The oft misquoted Benjamin Franklin said “Experience is a dear teacher.” He did not say it is the “best” teacher. He did not mean “dear” as in “endearing” but as in “costly”. Experience doesn’t always come cheap.
His point was not to discount that we do indeed learn from our experiences, but that the cost of learning through trial and error is expensive by many measures. Whether the measure be in time, money, emotions, stress---whatever--- the cost cannot be avoided.
We would, then, do well to listen to those who are traveling the same road we are undertaking to travel, and learn from them. In the old testament of the Bible is the instruction to not destroy the ancient landmarks. When it comes to some things, there is, as Solomon said, nothing new under the sun. We would then be wise to listen to those who have passed this way and have imparted their learning. Our cost might be diminished considerably.
What all this has to do with weight loss is this. There are many who have tried and failed in that arena. They only won half the battle. They, as you and I, lost their desired amount of weight, but they were not able to maintain that loss.
Those of us who have “been there, done that” have paid the cost of our experience. We have paid it in terms of money spent on diet plans, special foods, wardrobe and the like, and in non-monetary ways like frustration, feeling like a failure and even despair.
Not only have we lost hope at times, we’ve caused those that are close to us, in the nitty gritty day in and day out stuff of life, to lose faith in us. Sometimes, in those eyes, we are deemed a failure.
But we are not a failure, if having tried and failed we didn’t succeed. We just haven’t figured out yet what will work. We are only a failure when we quit and never try again….when we throw in the towel, sit down and refuse to budge.
A victor, a winner, keeps trying to figure out what will work. As is said, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Some days we don’t feel so tough. But after we’ve rested awhile and regained our strength, it is time to try again.
But not with the same old plan that previously failed. Not with the same old strategies. We are doomed to fail again if we keep going back to that which didn’t work for us.
Any cost, any expenditure we’ve invested in our efforts is not totally lost until we fail to succeed and quit. As long as we keep on striving toward our goal, we are making progress, figuring out what doesn’t work and getting a little closer to what will.
Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant?
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant!
But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes.
So any time your gettin’ low
Stead of lettin’ go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant!
If you need to “pick yourself up and dust yourself off and start all over again” with losing weight or eating more healthfully, might I suggest beginning with gaining an understanding of the digestive process.
Find, either on-line or in a book, an understandable explanation of what happens when you eat. How the particular macronutrients--protein, fat, carbohydrates, alcohol---affect your insulin levels, the blood glucose levels and the resultant effect on your energy, appetite, metabolism, et al.
This time around that is where I began, and I remember thinking “why hadn’t anyone explained to me the impact of my food choices on my body and health? If I had known I would have done better!” Doctors either don’t know or don’t have the time or take the time to educate us. This we must do ourselves.
Now, each time I choose my foods, I take into account the physiological effect of my choices. And the net result is, it does make a difference---the knowledge helps me to make better choices.
While I may not make the best choices 100% of the time, I do believe it is in the range of 80-90% of the time and this is a vast improvement.
I find that when I make good choices I am not as hungry, making keeping within my allotted food calorie range easier which contributes to my overall success.