When I’ve talked before about weight loss I often quip that I’m motivated, but not committed.
By that I usually mean I hate my body and my life and want to change it (and know what I need to do), but cannot find the resolve I need to actually make the changes. I’ve said it before… I’m an ‘ideas’ girl. The follow-through is a bit of a problem!
Unsurprisingly Domonique Bertolucci lists the principle of commitment as the ninth key to happiness in her book, The Happiness Code.
“Although happiness is a state of being, it usually still requires some doing if it is to be lasting in your life.”
What, we have to work at it? Shit! It’s just like that bloody healthy living / losing weight caper! Where’s the fairy godmother and her magic wand, or genie in a bottle when you need them?!
“A fulfilling and meaningful life isn’t something that just happens,” Bertolucci reminds us. “It’s something we need to create. Like anything we have to maintain and sustain it.”
Bertolucci says that EVERY SINGLE DAY we are faced with a series of seemingly-ordinary choices. We don’t, she says, just have to make a decision to take us down the road to happiness just once, rather…. we have to make them again and again.
Again Bertolucci includes reference to ‘being our best’ (perhaps she was a fan of the TV series Dollhouse?). I’ve already said that I like this notion – eschewing the concept of ‘perfection’ for that of just trying to be the best we can be. She notes, however, that even this is undesirable to some.
“Most people are fine with fine and okay with okay. If you want to be the best you can be, make sure you’re not.”
Perhaps this is where I’m struggling. I say I’ve always been a perfectionist – but do believe I’m now far more realistic about what I might achieve in life. Perfection seems all-but-impossible.
But… perhaps the guilt and frustration that ‘bug’ me are a result of being ‘okay’; not ‘the best I can be’. Bertolucci talks a bit about the ‘why’, saying that … “waiting for it to be easy is one of the main reasons people don’t make the changes they need to make, to be truly happy and fulfilled in life. Very few desired changes can be achieved without effort and a commitment to that effort.”
She tells us, if we want to make changes in our life, think about why.
“Identify your driving motivation and you will have all of the encouragement you need.”
I was in the bathtub last night. Unsurprisingly… yes. (Actually I was in there for 2-3hrs reading an entire novel, but that’s another story!)
During a break in the reading I contemplated my agenda for today. Perhaps I needed to go grocery shopping, I thought. And immediately the idea of ‘treat’ food came roaring into my mind. I pictured myself ensconced in front of the television with rice cakes or corn chips. But in a rare moment of clarity I asked myself about the repercussions of such a binge (or overeating episode). Likers of my Facebook page will know that this is a particularly sensitive matter after weighing myself on the weekend.
“No one will ever love you,” I told myself as I imagined staying the size I am now and continuing to feel unattractive and frumpy.
Sadly there was no lightbulb moment or clarity today – as I continued to contemplate the purchase of trigger foods.
But, Bertolucci’s suggestion that we look at our driving motivation is consistent with what I (kinda) already know. Many of my reasons for wanting to lose weight are externally driven: be perceived as attractive, not be judged by others etcetera.
But, surely I want to lose weight to be healthier and fitter and feel better? Surely?!
Perhaps I do want that, but obviously not enough to consistently make smart decisions to get me there. Because, as Bertolucci says:
“The most important commitment you will ever make is to being the best you can be.”
What about you? Do you believe there’s a difference between being motivated and committed?
Do you strive for: perfection; your best; or is okay enough most of the time?