The damage has been done. The gifts have all been purchased, given, and opened with joy, but you haven’t settled the debt. It feels good that you have the things, but there is a bit of fear that has been slowly creeping in, reminding you that the pile of things came with a price, and if you took more than you could actually afford, then you have a problem looming that will eventually have to be reconciled.
Weight for me was like a debt, a credit card balance with compounding interest that I knew I was responsible for but I had no idea how to pay it off. Even though I decided to change my ways and take responsibility for the debt (the weight) that I had accumulated, I couldn’t simply drop the consequences of my years of overeating. I had to reconcile every single pound!
Just like a holiday shopper looking at the damage on their credit card statements in January, I looked at myself weighing 315 pounds and I knew that I had put myself into a pretty deep hole. Making a long term payment plan was my only choice, and so I set out on what I understood from the beginning was going to be a long process.
I found out quickly that being morbidly obese was a lot like the interest on a credit card with a large balance. My size made it harder to chip away at the pounds because moving was so hard for me. My joints hurt when I stood up for long periods of time, so asking them to squat and jump and run was out of the question at first. So my payments (my workouts) in the beginning were quite small, and it felt just like drowning in credit card debt with interest continuing to add to the balance that I was so desperately trying to settle. Despite the struggle, I continued to dedicate my mind and my energy to doing my best each day, and eventually momentum started to build.
Are you finding yourself drowning in a debt with your health? You know that you are responsible for the choices that led you there, but you have no idea how to turn things around. I want you to know that a healthy credit score is still within reach if you are deliberate in your resolve to fight for it. I’m not talking about losing weight for vanity sake. I’m talking about changing your spending (eating) habits and paying (working out) off the balance (fat) that is compromising your health and making you feel sick and tired and worn down. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the process of losing weight, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose, it might help to think about it in a fresh new way.
The steps to losing weight are exactly the same as paying off a debt.
FIRST: You have to stop spending!
You cannot pay off a balance that you keep adding to. Invest time and energy into developing eating habits that are healthy and sustainable and that bless your body. Remember that you are on a long term repayment plan. You need to keep your spending (your eating) in a healthy place for the rest of your life, so invest time into creating healthy eating habits, discovering new healthy foods and flavors, and slowly settling into a lifestyle of eating that makes you feel satisfied and happy and sustained.
THEN: Start paying down the balance!
Now that you have set up eating habits that are no longer growing your debt, you are ready to deal with the pounds that you need to reconcile in order to get your health back. Get your body moving to take off the excess weight that is compromising your health. When paired with healthy eating, exercise is powerful both in burning fat and in making you mentally stronger. And what’s exciting is that the smaller the debt gets the easier it becomes to chip away at. The interest stops compounding and the momentum starts moving you closer and closer to your goals. Remember again that this is part of a long term plan. You cannot expect two months of exercise to take away 5 years of weight gain any more than you could expect $200 in credit card payments to clear the balance of $2,000 in spending. Celebrate ever pound reconciled, and don’t lose heart when you don’t melt down to your high school weight the first time you step in the gym. Debt doesn’t work that way and neither does weight loss. Commit to doing the work and the results will come over time.