Living in the Problem? Try Living in the Solution!
By Dr Noelle Nelson on July 31, 2013
You’re annoyed. You promised yourself you would lose that weight, go to the gym, get in shape to join your friends in a much vaunted walk-a-thon. Yet here you are, six months later, one month away from the walk-a-thon, and you’ve only lost a couple of pounds, your trips to the gym are spotty at best, and you’re starting to make up excuses to give to your friends.
But what could you do? Work takes up most of your time and energy, the kids and your spouse eat up what’s left, and who has time to work out when there’s lunches to pack, dinners to make, house cleaning, laundry and chores to do, soccer mom/dad duties and all the rest?! Not your fault, you try! And who can resist a little comfort food now and then to soothe the day’s irritations? OK, a lot of comfort food, but what’s a body to do?
You’re mad at yourself for ever agreeing to join the walk-a-thon, and yes, it’s for a good cause, so of course you feel guilty about shining it on. Plus your friends are counting on your participation and you hate disappointing them.
Let’s review: you feel pissed, depressed, guilty--and you’re still not up for the walk-a-thon.
Or are you? Right now, you’re clinging so tenaciously to the problem, you have no hope whatsoever of resolving it.
Rather than complaining, fault-finding and blaming, none of which get you any closer to either the walk or feeling good, try thinking positively about the situation and working toward a solution.
Step 1: Reality check.
You’re not going to get in shape or lose all the weight in one month. It’s OK. It doesn’t make a bad person.
Step 2: Accept the reality, work with what is.
You can lay off the comfort food and increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables or whatever else enhances your overall health. No, not to lose the weight, but to feel better about yourself.
You can get to the gym once a week, or do some low-key stretches and exercises at home several times a week, or take a walk around the neighborhood for a half hour every other day or evening (take the dog, he’ll thank you). Not to whip yourself into shape, but, again, to feel better about yourself.
Step 3: Go for a real solution, rather than an ideal solution
You’ve accepted that you won’t be able to walk with your friends, so go for something you can do, rather than just giving up altogether.
For example, join your walk-a-thon group in support. Volunteer to man one of the “water” tables, or help set up, or stand at a critical place along the walk and cheer them on. Be at the finish line to welcome your friends with water and huzzahs!
Living in the problem gets you nowhere. Living in the solution may not get you your ideal outcome, but it will get you a potentially very satisfying and self-esteeming one.