The Fifth Almond: The Middle

I want this post to be something of a reflection on the program thus far. I think when I began this journey, I thought about the endgame and what the results would be. I don’t know that anybody goes on a journey like this and foresees the hard parts; the decisions to pass on your favorite foods and eat something better for your body are seldom weighed when you are at the starting gate. When I began, I thought of what I wanted to look like and how I wanted to feel when the program was all over. 

I think of the TV shows where individuals go on massive, life-changing weight loss journeys. For those individuals, there must be a compelling enough back story for them to even get on the show. More often than not, those chosen want to lose weight for their children, or because they had parents that lost their lives to weight-related issues. The show will open with them addressing the camera and saying something like, “I am not losing weight for me. I am losing weight so my children have a father/mother to watch them grow up and be there for.” They acknowledge that the journey will be hard, but they are focused on the endgame.

I do not have the same hurdles as those on those TV shows, but I shared the same basic outlook at the beginning. And right now, in my journey, I am at the point of the show where the central character looks at the camera and says, “I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard.”

For me thus far, the hardest part hasn’t been the eating. After last week, I thought that the detox was the hardest part about this journey. Having to eliminate just about every one of my favorite foods from my diet for 10 days seemed like there couldn’t be anything worse, but reflecting on it makes it an easier pill to swallow.

Right now, the hardest part is the emotional turmoil that I’m going through.

In the past 2 weeks, I have lost my job, moved in with my parents, and most recently, moved in with my girlfriend for the first time. I am trying to job hunt in one of the worst times for twenty-somethings to find work and I am trying to go through this diet program all at the same time. I am, in a lot of ways, emotionally maxed-out and if the program didn’t have as solid of an infrastructure as it did, I can honestly say I would have given up.

The program is built around three cornerstones: medical supervision, exercise and nutrition counseling, and emotional advocacy. Every visit, you check in with each “division” and talk about what you have found that works, and what frustrations you have. I can say that I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about myself through each of these “divisions,” but the one I didn’t think I would get very much out of has turned out to be the most important for me thus far in my journey.

Shannon, the emotional advocate, does a tremendous job at getting to the core of what struggles and frustrations you are having. A lot of times, food is not even the point of conversation what she meets with me. I will go in and when she talks to me, I think I have to somehow tie everything back in to how I’m eating or why I’m not exercising as much as I should and she stops me, and diverts the conversation to what struggles I am having in life. Because these last few weeks have been so hard for me, she has been a very important person in getting me through what I have been going through.

As I progress to the latter half of the Transformation program, so to do I progress to the latter half of my journey. Thus far, it has been extremely rocky. Every week you have struggles and don’t think things can get much worse, and then life has a funny way of reminding you of why you need to stay focused and stay positive. I am at a low point in my life right now, but there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel. I am happy in my relationships and I am settling in to apartment life with my girlfriend (we are only 2 days in and our apartment is full of boxes, but we are both excited and happy about where we are and where we are going).

I will leave you with this thought: when we are happy we think things will always be that way, and when we are down we think things can’t get any worse. What we need to do is constantly keep our focus on where we want to go and our individual journeys will get us there if we keep our chin up and our sights set on our goals. Life is full of struggles, but if we didn’t struggle, we wouldn’t appreciate our successes when we eventually reach them.

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