Change (or, the devil I knew)...

I love fall. I really do. It's cool and fresh and even though I know it means winter is coming, I can't help but step out into the cool air each morning and just feel a rush of energy (and then swear a little because I realize that without the extra poundage to insulate my ass, cool is actually quite cold - any of you on weight-loss journeys will know, or will eventually know, what I'm talking about).

Changing seasons is usually when I get motivated to make other changes as well. This year, maybe, not so much as I've made a huge change in my life with my decision to go back to school, but I still find myself tweaking little things to start adjusting my way of thinking and reorienting myself towards my "new" lifestyle. Sometimes it's just a mental headshake to prevent myself from slipping back into old habits - e.g., remembering not to grab that muffin on the way to class - and sometimes it's actually an addendum to the changes I've already made that I feel would be more beneficial.

The "old" me hated change. I liked consistency. I liked the idea of change; I just hated enacting it. The "new" me tends to change a lot. I always want to try new fashions I see in stores; I experiment with new workouts I find in magazines; I randomly throw together food to see what happens.

I think this tend toward change is good. I have a dear friend who is just starting her own weight-loss journey, and her biggest challenge has been, for years, her own fear of change. She was so convinced that she liked enough about the status quo that something valuable would be lost if she tried to move to something else. When we were talking about my journey once, and specifically about my own decision to radically transform my atrocious eating habits, she commented "You make it sound so hard and well... not very fun." I looked at her honestly and asked, "Do I seem more unhappy to you now than when I weighed 250 lbs?"

She didn't answer me that night. But she thought about what I had said, and this week, as she joined me for a run (she's gone from 1min run/3 min walk to 2/2 splits in two weeks!) she mentioned it again, and compared what I had said to her own experience. "I do get frustrated," she admitted. "I do miss what I can't eat. But then I think back to what you said, and I am not more unhappy."

No one ever told me I had to change. No one ever told me I had to cut out what were my favourite foods. It's just that, after a while, those few minutes of mild satisfaction from eating those foods didn't compare to, say, the all-day glow of finishing a 10K run. Or fitting into a size smaller pants.

We always say, "Better the devil you know..." You know what? Not always. Sometimes the devil you don't know is just some guy who is very misunderstood, and when you change your thinking about him, he turns out to be a pretty brilliant guy. Try having a chat with him someday.


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