The Significance of Slippage in a Walking and Weight Loss Program
It can definitely be frustrating...
...when the bathroom scale that has consistently reflected lower numbers month after month abruptly reverses direction.
Dammit! I gained a pound this month!
Add to that an addictive personality syndrome...you know, the one that brandishes the all too familiar (and self-destructive) rationalization of in for a penny, in for a pound: Since I failed a little, I might as well fail a lot.
And if that thought process takes hold, it's not long before its close cousins--negative thinking, self-pity, and justification--join the sinking ship.
Who am I kidding? All this walking...it's hard work, and for what? Who cares if I lose weight? Such a stupid idea!
Life on that living room couch was so much simpler. Shoveling potato chips, fried chicken, doughnuts, and Neapolitan ice cream into my mouth during commercials (and between commercials), and guzzling on soda pop made the anxiety and pain of every bad memory of my miserable life so much easier to deal with. And on good days, I might even convince myself that there's such a thing as forgetting...or, better yet, escaping from my ugly self.
Except...there's no such thing as escaping oneself, is there? Nope, I'm doomed to this self-imposed Hotel California. This bloated lead zeppelin. This overgrown couch potato. This behemoth of a rotten, stinkin', puffy beached whale.
Let's face it. I'm a failure. Always have been and always will be.
And why in the world did I ever write monthly articles about my walking and weight loss? It would have been one thing to keep a private journal, one that I could rip up in putrid self-disgust. But to write for a public online forum like HubPages? OMG! What the hell was I thinking?
Yeah, I can see them all laughing at me now.
What an idiot I am!
I'm going crazy here. I need some comfort. Think I'll head on down to Walmart and grab me a box of doughnuts.
At the fork in the road...
...I had a choice to make.
It was only a pound. 16 ounces. A mere pittance of regression.
But for me, it was an invitation--a psychological portal, if you will--for all my past demons to find a way back in.
As tempting as it was to succumb to the notion of giving up, I closed my eyes and pondered two things.
One was bad.
The other was good.
Individually as well as collectively, they were motivators.
The Bad: 51 days ago, I suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA) aka mini-stroke.
The Good: As a result of my walks, I have intimately experienced the Walla Walla Valley, and in the process, I have become better acquainted with myself.
The Bad can be an effective incentive for behavior modification, but fear of a negative will never be enough. Wielded unwisely, it can quickly turn to destruction.
The Good is vital as an effective filler for the void where bad habits once resided, but unbridled optimism in the absence of guarded vigilance can leave one vulnerable to future attacks.
To truly change for the better, one needs the complementary union of both motivators.
And my choice?
I cling to both for dear life!
Please Take Part in this Poll
Have you experienced any slippages? If so, what did you learn?
...doesn't refer to my falling down while walking in inclement Pacific Northwest weather.
Slippage refers to a small glitch in one's recovery. From a big picture perspective, slippage can be a therapeutically healthy thing. Every slight setback along the road of progress is a lesson waiting to be learned. More often than not, we gain more insight about ourselves and the world we live in as a result of making mistakes.
Utilizing a hypothetical example with the help of our good friend and fellow HubPages writer in Olympia, Washington, if success is the graduation diploma, then slippage was the day that my English teacher, Bill Holland, gave me a D for writing a very boring introductory sentence. The temporary failure taught me a key lesson that I will never forget.
So I gained a pound. I could whine all day about how hard I worked to walk X number of miles during the month. Rather, I have less stress in my life by accepting my fallible self and candidly admitting the following truths:
- The TIA episode scared the crap out of me, and I lost my confidence and my bearings. It's taken me over 7 weeks to get to where I'm ready to dive full speed ahead into my projects once again.
- I gave into lazy behavior and rationalized doing other things rather than walking.
- Our family went on vacation, and though we walked a lot each day, we ate a lot of hotel continental breakfasts and theme park food.
- It rained a great deal in the Pacific Northwest, and I used that as an excuse more often than not, even on good weather days.
- I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches at all times of the day during the month of September.
And I gained 1 pound.
My Walking Program for 2013
% of Days Walked
% Towards Goal
Weight on 01/01/13
Weight on 10/01/13
Total Weight Loss in 2013
A cursory glance at the chart...
...provides me with a very effective tool for transforming slippage into a constructive learning curve.
It's a concept successful individuals adeptly use.
But how do I turn failures into affirmations?
Great question, and I'm glad I asked it on your behalf. Here are a few examples of affirmations I can extrapolate from the chart.
- So far this year, I have walked almost every other day. I am keeping a commitment to myself.
- Through nine months, I have walked almost 760 miles. I am making good progress towards my annual goal.
- I have lost 19 pounds since January 1st. I am losing weight.
These positive declarations are so much more constructive and definitely healthier than the hurtful and self-loathing statements found in the first section of this article.
Consequently, for the remaining 85 days...
...of 2013, I arrive at the same fork in the road every single morning. And I'm challenged to make a key decision.
Is this the day I give up on myself? Fulfilling a lie that I believed and perpetuated for all of my youth and a good portion of my early adulthood--that I'm good for nothing and destined to fail?
Or do I confront the lie and gallop full speed at the windmill?
For the past nine months, I've jousted and prevailed over the giants of apathy, mediocrity, and sloth.
I've ambled through the rustic and picturesque Walla Walla Valley and reveled in her white fur coats of winter, multicolored sweaters of spring, blue and emerald polo shirts of summer, and amber windbreakers of autumn. I've also put in guest ambulatory appearances west of the Cascade Mountains in the logging-turned-antique-store bedroom community of Stanwood; the meteorological opposites of Kona and Hilo on the Big Island; and the pedestrian-congested theme parks of Orlando, Florida.
One thing's for sure.
I'm NOT letting an errant pound--or any other form of slippage--impede my rendezvous with success.
Just talkin' story on the ol' front porch...
© 2013 Hawaiian Odysseus