I feel like we need to talk about temptation and succumbing to it. Everyone knows that Girl Scout cookies are like crack. You think "Oh, I'll buy some from my niece or that nice little girl who lives down the street...I was a girl scout once. It's a great cause and I don't want to be a douchebag who shuns altruism! I have willpower and it's for the kids." The next thing you know, you're initiating your book club emergency phone tree at 3:00am to find out who has unclaimed boxes of thin mints they're trying to unload.
We talk a lot about weight loss on here, and in our actual lives. Even so, don't mistake our interest as obsession with the numbers and the counting and the score-keeping of it all. Heather and I both work hard at it, and despite a competitive nature that could easily turn very catty (you've met us, right?) there is a definite support system at work here for each of us. Sometimes that means that Heather is fielding phone calls at midnight so that I can say to someone who's NOT an enabler (yes, I'm looking at you, Mr. who-cares-eat-what-you-want-24/7-husband-of-mine!), "I have wanted to eat ALL DAY and I didn't FEEL like working out because there was a really good "West Wing" marathon on Bravo and I now I suck and feel fat and am a mess!" We've both been at this long enough to know that when you want to hoover your cookie jar or blow off working out, it's rarely because you just want an entire jar of cookies or because you hate working out. We don't hate working out. We do it often and it makes you feel great.
Backsliding on whatever fitness goals you've set for yourself is rarely because you are too lazy or too ineffectual to accomplish them. But you can set yourself for failure if you look at losing weight or keeping it off as a competition with your heavier self. Unfortunately in weight loss, as in many other worthwhile pursuits in life, you don't really get to spike the football in the endzone. That's bad news for people who like to approach challenges with an deadline in mind. It's good news for the rest of us. It means that if you have a day, a week, a month where you are consciously or sub-consiously prioritizing something else over getting fit, you still haven't failed. The more you can look inward, figure out why you are prioritizing self-loathing over self-love, the more you can step away from the scoreboard of it all and just live a healthier life.
Heather saw someone somewhere talking about the difference between the pleasure we might get from "treating" ourselves to fast food or cheesecake or those damn Girl Scout cookies on a daily basis and actually treating ourselves right. One thing I've learned over the past two years is that if you don't love yourself, right this minute, at whatever weight you are, it's hard to convince yourself to make choices that are actually good for you.
Reason tells us that if you hate yourself when you're overweight, losing weight is the only thing that will make you love yourself. But the reason why diets fail, the reason why exercise commitments get abandoned is because it doesn't work like that. Not even a little bit. Think of it this way: you're not going to get out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and drag yourself to the gym everyday before work for someone that you don't like very much. So find out why you're just not that into you. Here's a hint: It's not the weight, it's probably whatever made you put on the weight so be sure to ask yourself the right questions. Or better yet, find a girlfriend to ask them for you like I did. Long term success in this endeavor, like any other, is not defined by moments when you feel on top of the world or totally in control. It's defined by how you handle the other times, by who you can reach out to and who can help you tap into that well of self-acceptance and love that is more important than any exercise class or any diet plan.
So don't shun the Girl Scouts, they're awesome, but here's some advice. If your office is like the offices I've worked in, those cookies will be more readily available than ink for the printer. If people offer, just take them, it's the polite thing to do. Then when they leave, before you throw them away, spray those fuckers with Windex so you're not tempted to dig them out of the trash.
Note: I finished this post today because I was inspired today's post on Natalie's blog, www.myblogisboring.com. So thanks, Nat...and namaste.