Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Doctor, hurts when I do this!

You probably already know the punchline to this classic joke.  I hope I'm not going to end up insulting anyone by likely way oversimplifying extremely complex issues dealing with addiction, binge behaviors, stress and coping mechanisms and all the like.

In case there are very young followers, let me remind people of a very old joke:

Patient - Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this!  (imagine the patient moving their arm up and down)

Doctor - Well, then don't do that!.

Yes, we've all come to our physicians with a condition hoping for a very detailed and careful diagnosis and a detailed treatment plan only to find that the doctor either right or wrong has provided an overly simplistic answer to address the complaint.  "Oh, just keep off of it for a few days and alternate ice and heat"  "Hmm..that is an interesting rash, here is a steroid cream..put that on it."

Now, here is the over-simplified part when it comes to the challenges many of us face in losing weight.

Shouldn't we reverse roles?  Instead of being the weight loss patient seeking sage advice, should we be the doctor and tell ourselves to just don't do it?  Plain and simple, right?  Easier preached than practiced...certainly.  Here are some examples...

Kyle, Kyle...I've had a bad day, I think I'll eat pizza to comfort me, but I won't lose weight.  Well..then don't do that!.
Kyle, Kyle...I'm too tired to exercise, sitting here and surfing the internet feels better!, well, then don't do that!.

When we are faced with making a bad choice, how come we can't simply make the good choice?  Shouldn't it be that simple?

I've been there (not recently thankfully), but at the drive-through window unable to make up my mind...Kyle, all looks so tasty and I'm hungry, I think I'll get the Whopper and the Fish Sandwich...Well, then don't do that?  I did it anyway...ate it...felt guilty about it...and sought out the complex diagnosis of why I'd knowingly do something that bad to myself.

We want to be defective because it makes it easier to explain why it really can't be that simple; we want to wallow in the injustice of being different from other healthy people because it justifies our struggles.  We see "The Fit" as special and we want to be special too...though we feel "The Fit" are GIFTED while we are CURSED with some special defect...and that defect is what makes us special.

Yes, there are uncomfortable events in my life..some more serious than others.  Things that'd mentally screw with the toughest people.  But, you know what?  It really doesn't matter.  While I've sought out my root defect and the solutions from highly qualified practitioners, there really isn't the clean diagnosis and treatment that makes it all very easy to do.

In the end, I simply had to recognize that I, and I alone, will be accountable for getting healthy and while not always easy, the path to success is simple.  Make more good choices than bad.  We won't be perfect in all cases and that is okay, but it isn't okay to remain defective by our own diagnosis.  We are far from powerless, we are not defective despite our desires to be, and most importantly it is within our very own power and responsibility to be good to ourselves and keep getting better and better.