I am just a teeny tiny bit of a control freak. Which makes me marvel at the irony that I have struggled with control over my eating! And of course I have even less control over the scale:(
Not long ago I had an epiphany, thanks to a comment on my blog from Cammy. I had written how I was discovering that the journey for me was no longer just about a number on the scale but more about how I feel. Cammy said, “… Doesn’t it feel more ‘right’ to base your feelings of success on your actions? We can control our actions! …”
Darned if a light bulb didn’t go off above my head when I read that. I am a control freak. I cannot control the scale. But I CAN control my actions. Or at least I SHOULD be able to control my actions. Hello Karen!!
Why didn’t I make that connection before? Probably because I was so focused on losing weight. A number was my goal. But I can’t control the number and I really, honestly, can’t control my weight either, if you think about it. I can control what I eat; I can control what I don’t eat; I can control my exercise. And while the hope is that doing things right leads to weight loss and improved fitness, I am only directly able to control my actions, not the outcomes.
And then I discovered more wisdom, courtesy of Cammy, in an older post of hers that I had read before but at the time I had not focused on this piece of advice, one idea in a list of several great suggestions. She explained why we shouldn’t focus only on weight-based goals: “… I can’t control my weight; it’s as simple as that. I can eat healthy, healthy, healthy and gain two pounds. I can sneak in a few treats and lose a pound. Throw in an extra workout, and stay the same. The scale makes no sense sometimes. My previous inability to understand that was frustrating, demoralizing, and ruinous.” This time when I read the post, these words screamed at me from the page. Oh the logic of it all!
So, much in thanks to Cammy, I have shifted my focus about what I can control. Or what I am trying to control. When I set goals, they are about my habits – eating and exercise, not about what number I want to weigh by a certain date. I would be lying if I told you that my epiphany means I no longer care about the number on the scale. Of course I do. And probably always will. But I no longer let it rule my life. Or be the focus of my goals. Or the bane of my existence. I am a control freak who is now going to use that to my advantage to focus my efforts on what I CAN control, instead of letting the other things control ME.