Betty's Thoughts, Articles & Resources
Monday, 25 October 2021 11:11

End of the Rainbow?

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Most of us plan a big reward for that day when we reach our weight goal. Maybe it’s a vacation to a dream destination that we’ve always wanted to take. Maybe it’s a whole new wardrobe. Maybe it’s a day at a theme park, or maybe it’s engaging in that activity with friends, children, or grandchildren that our former limitations kept us from.

Reaching a weight goal is absolutely an achievement worthy of celebration. In fact, it’s worthy of a big celebration! It took planning and commitment to make the necessary changes and to take the necessary steps to get to this goal. No matter where you are on your journey, if you haven’t planned a significant reward for reaching your weight goal, by all means, start thinking now! It’s important to honor our achievement and the thought of that reward is part of what keeps us motivated.

And this is where we come full circle in our discussion of rewards, because isn’t walking through our day at goal weight, living a happy life, feeling confident and secure in our choices a reward in and of itself. This is where we started in the theme of rewards. Making deliberate conscious choices feels so good that the act of choosing feels like a reward and the result of our choice feels like a reward. Here, at the culmination of our weight journey, we feel those rewards in our lives on a grander scale. It’s the pot of gold at the end of our rainbow.

So, we’ve got the pot of gold, but is it really the end of the rainbow? Reaching a weight goal isn’t the end of anything. It’s the continuation of our daily practice of creating our ideal day and living our best lives in every moment. Reaching the weight goal might be the final piece in the puzzle of our physical appearance and that’s worth celebrating. So, now what do we do with that picture?

We could dust our hands off, raise our thumbs up, and declare mission accomplished. Or we can step into that picture we’ve been building and bring it to life! As we’ve been working to build our ‘ideal day puzzle,’ we’ve been putting pieces of self-confidence in place. We’ve been building relationships. We’ve been adjusting how we function at work, at home, and at play.

As we build up the picture of our ideal day, we bring that picture to life and transform it from a vision of the future into our current reality. Reaching the weight goal is just one more step that makes a happier, healthier, more joy-filled life a reality for us. Once we reach the weight goal, it’s not time to quit anything. It’s time to continue to refine and enhance the skills we’ve learned along the way.

The biggest reward we can give ourselves is to continue to cherish and practice the habits we’ve been creating. Our old habits were deeply ingrained. Some of them were ideas and thoughts we carried from childhood. Those old habits, even if we’re no longer practicing them, can come back to life simply because they are so familiar. If I had a life-long belief that I couldn’t lose weight, and my current belief - that I can lose weight - is only one year old, then I’m going to have to nurture that current belief and make sure it stays alive within me!

So, we nurture the new habits. We practice them consciously. We stay awake and aware of our self-talk. No matter how many thoughts we transform from negative to supportive, there will always be more popping up. We stay vigilant with our thoughts and train them to be kind and loving.

We practice taking the judgment off our choices. We recognize every choice as we make it and we allow it to be an opportunity to gather information. We notice how those choices impact our lives and our bodies. With that information we make the next choice consciously and thoughtfully.

As we continue to make thoughtful choices, we continue to give ourselves the pat on the back, the attagirl and attaboy we so richly deserve. We reward ourselves for rewarding ourselves. I can’t stress this enough. Once a child learns to stand up, we don’t stop clapping and cheering when she stands up again and again. We keep praising her until she moves on to the next skill, like walking.

The same goes for reaching the weight goal. We reward ourselves with a big celebration. And we keep rewarding ourselves in quiet and constant ways, until there is no life event that could ever have the power to send us back to the behaviors that caused our weight to be out of balance in the first place.

Our ‘new’ habits might feel like second nature to us by now. We might think we’ll never go back to those old habits. On some level, that’s true. But just give us a life event like losing a job, moving to a new city, getting married, or getting divorced, and those old habits are ready and waiting for us with open arms. We feel lonely, unsure, and stressed. We want something, just one thing, in our lives to feel familiar. And we even have a phrase for it in our language. We want comfort food!

So, let’s make sure there’s a huge ‘pantry’ full of comfort food in our self-talk. Let’s make sure we are stocked up on self-esteem and confidence. We want to be absolutely sure that we have a rock-solid belief that we are worthy of living a balanced, happy, well-nourished life at the body size of our choice.

When those stressful situations come up, imagine how you’ll feel when you find your habits of food, exercise, and positive self-talk don’t falter. Yes, you might have to make arrangements to sell a house, move to another state, buy a new house, work out shared custody, or learn the ropes at a new job. But what a reward it will be when you are so comfortable with how to manage your food and exercise plans that they are virtually uninterrupted. What a reward to know that your self-care is so well-practiced that it doesn’t need any help and it doesn’t add to your stress. You may need help with those big changes, but the one thing you won’t need help with is treating yourself and your body with dignity and respect.

There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s just that the rainbow begins and ends inside of each of us. We have all the light, all the color, all the treasure and all the rewards imaginable within us. We can tap into it every day, in every moment. As long as we remember to look for opportunities to nurture ourselves and to reward ourselves, the rainbow always shines and the treasure never runs out.

Read 365 times Last modified on Monday, 04 October 2021 13:02
Betty Brink

Betty Brink is an expert on the mental and emotional aspects of dieting and body image. She is the author of "The Main Meal: The New Perspective on Weight Loss." In seminars, speeches, and consultations, she demonstrates practical methods to quiet the diet chatter, and to empower yourself to make conscious choices in diet, in life, and in relationships.
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