I consider myself an extremist where my emotions are concerned. I am either black or white, left or right, no real in-between. It’s my way of keeping control of the situations I face on a daily basis—gray and middle areas always gave me trouble so I’ve chosen to keep them out of the equation.
However, I usually get into trouble when trying to utilize my way of thinking on a broader level because people, by virtue of their capacity for making mistakes and being imperfect, are not made to live in extremes. They are meant to wade in the middle…play in the gray—so where does that leave me and my “extreme” thinking?
The above is a conversation I have with myself frequently, and while I am not one to purposely impose unrealistic expectations on anyone, I do recognize that my capacity to tolerate particular situations or things is something that I need to work on.
I mention all of this to say that I am much the same in my approach to food, exercise, and good health in general. One might even call me a bit of a bitch about it because, despite the fact that I have a degree in psychology, a Masters in social work, and years of experience working with women, adolescents, and those struggling with disabilities (both emotional and physical), I still have no problem saying to a person who complains about being overweight, if you don’t like the way you look, do something about it.
Easier said than done right?
Don’t misunderstand me. I understand the role food plays in emotional eating and how that can be an obstacle to one’s ability to take and keep the weight off—despite what people think, lots of ‘fit’ people deal with that same struggle too.
And yes, I understand that it can be hard to fight off genetics role in their plight as well. I come from a long line of women—my mother among them—that struggle with obesity, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, etc.
I empathize with how hard it must be to wrestle the demons, both outside and inside, and still choose to come out fighting hard enough to make a difference for your health. But, I also know that the excuses have to end somewhere. At some point you have to stop being okay with the outside version of you not fitting the inside. At some point you have to make the decision to change and then start taking the steps to make that change go from words to actions.
I made the decision a long time ago to put my health first because without it I know I am useless to those who spend their life depending on me. My body, my food choices, my lifestyle—and make no mistake it is a lifestyle—is all about living in the zone. My zone.
And that zone, whether some like it or not, takes no prisoners.