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Choices and control

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I made good choices today. It was very hot and humid so I did not take my normal lunch hour 2 mile walk for fear of feeling gross and sweaty for the whole afternoon but I resolved to walk those 2 miles on my treadmill when I got home. I was hungry and ready for supper when I first got home so I ate my planned meal and then when I was finished, though I didn't feel like it, I put my tennis shoes on and went downstairs and walked on my treadmill.

My husband just pulled it out of storage where it has been sitting for at least 3 years. He first told me that I wouldn't be able to use it because when he tested it, it appeared to only go one speed (full blast!!). Turns out it simply needed to be cleaned and is now working properly. It was difficult getting used to walking on it again. In fact, it was painful. I was hot and sweaty and working at what seemed like a much higher level than my normal walks and as I watched the timer and distance counter, the time seemed to inch along. I persevered and went the full 2 miles in 35 minutes. I won't lie, I am glad it's over and those 35 minutes were agonizing, but I finished. What pushed me to keep on keeping on in spite of my misery? I made a choice to finish!!

I listened to a podcast the other day that discussed the topic of making decisions based on how we feel. How many times have I not worked out because I didn't feel like it, or binged on chips, candy, and ice cream because I felt like it? Where has doing what I feel like gotten me? It has gotten me to the weight that I despise being at. It is so easy to make excuses and find reasons for making these poor choices and I don't hesitate doing so most of the time.

It is only in times like now, after I think long and hard about how I got here that I have to face the facts that my behaviors got me here. The awesome thing about this truth is that it really is in my control.

I often say that it is all about the locus of control. People that have an internal locus of control believe that their actions determine their outcomes while those that have an external locus of control believe that external forces determine their outcomes. For example, a person with an external locus of control might believe that to get a good job, one must know the right people or be in the right place at the right time whereas a person with an internal locus of control believes that hard work and preparation will help them get a good job. My daughter is struggling with this in her life. She is leaning towards an external locus of control and often gets frustrated with situations in her life while stating that everything is out of her control. I have realized that the more she believes it is out of her control, the less she does to change the situation and thus her problems become a vicious cycle and nothing seems to ever improve, which only reinforces her belief that she has no control. I am patiently trying to help her with this.

So is the same with weight loss. When one gets in the frame of mind that it doesn't matter what they do, they can never lose weight, and they can't help themselves from eating or whatever excuse or obstacle they see in their way, is it any wonder he or she or I would give up?? I'm going to work on keeping my internal locus of control and stop making excuses.
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