13 October 2014

The Black Dog and the Brat

Having been moving along this personal journey now for a fair few years (I started on my 'serious' weight loss path way, way back in 2007), I thought it was probably about time... so I'd like to introduce you to a couple of my travelling companions.

Actually that isn't strictly true, since I don't recall ever asking either of these guys to accompany me, and can't say that I really care for either of 'em. So 'I'd like to' isn't exactly what I mean...

However, despite trying to shake off these un-called for 'mates', I do rather appear to be stuck with the ungracious pair, who will suddenly decide to step up and join me for sections of my journey. Maybe that happens to everyone - I don't know.

They really can be quite persistent, these disagreeable beggars, but thankfully they don't follow along with me all of the time. They are more like those strange people you meet now and again on public transport, who home in to plonk themselves down in the seat right next to you and then proceed to bore you rigid with their life's woes and their bizarre but heartfelt beliefs on all sorts of odd and esoteric topics, without any apparent pauses to take a breath (or does this kind of thing just happen to me?). Anyhow, they make a journey much less pleasurable and are not what I'd describe as welcome company.

Each of them, even when they show up on their own, is quite a handful. Together, and one of them does seem to bring along the other all too often, they can be an absolute nightmare!

That darn Dog I've mentioned many times in the past. He's not a cute fluffy puppy by any means. More the slavering, hot-breathed, snarling sort of creature who slinks in the shadows and prowls around on the edges of consciousness to push and nurture the darker side of life. He's extremely difficult to shake off at times, and I never quite know when to expect him to show up (although sometimes the triggers are pretty clear). Still, recognising his influence is at play and then remembering to look out for and actually list my blessings (determinedly!) is usually enough to dissuade him from hanging around... eventually. Laina has a few great tips to share for dealing with this chap - all good stuff.

The Brat can be a challenge to deal with too, and she often rocks up for a little attention in the wake of the Dog. She's a particular problem to handle, most importantly because she's my own worst side. She throws temper tantrums to get her own way, and her mantra is 'I want, I want, I want'. She's demanding and selfish and lazy, and has her eye firmly on the pleasures of 'now' and to hell with the consequences. She's the persistent voice that whispers in my ear that 'just one' little lapse in my normal sensible diet is OK and won't harm me, or there's 'no need' to go out for a walk when the weather is bad, or get on the rower, or... She's generally vanquishable by a decent dose of willpower, but... I don't always have that to hand right away.

I guess what I'm leading up to here is that my weight loss journey (and maybe yours too) was, and still can be, hampered and stymied by unexpected and unwanted companions like these. Worse, they don't politely give up and push off when the weight loss part stops and maintenance takes over.

But, the good news is that we are not completely powerless in the face of the blighters, and we can defeat them - or at least give them a good bashing (even if complete victory isn't assured). OK, it might not be easy - but it is possible.

Even if (hmmm, make that 'when') we stumble and fall, with a bit, OK sometimes a lot, of effort, we can get up, dust ourselves down and get back on with our journey. Their arrival is not game over. The cartoonist Stephen McCranie captures this idea pretty well when he says:
“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried”

So, despite whatever or whoever shows up to obstruct us, let's plan to be masters, eh? Or, in other words, onwards, ever...


based on a design by suckmylolly.com