2X4 moments

31 Jan

The first step in making any change is to be aware of the need for change. I would argue that most big people are very aware of their size. You know you might be overweight when…(insert a list of Jeff Foxworthy type one-liners here). We get it…we see it every morning in the mirror. So overweight people are aware of their current state, but are they aware of the need for change?

While it may seem obvious, it is not always for us. It takes a “2X4” moment. What’s that? When you get hit upside the head with some harsh reality. Sometimes it is a comment from an “innocent” little kid “lady, why do you have three tummies?” Sometimes it is something we hear from a family member “mommy, how come you never play soccer with me?” Sometimes it comes in a difficult conversation with your doctor “if you don’t lose weight, you are not going to be able to have children”. Sometimes you stand at the edge of giving up a dream “we can’t put you on active duty at your current size”. Everybody has a reason…you just don’t know it until you know.

Then you need to be aware of WHAT IT TAKES to make a change. To get something different, you need to do something different. Whatever it is you are doing (or not doing) right now with eating and exercise is contributing to your current state and it all needs to change (not 100% right now, take baby steps). Sacrifices will need to be made. Change the way you think, what you believe about yourself and what you are doing. There is no magic pill or formula. It takes hard work EVERY DAY and sometimes all frickin’ day long.

Okay, so we are now aware of the need for change and the discomfort it will bring…is that enough? Almost. A 2X4 moment for me was being aware of what I was doing throughout the day. The best example is what I was eating. In my head I wasn’t eating that much. I wasn’t really sure, but I made a good guess that eating wasn’t the problem. That was until I started writing down what I ate and calculating calories. Suddenly I have evidence to show that I wasn’t eating the way I thought I was. Having a food/activity journal helped me be aware of what I was doing because I had to write it down and look at it. No more mindless eating. No more “expensive” calories choices. See “Evidence and Food Police

Even more important was becoming aware of my automatic pilot. Tired? Eat something. Stressed? Eat something. Lunch time? Eat something. Watching TV? Eat something. Super stressed? Eat a lot….and on and on. Eating was my “go to” reaction to everything and it took me quite a while to realize it.

To get something different I had to do something different. So I picked up the 2X4 and knocked autopilot out of the captain’s chair. At first, I was just happy to realize what I was doing and why. Then I got better at being able to see when it was coming. Once I was able to predict it and realize what was happening, I eventually got better at managing the moment. The more I am aware of what I am doing, the higher the chance I can do something different. Awareness works as a first step in changing behavior.




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