There’s an aspect to blogging I sometimes forget about and it has to do with who I’m writing to.
I often say “I write for me” and this is true, especially when I’m journaling or using a post to help me get out of my own head. However, even though I write for me, to help me, there’s a second person (well, lots of people I suppose) in the equation and it’s you. I’m writing TO you.
Now, I always imagine “you” as the “old me.” I know this is not the case, of course, but when I write and share my thought processes around weight loss, body image, exercise, etc., it’s coming from a place of “this is how I used to think” (Old Roni) vs “this is how I think now” (New Roni).
I’m really not sure how else to describe myself except “old” and “new” becuase for 30 years I approached weight loss and my body one way, which kept me in the yo-yo dieting cycle of hell. Then, after Ryan was born (10 years ago), I worked really hard to change my relationship with food and my body, which ultimately led to running and fitness and who I am today.
That’s a really long intro for a response to a comment I wrote. The comment was left on an old post called How Bad Do You Want it? — click here to read it.
In the post I talk about how I hate the “How Bad Do You Want It?” question as a motivational tool. It always made “Old Roni” feel like a failure because of course I wanted it bad (to be skinny) yet I always self-sabotaged my efforts to diet and exercise.
However, when “New Roni” started to frame things differently I was able to make the positive changes I wanted. Shifting from a “How bad do you want it?” mentality to a “Am I willing to give up _______ to reach my goal of _________?” mentality helped immensely to stop the guilt cycle I was in.
When I originally wrote that post many people commented and understood exactly what I was saying. I can only assume it’s because they also felt that way one time or another. Being preoccupied with skinny led me to eating more and moving less — not the other way around — and I think this is fairly common which is why I sometimes write what I write.
However, not everyone agrees. I was going to reply to this comment personally but then decided to share my response in a post because I think it’s an important topic to discuss.
I find your attitude defeatist. It IS how bad do you want it. Mental discipline. It’s why I only eat clean food except when it’s time not to. I don’t eat things I am not supposed to. Food is fuel. That is it. Eating that cookie IS a complete and utter failure if your goal for that day was eating healthy. Period.
You can use all the fluffy positive nonsense all you want but the reality of it IS you weren’t willing to do what it takes. Eating that cookie didn’t destroy your physique or your body but it did destroy your goal for that day.
It’s not okay to fail if you have set a goal in your mind. If you do fail, it truly is “you didn’t want it enough.” Reality isn’t always nice. You are making excuses for behavior that isn’t conducive to reaching your goals.
So excuse away the cookie or the pizza but don’t try to convince me that is okay. It isn’t. Every piece of food you put in your mouth that is unhealthy is doing harm to you and your goals.
Stop over-complicating things. Do you want to achieve a certain level of health or achieve a certain look? If so there are certain steps that must be took to achieve it. Every step you take off that path (cookie) is a falter and redirection is needed. Why not just use your amazing brain to focus in and do what must be done? It’s much simpler.
I find your attitude elitist. Just because it is easy for you doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone. As I said in the post, that attitude, your’s specifically, never helped me reach my goals. Ever.
As someone who finally realized it was that very approach (just get over it, stop making excuses, be more mentally tough, yada yada) that was holding me back. Why wouldn’t I share the shift in my thought process that did help me stop the failure cycle and reach my goals? If it helped me maybe it will help someone else.
How in the world can you find fault with a strategy that has actually worked for someone. You may not agree with it but you don’t have to, you’re not looking for help. You apparently never struggle, never have and never will.
Well, news flash — some of us do.
Changing “How bad do you want it?” which may be motivating to you but insulting to someone else (me) to…
“Are you willing to give up ____ to reach your goal of ______? is a simple reframing tool. It’s doesn’t complicate, it clarifies.
The truth may be you are NOT willing to give up that cookie to lose weight (or whatever) and what’s wrong with that? As long as we are making conscious decisions and working toward our goals in a way that is healthy and makes us happy then what’s the problem?
Why not use your amazing brain to be more empathetic and try to understand we aren’t all built the same way. It’s much nicer.
When I get comments like this I initially get defensive because maybe it should have been that easy. Maybe all I did need was more “mental discipline” to lose weight, but then I look back and see all the small changes that got me to where I am today. Weight loss and fitness weren’t something I strong-armed myself to do. It was a series of baby steps over time that built up to massive life changes.
The ability to make these positive changes were always inside me — I just needed to approach them from a different angle. Some people will never understand that unless they have struggled similarly.