Saturday, June 29, 2013

Failure as a learning process


Thursday's post from Marc and Angel on unconventional ways to build confidence asks, "If you were able to maintain a level of self-confidence that no circumstance could shake, what would you be doing differently?  Just imagine the things you would accomplish if you were confident that you COULD."

Their blog always inspires me, but the part that resonated with me today was tip number two:  Fail fast and fail often.  It says: "You must encounter many defeats to learn how to not be defeated.  Failing is a process of learning; it helps you grow and know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still rise after you fall.  It is this process that boosts your confidence gradually over the course of your lifetime.  You have to remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop taking steps forward.  In the end, those who don’t care that failure is inevitable are the ones that most often achieve success."

I have lost count of the number of times I've tried and failed to lose weight. Sometimes I lose a fair bit, then stall and regain. Other times I struggle to see any progress at all. Sometimes I'm able to pick myself up and try again while other times I just want to give up the fight and that can last days, weeks or even months. This has been going on for most of my life, really. Sometimes it seems pointless to keep trying. But this post made me rethink that.

I was already in a "give up the fight" phase before going through the loss of my beloved dog Coby ... just two years after losing Amber, also to cancer. The grief stayed with us a long time then, as I'm sure it will now.  It's only been a week, so it's hard for me to want to focus on weight when my heart is still heavy and I still see him everywhere. His bed and his dish are still there because we can't bear to remove them, and our little dog Buddy still likes to use Coby's bed. I still agonise over the decision to put him down, second-guessing myself ... was it really the right choice or did we do it because WE couldn't bear his pain?

But I'm also feeling it's time to refocus on my goals and try again, especially after reading Marc and Angel's post. Maybe I need the distraction of focusing on my own health again. Maybe I need to rise up and try again, even if I fail. Maybe ... just maybe, this will be the time I succeed.

I've been waiting weeks for Dr Poon's Metabolic Diet book to arrive. I ordered it from them directly after being inspired by Leigh from Poonapalooza and finding no one else seemed to have the book in stock, but it hasn't arrived yet. Then Last week I saw a woman I work with who was away on a cruise for like seven weeks or so ... she looked amazing, having lost heaps of weight. She is in her early to mid 50s I'd say, so I had to ask how she'd done it. She said she hadn't given up anything really, not even alcoholic drinks, though she did tend to avoid obvious junk food like cake.  She had basically eaten what she liked but just reduced her portion sizes. That's it! But she'd been consistent with it, and she was also exercising.

Now I'm wondering whether I should try another diet that restricts entire food groups or just try reducing portions? I'm someone Dr McDougall refers to as a 'volume eater' and I worry I wouldn't be able to just eat small portions ... I actually find it easier to skip a meal altogether than eat just a little bit that leaves me wanting more.  But it might be easier to eat less than to give up entire food groups altogether. Or maybe intermittent fasting is for me, I really don't have any great difficulty skipping meals. I don't yet know what method I'll be trying next, but I will decide soon, and I am not going to worry whether or not I'll fail again. After all, "You must encounter many defeats to learn how to not be defeated."

1 comment:

  1. I used to go from this to that and hoping "it" would work or I would find the magic I needed to lose my weight. I read an article once about people who lost weight and kept it off. They were people who had lost weight their own way. They knew themselves and planned accordingly. I have lost over 50 lb. and have done it through lifestyle changes. My first change was to stop eating sugar. Nothing good comes from eating sugar - nothing. I began exercising at least 3 times a week and drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. I kept my carbs low - 50 - 75 carbs a day. After my body (and my brain) had adjusted to no sugar I began cutting back on the grains. You can have a wonderful salad this way and snacks are now a hard boiled egg or some almonds. I try to wait for my stomach to growl before eating and am still working on that one; it has been a challenge for me. I am getting better at that. Leigh has done a great job and you would do well to follow her lead. All the best to you. I have weight 250 lb. a couple of times in my life. This is a battle but one that can be won. Take care.

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