On feeling discouraged

15 04 2010

It is a short step from satisfied to discouraged when you are on a weight loss journey: the length of the step from the bare wood floor onto the scale.  No matter how well you’ve stayed on track, what you’ve eaten, how you’ve exercised, it feels like you simply didn’t try hard enough if the digital number reads the same as last time you stepped on — or, worse, if it reads higher.

The dictionary says discourage means “to deprive of courage or confidence: dishearten”.  While I was looking it up, I saw a bunch of other “dis” words that describe how I felt this morning:  discomfited, disequilibrium, disgrace, disgust (I won’t bore you with each definition).  How easy it is to fall into the trap of allowing negative emotion to overwhelm us.

One way to combat the disheartened feeling is to find inspiration in those around us who have taken on the task of real life change.  I am lucky enough to have numerous examples around me:  Tammy, who has gone back to school in an accelerated night program in addition to working full-time and raising two beautiful daughters; Jen D., who has lost a whopping 47 pounds and counting; Rhonda who has taken control of her own physical health even though that journey has sometimes been scary.

Real change, whether you are working on your habits or your habitual thought patterns, takes courage.  It takes heart.  But even the most motivated among us has down days.  The trick is to find a way to bring yourself back up.  I found a few “dis” words in the dictionary to help with that, too:

  • Disencumber yourself of unrealistic expectations
  • Disembarrass yourself — all journeys have ups and downs
  • Dismiss negative self-talk
  • Dispel the fog of disappointment and take courage and inspiration from those around you.
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