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#308: Where is Your Alligator?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I ran across a newspaper cartoon that showed a drill sergeant speaking to his basic training recruits about using a rope to swing across an open pit.

“That there is a rope,” he said, pointing at the rope. “That there is a pit,” he said, pointing to the mud-filled pit. “And that,” he said, pointing to an alligator in the pit, “is your incentive.”

It got me wondering about our incentives for our weight loss and fitness journeys. Was it for improved health, for improved personal appearance or better fitness and mobility? Whatever our incentive to begin, where is our incentive now? Have we maintained sight of it? Or, discovering that this is not an overnight success trip, have we lost it?

With most aspects of our lives, it is difficult to be "up" every minute of every day. Sure, being positive should be a bedrock of our mental foundation, but there is only so much emotion in us. When we first begin a task, we are so very gung-ho and our excitment level is at an all-time high. Then, as long-term reality sets in we sometimes find our motivation, our incentive, our enthusiasm, waning.

So what do we do then?

I suggest we go back to the beginning and remember how excited we were when we set up our SparkPeople profile page, then joined several groups and began adding friends. When these down times hit, let's go back to the basics and recall how inspired we were when fellow members started posting comments to our page and sending us Goodies and words of encouragement. Let's go back to the start of our journey when we asked for help and received caring words of support from others in return.

Then, let's see where we are now. Have we lost ANY weight? Are we more educated about nutrition and fitness because of reading all of the site's articles, blogs and posts? Do ANY of our clothes feel looser? Have we received ANY compliments on our appearance? Has our mobility improved? Has our confidence increased?

Yes, it is easy to view the rope that will swing us across the chasm of where we started to where we want to go but let's not lose sight of the reasons we embarked on our journey in the first place.

Let us not lose sight of our alligators.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DKWP614
    My alligator lives with me - he's my husband. The simple comment, "I think this good eats program is working for you, I can tell the difference." is enough motivation to keep me going for quite some time. It's nice to hear that he notices that I'm making an effort to change.

    My crocodile, however, is my mother's recent pacemaker implant. I do not want to be her! Keeping that thought in mind makes walking the treadmill easier every day!

    Thanks for the post, very insightful!
    Diana Kathryn
    3952 days ago
    I have more than one incentive but I allow problems to get in the way and I lose focus on all of them. I never give up but sometimes I slack off too much and too often. Thanks for the encouragement. Joy
    3952 days ago
    God bless you, Lou. This is very encouraging to me.
    3953 days ago
    Wow! I have not thought about it that way.
    3953 days ago
    I need to remind myself of my goals every day in order to stay on this journey and yes, I do lose sight at times. Thanks for the reminder.
    3953 days ago
    Thank you. I definitely need to find an alligator today.
    3953 days ago
    What a wonderful way to remind us of why we as making this journey! emoticon
    3953 days ago
    My alligator was improved health. As I have achieved that, I have kept excited with new goals. Right now my goal is to be a runner.

    Have we lost ANY weight? YES! 45 pounds so far!

    Are we more educated about nutrition and fitness because of reading all of the site's articles, blogs and posts? YES! Everything here is a chance to learn, then apply what we learn.

    Do ANY of our clothes feel looser? YES! I have changed sizes, and am about to go down another size very soon.

    Have we received ANY compliments on our appearance? YES!

    Has our mobility improved? Most definitely!

    Has our confidence increased? In many ways it is through the roof. I CAN do it!

    Thank you, Lou.
    3953 days ago
    Oye, the alligators!!
    3953 days ago
    good analogy Lou!!

    3953 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    You are so wise. I just love your blogs! emoticon
    3953 days ago
    Thanks Lou, as well as losing there's maintaining, which can be equally challenging. The thought is to not lose sight of where we started! Thank you for the reminder and once again making me think! You are awesome!
    Lynne emoticon
    3953 days ago
    I think it is easy for the focus to become blurred at times. We all need the reminder now and then to put the focus where it needs to be! Thanks, Lou!
    3953 days ago
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