Let’s talk about immediate results!
We live in a culture where we want immediate results. My students want their essay grades back THE NEXT DAY (impossible when I have 120 students), and when we do something, we want to see the results right away. I think this is why so many people have a hard time sticking to diets. They want immediate results and when we don’t get them right away, we start to get frustrated and quit (although I don’t think I should be quoting diets given my eating disorder…. Whatever… 🙂 ). Let me change this… from the best of my knowledge, from what I’ve learned from my dietitian, diets don’t work… but you can find a healthy way to lose weight. So, immediate results don’t work, long-term work/results do (aka… healthy dieting = healthy eating and exercising).
I’m sad to say, I’m one of those “immediate results” seeking people too! You’re not alone out there, if you are!!! My eating disorder was just that for me! I was good at it, and I got the results right away. When something was wrong, or I was frustrated I was able to restrict and exercise and watch the number on the scale go down. My control was there, and the results were measured, and when I put out behaviors, the results were immediate. I’m finding that recovery is very different from my eating disorder, in regards of results. Recovery is more like “healthy dieting” and the results are more long-term.
This recovery process is anything but immediate results. In fact, this is a “keep believing and you’ll see the results in the end” kind of process. We all know how well those go!!! It’s really hard to hold on and trust something when you are going on and on and you see no results. Or, you see the results you don’t want and they still keep saying “trust me!” Do you need an example??? Here’s one to paint a picture for you:
I have a friendly dietitian, Beth. She’s super nice, but she still ranks below my dentist (yes, it’s that bad! Maybe one day we’ll be friends, but it’s not looking so good). Let’s meet her…. (because my drawings are awesome and so accurate!) 🙂
just kidding…. She’s too nice to be mean… I wanted to see her as a mean person, but she was always so darn nice!!!! It’s like she just can’t be mean!!!!! But that is how the eating disorder tries to picture her and convince me of her each time I meet with her.
But this is how she really is…. I bet when she walks outside random puppy dogs run up to her!! (she’s seriously that nice… if she were mean then it would be easy to hate her)
I meet with her and she always says, “trust me, follow the meal plan, eat, and eventually your metabolism will stable out and the weight gain will stop”….. well….. let’s break this statement down and see how it resonates in my head:
(1) You’re asking an anorexic (who used to get immediate weight loss rewards) to trust a complete stranger who is helping her put on weight. HAHA.
(2) You want me to trust you and follow this ridiculous meal plan that a football player would cry about (okay, not really, but it does feels that bad!)
(3) Eat… she keeps saying that. I wonder how often she says that. I bet she’s tired of saying that. If I had to guess what goes through her head, she’s probably thinking, “if I have to tell her to eat one more time I’m going to go nuts!”
(4) “Eventually our metabolism will stable out and the weight gain will stop”…. this statement is so vague!! So I should let the weight gain keep happening and wait for the vague date to come! That is TRUST!!! I might as well just walk into her office and do a trust fall!!!!! (You remember those in gym class…. man they were terrible… the first time you did them you were sure you were hitting the floor so you were flailing and hitting people in the face!)
So – let’s sum this up. I’m supposed to blindly follow this woman, whom I didn’t know too well, and eat this football sized meal plan she gave me that is making me gain weight, and she’s telling me that eventually (this is a vague word, BTW) my metabolism will balance out. HELLO, DO WE SEE WHAT’S WRONG HERE????? This is one hard path to walk down!!!!!
The problem is that I want immediate results. If I’m doing what they say, and putting this weight on, then I want immediate relief from these eating disorder thoughts! I was so used to immediate results, as we all are, and now I have to struggle through this process….. and wait for a while….. and then get results (if that’s not as painful as nails on a chalk board, I don’t know what is!). I used to engaged in weight loss behaviors and check my weight up to 10x a day and watch the number go down and now, I have to stay consistent for what feels like years (years = days or weeks) to see ONE little smidgen of results! BLASPHEMY!!! …. She’s obviously good at her job because she got me eating again and convinced me to follow these ridiculous plans.
So, after all of that wordy story telling…. What I’m coming to find is that immediate results never last! When we are looking for fast results we can be sure that they will be gone just as fast as they got there! If you think about it, all the times you’ve been able to get fast results, you’ve probably been disappointed because they didn’t last…. I can say this is so true with my eating disorder! Anyone you know who tried a fad diet and lost a lot of weight most likely put it right back on when the diet was over! Fast results just won’t last. We’ve all heard the saying “good things are worth waiting for.” It just really stinks because we all want what we want…. NOW! We either want it over NOW, or we want to have that item NOW. Sometimes I think we have to just accept that it’s not realistic to get immediate results in every aspect of our life.
I’m a runner and I know that I can’t just walk out my door, after not having run for months, and run a marathon! It’s just not possible. I have to work up to it…… slowly!!!! Those principles apply to everyday life as well!!! We have to work for what we really want, and what means something to us. If I want to ease frustration, I can go for immediate results and straighten up the house, but if I want to “feel much better” I will have to take the time to thoroughly clean it – that’s just how life works.
So, I’m on day 24 of this “30 day no mistakes meal plan challenge”…. It’s very hard to stick to a plan and trust that you’re not gaining!! Very hard! This is one of those things where I have to trust Beth and Lisa for 30 days and wait to see the results then (if there are any results). I would just like to note that this is very, very, very hard! It’s doable…. But very, very, very hard! 🙂 [side note… I’m pretty sure that they will say “hey Rachel, you have to do this for ANOTHER 30 DAYS if you want results— I’ll cross that bridge when I get there].
Maybe sometime I’ll find a way to suck up my pride and admit to Beth that she has been right all along…. and that I have to keep trusting her…… and keep truckin’ along…. and waiting….
….. Nah…. Not ready yet….
So, if you’ve managed to survive this super wordy post…. then I salute you!!! 🙂