Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Never Say Never (Clean Eating Day 16)

The above commercial from Geico is definitely one of my all time favorites. I could watch it over and over again. Instead of getting tired of it, I find myself laughing even louder. Plus, I can't deny that "jackwagon" is part of my daily vocabulary. Seriously folks, that commercial is funny stuff!

If you've read my blog for any time at all, you have picked up on the fact that I'm a firm believer in roles. Everyone has a part to play in this production we call life. Some roles we have may be never-changing, due to our inherent natures and passions. Other roles are ever-evolving due to maturity, growth, life experiences, choices we make, etc. Depending on particular circumstances, we may have times in our lives when we can relate to either Geico's Sarge character or the role of the guy he's taking to task. With my new clean eating commitment, I'm most definitely the jackwagon. 

In my opinion, one of the most annoying things a person can do is "reform" themselves and then preach to me about it. Please stay with me here, because I don't want anyone to misunderstand what I mean. I love a good story. I love to hear people's dramatic tales of triumph over tragedy, as well as simpler stories of small changes that helped them improve their daily lives. What I don't find endearing is when those changes and improved choices transform someone into a self-righteous preacher man or woman. As I make healthy lifestyle changes, I'm trying to remain humble and share my newly found knowledge without preaching to everyone around me about how horrible their choices are. Choices that were mine for a very long time.

Also, I want to make one clear distinction. To me, having a passion for something and becoming a reformed jackwagon (who then preaches down his/her nose to everyone else) are two very different things. Let me explain. Bethany is passionate about health and fitness. She has become my Sarge. She is never condescending or mean like the Geico Sarge, but she can definitely get a point across! She isn't looking to make anyone feel inferior or bad about choices they make, she genuinely cares. How can she care so much about others' health and fitness? Before you cynics say "Well, it's how she makes money.", etc. let me tell you, Jared & I have done the math. I know how many of us are in Bethany's Biggest Loser, and I know what we paid to join the program. I see the time and energy she puts into this. Believe me, she is genuinely concerned about people becoming healthy. If not, she wouldn't be wasting her time. There is no way her motivation for this program is making money off of us. So in answer to the question, "How can she care so much about others' health and fitness?" It's quite simple: this is her passion. 

People who are genuinely caring and sincere can be passionate without being haughty and preachy. Bethany has this skill mastered. She is tough and tolerates NO (I mean zero, absolutely zero!) excuses. But she isn't holier than thou about it. She is straightforward and no nonsense, but never preachy. I've noticed that the "reformed" can often be both haughty and preachy. So if after my reformation (or even during the process) from unhealthy jackwagon to solid clean eater I become haughty and preachy, I don't know that I could be very helpful and inspiring to others. And while I can feel this change becoming something I'm passionate about, I never want to make anyone else feel "less than" because they are doing things differently. I don't think that really motivates people to make lifelong changes for the better. Maybe in the short term, but not for the long haul. 

This approach is working wonders with my family. I gently introduced this process to my family. I couldn't go full on Geico Sarge with them. I would have little to no credibility. Because let's be honest, we all know that exactly 17 days ago, I was making worse choices than most people around me. 

Jared has been an amazing support for me. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've fallen in love with him over and over again, in the past 16 days. He is so very good to me. He's thoughtful and considerate and has been willing to make changes with me. He hasn't said one negative word. My children (minus the spinach episode with the girl) are on board. Over the weekend, I was chatting with the kids. They say I seem happier. I have more energy, and they noticed I'm not having headaches anymore. My fourteen year old son said, "Mom, thank you so much for doing this. I feel so much better." My ten year old son told me, "I love this streak I'm on. I haven't had soda in over two weeks, wonder how long I can make this record go?" And, my eight year old little lady said, "I can not believe how many grams of sugar are in one stinkin Pop Tart. Seriously Mommy, never buy that stuff again." 

I admit I went to my room, closed the door and had a little cry. I felt equal parts proud and ashamed. Proud of the changes we're making to improve our health. And oh so very ashamed. My kids had been eating crap and drinking soda because I was too lazy to put the effort into providing them with good food. Do you know how difficult that is to admit? I'm a good mother. But, I was failing miserably in the eating arena. I'm not beating up on myself either, just checking out of "mamby pamby land" and into reality. I hated shopping, I hated cooking, and I tried to minimize my time doing those things. I bought the crap and soda just because...no lie, just because it was easier. The loads of crap aren't in the house anymore and no one is suffering or fussing or whining (again, minus the spinach episode...but one episode in 16 days isn't too shabby!) Do you know what that tells me? While my family trusts me implicitly, I didn't trust them...or myself. I never believed they could/would do it. Because I never believed I could/would do it. 

I consider myself to be relatively confident and secure; however, when it came to getting healthy I just didn't believe I could make such drastic changes and succeed. I tend to shy away from things that I don't think I can master. I love a cushy comfort zone! I would play off my lack of belief in myself with jokes and snarky comments like "I'll eat whatever I want, whenever I want.", "It isn't that I can't do it, I just don't want to do it." or "People are so over the top about food." What I really meant was, "I just don't think I can." 

Thankfully with the support of my family, Bethany, Bethany's Boot Camp trainers, and the ladies in my Biggest Loser group, I have no doubt I can do this. My entire perspective is changing and I like it. I also like the 6 lb weight loss that's showing up on the scale. (Sarge is going to fuss when she sees this...we are supposed to stay OFF the scale except for official weigh ins with her. She is pretty serious about that because of how our numbers will fluctuate while making these big changes. But, we were out of town this past Saturday so I missed the weigh in. This morning I couldn't help myself. I can tell my shirts are fitting differently and I just wanted one quick peek.) Would you believe as much as I liked seeing that change on the scale, I wasn't completely ecstatic. I was pleased and I liked it, but I wasn't overjoyed. I was surprised by how little I cared. But, how happy I am to shop and cook, how much better I feel, my daily 4-5pm headaches are gone, other specific health issues I've had for YEARS that are now improving, finding success so far out of my comfort zone it amazes me...those are the things making me ecstatic.

Wanna know just how far out of my comfort zone I've reached?
I'm visiting the following sites daily:

Never say never, friends. Never say never.
Or if you do say never, and then reform yourself, please don't become an annoying preacher. And if I become an annoying preacher, please report me to my Sarge.  

Lastly, my boot camp class was rained out yesterday,Bethany posted this Rainy Day WorkoutI was certain I might die. But I didn't. Whew! 


Sue said...

I wish I could find a Bethany near me! In the meantime, I will try to jump on your bandwagon (so I won't be a jackwagon)!


I am LoW said...

Reading through some of your latest posts made me think of this conference talk-


I live in GA also, grew up in SC, same mentality from the majority about Mormons and Christianity. I know the frustration, it's all I have known, all my 42 years. :) But I loved the talk because it reminded me that what matters is what HE thinks of me.

(I know you already know that... but I loved the reminder. I need the reminder.)