22 July 2013
This week I wanted to talk a little bit about commitment....and recommitment. I think it's good to kind of take a break right now, being that we're half way through the year already, and take a look at where we're going....and if we're still on track. So here we go with this week's pomegranate seed.
I don't watch a whole lot of TV. There's always so much to do and so much going on. Now that we've caught up on all the past episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix, my time in front of the TV is not spent watching but usually either writing, blogging, paying bills, posting recipes or making jewelry at my work bench, which is in the family room. My mom has been staying with us, and having me in the same room at least allows us to spend time together.
This past week, mom was channel surfing and turned on a show called Extreme Weight Loss. This episode chronicled the weight loss of an Iranian guy that weighed over 450 pounds. At first we thought he was Armenian, so naturally we kept watching but I was interested in this show because of this guy's genuine commitment to his self improvement. His story was that he wanted to get healthy. And then one of the things he wanted to do was to propose to his girlfriend, but in Persian culture, as in Armenian, he would have to ask the girl's parents for her hand in marriage. And for that he wanted to put his best self forward. So he worked hard at it. Diet, exercise...and in three month's time he lost 137 pounds! So the months went on, he lost another 67 pounds and he was looking pretty good! The show kind of chronicles a year in 3 month periods. So during that second three months, hes lost a significant amount of weight..is feeling good about himself, so he goes to meet with the girlfriend's parents (which they didn't show), and the parents said no. Our guy is a DJ and a sound engineer, and I guess his girlfriend's parents told him they loved him, but wanted a doctor or lawyer for their daughter. The guy was devastated. And I guess shortly after this meeting he and his girlfriend broke up.
I'm actually getting at something here, so bear with me. So what ends up happening, is that in his depression, the guy falls back on his old habits. His trainer lives in a different state and on a weekly basis, the guy weighs in on video showing his weight in to his trainer who documents his progress. it's all great from the outside, except that it's a lie. We find out instead of reporting his weight to the trainer, our guy is manipulating the video and lieing to his trainer - panning the video of him stepping on the scale and then only showing the weight on the display. So this continues for a while, and then the time comes for the 9 month weigh in. The trainer comes back into town and notices his client is very down. He asks what's wrong. And the guy explains...he broke up with the girlfriend, he turned back to old habits...and....he's been lying to him about the weigh ins. He had put on over 45 pounds. If you could see the disappointment in the trainer's face...,and even worse, the disappointment in the guy's for what he had done. The trainer felt completely betrayed at being lied to, and then here's the part that really hit home with me: The trainer expressed his disappointment, but brought up the absurdity of the lie. Why would he do that? What would cause this guy to feel that he had to "be perfect"? Why couldn't he just be open at the beginning of his downfall and ask for help before the bad behavior escalated? Betraying one's self is the worst ever. The goals he had set forth to achieve were not put there by the trainer, but by himself. So why then did he feel this need to lie? Does this hit home with any of you? Because it did for me. Not that I lie about things...no. But this need to have to do everything right. All you do is set yourself up for failure, because the reality is that not one of us is perfect.
For the guy, it was probably the first time in a long time that he had been in the limelight. He was his trainer's best client. He must have felt that need to not want to disappoint him after getting all the positive reinforcement not only from him, but from his family and friends who saw his transformation. Who would want to end that run on Cloud 9, right?
But the truth of the matter is that at some point, we've got to take resposibility for ourselves, TO ourselves. We have to honor our commitments to ourselves just as much as we honor commitments made to others. We are the ones that choose our goals. The discipline that is learned is difficult. The road is not easy. But ultimately, if we're to succeed, we can't do it for anyone else...to please anyone else.
And it's hard to keep that commitment going. In the beginning, we're excited about change. So we kind of impress ourselves, in a sense, about the newness of our commitment. But as the weeks, months, years go by, it's hard to keep things fresh. And I'm not talking only about weight. Think about new year's resolutions. Did you have a resolution that you made this year? Have you kept it? This applies to everything from drug or alcohol addictions, to just making some basic changes to get out and exercise more. Or to spend one on one time with family. Or with God. Whatever your goal is, it takes persistence and focus.
What undermines us...okay, what undermines me is that need for perfection. The all or nothing thinking. We start off totally commited to the change. And then we slip up -- of course, right? And the once we've blown it, even a little bit, do we immediately start over? Or do we wait for a special day or after a certain event passes in order to start over.
How about this scenario: You start a diet first thing Monday morning. You do great on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday, someone brings bakery madness to your office. You have just a half.....but then you start feeling bad that you blew it. and you think...hmmmm...it was so good. I'll just have the other half...and then start tomorrow. But tomorrow is Thursday. And that's so close to the weekend. And you know you're going to a party on Saturday. So you may as well, start over on Monday. You go to the party and it's like girls gone wild...you're "stocking up" because you know come Monday you start your diet. Right??? C'mon! I know I'm not the only one out here that's done this. Wouldn't we have been better of if we just understood that life is all about the journey. There are hills, road blocks, smooth roads...and it's up to us to figure out how to navigate and then still get to our destination feeling good about ourselves.
Okay....so this is the deal. RECOMMIT. And do it now. Not one of us is perfect. So let's not be so hard on ourselves. It IS about the journey and not the destination. I mean, seriously, God forgives us, right? So why is it so hard to forgive ourselves? The commitment to make change is never easy. And don't compare yourself to others. This is a real difficult one for me. If you follow my other blog, the Journey of the Pudgy Pomegranate, you know that I have a friend of mine that is dieting with me. I sabotage myself by comparing my success (or lack of) with hers. And the funny thing is that I'm not competitive in anything else. So we go to our weekly weigh ins and inevitably, I get discouraged by my tiny loss compared to her significant one. But how can we compare? Aren't we created uniquely by God? So why then should I compare my dead slow metabolic rate with someone else? I'm going to try really hard to "Commit' to stop that.
Finally, the most important thing -- and the reason for all of this desire for self improvement int he first place is the idea taking care of what God has given us. We are all given this beautiful gift of life. A few years ago, I had to take a stress test and got to see my heart beating on the screen. It was an epiphany. There is was. My heart that has been beating since the first day I was born...and had gone through so much with me. I remember being in tears watching how amazing it was...and thinking about how I had abused it. Think about it. Our bodies are miraculous. And it's up to us to appreciate them...and take care of what God has give us so that our bodies can serve God. Right? So if you've made your commitments in the past but they've fallen by the wayside, it's not too late. Recommit. In your heart, we all KNOW what we need to do. We don't need anything special. We just need to do what is right for us....and then roll with the punches. I haven't given up. Have you? I hope not. I've recommitted and I will recommit over and over again. It's a journey - a good one!--and the destination is a healthy, happy life.
On a different note: I know Father Vazken has shared with you all about my jewelry business, and I never seem to mention it, so I'll take this time right now to give a shameless plug. I make handmade silver, copper and bronze pomegranate necklaces out of metal clay. I got into playing with metals several year's ago, and have been having a lot of fun with it. First it was just silver....but after buying a kiln that opened up the door to work in copper and bronze as well. I also make eye bead jewelry. Yes, yes...the eye beads! Do I believe in them? Nope. But I do love the way they look. And Ive designed my own beads which I have made for my company. The name is Pomegranate & Eye (because I make pomegranates and eyes, right?). And you can find me on Etsy at www.pomegranateandeye.etsy.com. So I hope you'll go check out the online store. And I'm also on Fcebook as well as Pomegranate and Eye as well as just myself. : )