You need to stop sometimes. Coming back to the present moment is a gift to yourself.
You may be the most productive and creative person, with a head filled with new ideas, important tasks to complete, people to talk to, etc. Or you may be someone with a lot on your mind that you wish wasn’t there, worries, regrets, resentments, that you can’t seem let go of. You may spend a lot of time thinking about your next meal, what you should or shouldn’t eat, what you would like to eat, your mouth watering in anticipation. You may be excitedly thinking about your exercise routine and the great progress you’re hoping to make and next challenge you want to accomplish and can hardly wait to do more. Or you may be thinking about the dinner party you’re arranging or invited to attend, and what to wear, what to bring, and how much you want to go, or not go…
Your mind is filled to overflowing with all the good and bad things you’re engaged with, and it’s difficult to put them aside, even for a brief moment. It seems the only time you rest is when you’re asleep, and even that is not so restful. What is going on? Where’s the fire? What’s the emergency?
As you proceed on your weight and wellness journey, you are of course working actively to improve your ways of eating and moving your body, which takes planning and practice, so good for you for sticking to it. But you also need to learn to rest sometimes. To release the burden. Put down your baggage. Find peace in the moment. Be kind to yourself.
Imagine you’re in charge of the process for someone else, perhaps a close relative or friend. You help them devise their plan of action, you monitor their progress and celebrate with them as they move closer and closer to their goals. Will you be a harsh task-master? Will you criticize them if they skip a workout, or indulge in a small piece of cake from time to time? Will you push them to do more, even when they’re exhausted? Probably not, at least we hope not! More likely, you will act like a responsible parent, who loves her child unconditionally but knows what’s best for them. You will instruct, model, encourage, push, explain, persist, give constructive feedback but also lots of hugs, and make sure he or she gets their rest.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… even you. Alice Lamott
Talking about weight control, or talking about life, we need to find the balance between “go, go, go/onward and upwards,” and “stop and take a break.” Is there a danger that resting turns into backsliding and complacency? Not if the rest periods are effective, meaning that they provide the rest, relaxation, recuperation and letting go that brings wellness and restores the motivation to get back to the action.
Stephen Stotland, Ph.D.
This blog presents some of our ideas about the key issues involved in achieving successful long-term weight control.