Picture a snowy evening. Not the kind where snow is depicted in popular Christmas card scenes. Not this evening. It was a night where the sky was grey, the air was biting cold, the wind was howling, and the snow was mixed with rain and sleet. It's what the weather forecasters here in New York call, "A wintery mix."
This was the weather on a night in December when I was on the Long Island Rail Road heading into a holiday party in New York City. I thought, "This is the first time in my life I'm wearing sequins and snow boots." Sequins because of the elegant holiday party I was attending on the Upper West Side, and snow boots to deal with the dirty, ugly, puddles of snow and ice on the streets. The nasty weather was an obstacle in traveling to the party.
Sequins and snow boots are quite a contrast, yet a great illustration about life. Sometimes your life moves forward glittering just like the sequins. Everything falls into place just as planned, or maybe because of the efforts put forth by you or others. It's when things happen better than expected.
Other times, life is like the snow boots. It's drudgery, either by the choices you make or those that are made for you. It will drag you down, sap your energy, and take you to a place not pleasant to live in.
How long will you stay there? What will it take to get you back to sequins mode?
The truth is they can both be a good place. The sequins are for when things seem easy, and snow boots for when you must depend on your strength, knowledge, and intelligence to carry you through.
Sitting on the train that evening, I also thought... this is a great commentary on how people eat, and why some struggle with their body weight for years.
Many go from one diet center to another, or read diet book after diet book, looking for the easy, shed pounds quickly approach. They just want to live in the sequins and have someone else put on the snow boots and do the hard work for them. While it sounds easy, and may work short-term, the only way to true weight management is to put on your snow boots and stomp on the obstacles.
So you see the snow boots are the true saviors here. Just as if I hadn't worn snow boots on my trip into the holiday party, my sequins would have only been striking as I left the house. The look would have been short-lived. Once at the party, I was able to shed the snow boots and change into shoes more suitable for the sequins.
But what does this mean for your eating?
There are days, weeks, or months when it will be easy for you to eat smart and eat food that is enjoyable and nutritious. You'll feel great and nothing will get in your way. You are living in sequins mode. Then something stops you. It could be anything, and can stop you for a very long time. Your eating becomes out of control. When this happens, the way you react to various situations now seems out of your control. You feel down and defeated, and your eating suffers. Your weight begins to creep up and you find reasons and excuses to overeat. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Often, when you feel down your weight goes up, but when you feel up, your weight goes down.
It is now when you need the unseen snow boots. You are now in snow boots mode. Stomp on your obstacles. Get your strength back, and do what it takes to make you feel up, and allow you to live in sequins mode. Ignite your desire with your knowledge and intelligence.
The truth is when you are a person who eats smart, it is who you are, and not what you do. When eating smart is who you are, it is lasting and carries you through the years. You find many ways to stomp on your obstacles, and it is not hard work.
You bouts of over-eating are short, and the distance of time between them longer. You know what food works for you and how your body reacts to various food items. You make sure you eat a balanced diet from each of the food groups, and you eat the right quantity of food for your body size. You instinctively know when to indulge in food that has no nutritional value, yet is desired, and when to step away from these items.
When you eat smart, you wear sequins each day. You sparkle from the inside out. When you need the snow boots -- and you will -- put them on, and stomp on your obstacles.