(I have begun a series of writing on developing mindfulness, at first specifically focused on weight and body image, but now expanding into every area of my life. These have been posted on my other site, WhyWeightBlog, but I decided to post here today to introduce the series to readers from this site. If you are interested in following me there as well, please click here for the first post in the series, and thank you for reading.)
It usually happens after I have committed myself once again to taking a new path toward healthy eating and losing weight that the first weeks–hopefully at least a few–go pretty well. There is excitement about a new commitment, hope that this different diet plan or participation in an exercise class will be the ticket, the energy that comes with a renewed resolution to finally exit this revolving door.
But then, inevitably, the voices of doom chime in. I am fortunate that I am surrounded by mostly positive people who are supportive and encouraging (or at least they are when I am willing to make my decisions public). The voices of doom are internal, but still loud and shrill, so real that it seems impossible others cannot hear them. They are critical, snide and cutting. They remind me of the number of times I have started a diet or joined an exercise class and ask how I have the audacity to think this time will lead to success.
Sometimes the voices reveal themselves not in words, but simply in action or non-action that seems almost unconscious. A missed class because someone needed a ride or last night’s sleep was really poor and my sciatica is acting up again. Or a somnambulist’s trip to the kitchen for food I don’t even like and for which I am certainly not hungry.
I decided to try something different. Let the voices speak now, let me line them up and shoot them down. Let them tell me I’m a failure, will never succeed, have tried this before with no success. I will no longer pay homage to their vile agenda. I will answer them now.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – W. Churchill
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
“No one is a failure until that is the only definition of themselves that they are willing to see within.” – Srividya Srinivasan
©Martha Hurwitz, 8/27/17