Don’t Give Up On Me (says the “Little Child” in me)

I am one for overcoming challenges. I strive to not let any obstacles get in my way. Many note my great passion to succeed and in most things that I tackle I do end up succeeding at them.

Fighting My Dragons

That being said, there is one obstacle that I have yet to find a way to overcome. This dang old weight-loss problem has been the Dragon that I have fought with for years.

One of the big issues is that humans need food to survive. Many of the challenges and obstacles that I come across are not “life-and-death” types of things. Though they may require sacrifices of time, energy, or other types of challenges, unlike food, there are probably pieces of these challenges that I can do without.

Food tastes good too. All of us grow up eating certain kinds of food that become “comfort food.” In times of stress or discomfort or depression, many of us fall back on these comfort foods.

Then there is the challenge of our genetics. The challenge of each of our own personal metabolisms. There are the obstacles of our life situations with jobs, marriage, personal relationships with others or even location. All of these become hurdles in our quest to reduce our weight.

I know that for me, the conventional wisdom in my mind says  “David, you need to lose weight to better your health.” I also know that I will feel better overall and feel better about how I look and how I can find clothes that fit better…. But the game of life always has curveballs and fastballs and even occasional sliders that cause us to strike out at our attempts to reduce our weight towards better health.

Recently Julianne and I started attending a training session for “emotional brain training.” EBT, as it is called, focuses on the things that were wired into the back of our brain in our younger lives and then the methodologies on how to on wire those processes that have been put into place from earlier life experiences (see more here). They refer to this as the “reptile brain.”this reptile brain reacts, and in many instances, does so without any thought process on our part. I find the concept very interesting because I have always thought that I have a “little child” down in me that wants to get out. And I find that many times I am having to feed this “little child” it resides within me.

This “little child” refers to that younger David, at age 4 or 5, who became disenfranchised from his mother due to her leaving, went through dysfunctional family in early life and perhaps sought for comfort through food or other things.

As we went through this EBT training I could relate to much of what was being said because it made sense to me. I am absolutely certain that there are many habits, traits, feelings, etc., that are wired deep in my brain. But, in the course of this training, we faced a dilemma. In order to succeed at this there were time requirements on a day-to-day basis and, unfortunately, I didn’t think that I personally was ready to make those time commitments considering all of the other commitments I have related to job and family. So, we temporarily postponed our training sessions in EBT because, at least in my case, I am not ready to tackle them yet. And likely, it is my “reptilian brain” that’s convincing me of this.

Furthermore, weight-loss is a very personal thing. I look at my wife Julianne, who also striving to lose weight. She has the resolve. She spends a lot of time researching eating methods, effects of different kinds of foods on the body, etc.  Of course, she is determined to follow a low-fat, vegan method of eating to the best of her ability. But, I can even see her struggles in all of this. Not that she has not succeeded, for she has done very well. But I know that in her mind she still craves some of those “comfort foods.” She has just become very adept at convincing yourself that they are not good for her. And many kudos to her for this great strength!

Personally, I don’t mind eating vegan food. We’ve discovered many wonderfully tasting foods as a result. But, unlike Julianne, I still have deep cravings for meat and cheese especially. This has made it very difficult for me. It is not difficult for me to go out to dinner with her and eat close to a vegan meal when I am with her. But when I am on my own, that “little child” down deep in me that is wired throughout my very existence, screams out loudly for meat and cheese and other things. Indeed, though I have in many ways committed to my dear wife to strive to follow a vegan lifestyle as much as possible, I find myself committing what I call “dietary adultery” ofttimes. Of course, I am not committing any sort of any sin, but when I do “sneak around” to feed that inner child, I feel guilty as if I had done something wrong.

Dietary Adultery?

This whole ordeal of weight loss and trying to become healthier is very overwhelming. I know it is such for not only myself, but for my wife and for many others.  And our culture doesn’t help.

As much as I know that losing weight will help me reduce the propensity to diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments, it still does not seem to squelch my desire to eat the way I want to eat. I only have some semblance of self-control in this and it seems like other forces drive me and drive me and drive me.

Truly, I want to feel better. I want to live a longer life. I want to see my grandchildren get married. I want to spend quality time with my sweet wife. I want to travel, not just the United States, but other places in the world. And I know that my weight becomes an obstacle to fulfilling some of those dreams.

Despite everything I said above, I still believe in the philosophy that one never fails until they quit. Giving up has never been part of my personal philosophy in anything that I do. Indeed, there have been challenges to me to give up on things that were way too hard and I ended up pushing harder to succeed. But I have not been able to muster up the drive, the desire, the effort, the willpower, and any other things to “succeed” at this effort to reduce my weight at any great amount.

But, I have not given up! I have not quit! I just have not found the successful path to that destination yet.

So, that “Inner Child” in me begs for all to just not give up on us.


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