Our Own Worst Enemy

“Behavior is the key – changing it is the lock,” said a wise Weight Watcher recently on the Core message board.

She is so right; we are our own worst enemies. We have the power to unlock our potential and make positive changes in our lives, and often we don’t, or feel like we can’t … inadvertently holding ourselves back from reaching our goals.

And though she was referring to weight loss, the quote can be applied to virtually anything in life. For example, you can’t expect to ace your final exam if you haven’t studied the material all semester. You can’t dance in a recital if you don’t practice your routine. And you can’t write a novel if you don’t dedicate time to your craft.

I lost weight the old fashioned way–practicing eating less and exercising more until it became an ingrained habit. And because I changed my behavior by becoming a much cleaner eater and keeping up my exercise routine, most of the weight has stayed off.

But since losing weight, I’ve heard lots of people saying that the “diet” they are on isn’t working, and it always makes me a little leery. There’s a million reasons why they might not be losing: they’re eating too many calories; they aren’t exercising as much; they’re in that vicious cycle of restriction/binge; they stopped journaling or acknowledging portion control.

The truth is, if you have more than a pound or two to lose, and you eat less and move more, you will lose weight. Barring a thyroid or similar medical problem (or it being that time of the month), there’s only one thing that could be standing in your way of losing weight or staying the same: it’s that reflection in the mirror.

(Personally, I know I gained a little weight back because I started getting cocky with my points–often going over. It wasn’t Weight Watchers that wasn’t working, it was me, eating more than my body needed. It took me a long time to admit it, but I was truly my own worst enemy.)

It’s a harsh reality, but if you expect miracles and don’t make lasting changes in your behavior, then the weight won’t stay off, even if you lose it in the first place.

No one wants to hear this; when it comes to weight loss, people want the easy way out. That’s why there’s an entire industry that touts packaged meals, the Master Cleanse, crash diets, weight loss pills, etc.

Many people want to diet themselves down to their goal weight … and then go back to a sedentary lifestyle and daily fast-food consumption. They aren’t ready to change their behavior so it endures, and so they gain weight back…and then yo-yo throughout their lifetime.

Before blogging here and beginning therapy, I was certainly my own worst enemy when it came to my disordered eating issues. Because I was so consumed with my weight, I was unable to change my negative thoughts and behaviors, which was holding me back from finding pure joy in life.

Day by day, I feel like I am unlocking my potential, and am grateful for this journey. Though I am a long way from being “cured”, I know that when I look in the mirror, the person staring back at me isn’t, to quote that Pink song, “a hazard to myself.”

But I can’t get too cocky; I could very easily slip back into my pre-blogging state of mind, the way I fell into pre-Weight Watchers thinking (and subsequently gained a few pounds).

Perhaps we are never truly out of the woods when it comes to battling our own internal demons, but we can certainly strive to tame the beast so we can live with her.

How about you? In what ways have you overcome your own worst enemy?

2 thoughts on “Our Own Worst Enemy

  1. It’s funny how we are the one person who wants these changes in us more than anyone else, and we’re the biggest obstacle to overcome! I like that key/lock saying because it’s so true. My WW leader would end every meeting by making us all say “the only difference between someone who made it to goal and someone who didn’t, is the person who made it to goal wanted it more.” It’s so simple, but it’s true. Whether that goal be weight loss, trying to be your healthiest self, or even studying for a test – if you make it to your goal and others didn’t, it’s because you had a bigger drive!

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