mindset?

Actually, in this particular case.…just more weight.

How many of us sabotage ourselves when our successes seem too insignificant to make a difference?  Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, a professor at the University of Calfornia, Berkeley says: [paraphrased]

“Believing that your ability is fixed is great when the [task] is easy (“I’m brilliant!”), but puts you at risk for disengagement when the [task] is hard and you don’t do well  (“I suck; why [bother] anyway?”).  By contrast, if you believe your ability is something to nurture and grow, those same challenges become indicators of  growth and development.”

Let’s face it, changing an entire decade of poor eating habits is hard.  We can’t expect perfection.  Putting that kind of demand on our psyche is not only unreasonable but dangerous to the forward movement.  If we just realize we are inclined to setbacks, and can accept this with a greater self-awareness we just might protect ourselves from undermining our own pursuits.

I expect that I will have some monumental successes in weeks to come and with that, some less significant ones too.  In the final analysis of the larger picture maybe what I truly want is continued growth toward the ultimate goal and a degree of self love that forgives when goals are barely met.  Today I stand one pound lighter which is one pound closer to long term health, appropriate physical fitness and a certain amount of  ‘dang, I’m hot!’

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One Response to When Success Seems Small

  1. bth says:

    I know the Biggest Loser folks talk about the dreaded 2nd week, so it’s not just you. And a loss is a loss. Own it. Sure you can tweak this or that, but your mind seems to be in the right place and I applaud your efforts. Way to keep going!

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