Sustainability (Part Two)


I’ve written about sustainability before. You can read my first go round with it here. Simplicity and sustainability are ways of life that I hope to always cultivate. It has been fairly apparent that in my work life I should focus on a schedule and on commitments that are simple and sustainable. Naturally, I’m uncovering that same message as I “rehab” (if you will) my health.

It can be very easy to live in extremes when trying to lose weight. It is almost the preferred method among those espousing advice. Take for example:

-Juice Fasts
-Boot Camp
-Shake Diets

It is all so tempting. (My very level-headed friend Sarah tried the detox thing. Honestly, I’m glad she did it first, because otherwise I might have tried it out myself.) For some people, these tactics are probably very effective. In some cases, they might even be healthy. (However, can I just say that I’ve never met anyone who is has done P90X for more than a few weeks at a time?) I try to keep my outlook pretty judgement free so if any one of these things works for you, do not let me discourage you. Allow me to say, simply, I am taking a different path.

Changing your lifestyle is difficult. It takes a lot of commitment and a lot of energy. Because of that, I’m choosing to spend my energies cultivating habits that are sustainable for a lifetime. Some folks lose weight by keeping a food journal. This has been an incredibly effective tactic for people. I tried Weight Watchers Online last summer and tired very quickly of tracking everything I ate. The clear message is that food tracking is not a sustainable habit for me. I can hack it for a few weeks, but not much longer.

Let’s take on the other hand, my food resolution to eliminate buns. I can skip the roll at dinner for the rest of my life. No problem. I have started kickboxing on Monday nights. I am probably not going to be able to force myself to complete a 90 minute cardio boot camp 6 days a week, but I am almost certain that I can fit a fun, interactive fitness class into my schedule once or twice a week. I can relegate french fries to “vacation food.” I can bike to work. I can hike every Saturday morning.

Finding the “I can”s in a stage of life where everything is a new challenge? For me, that is going to keep me going long term. Yes, I want to lose weight. Really really really badly. But, more importantly, I want to lose weight in the context of a healthy lifestyle. Losing 20 pounds by juice fasting feels like getting an “A” by cheating on the test. The journey is not over when I lose 50 pounds. The journey is never over. It keeps going. And it is starting now.

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