Why do we gloss over the middle of the story?
I have a guilty pleasure that I’m quite fond of. Whenever there is a weight loss story or before and after pictures I find myself clicking or stopping in the magazine aisle to read them. I’ve become somewhat of an expert on them. However, after reading my 500th* (?) *I’m not really sure how many I read but I needed a number) dramatic weight loss inspirational story on Yahoo I began noticing a trend.
Each would start out with the realization they needed to change, followed by a terrible picture of them looking sad and fat, (I call this the AH-A!) the I’m going to do it sentence or driving factor (My mom died of Diabetes, I want to go play with my kids, or my favorite I just wanted to see my toes again) the research phase and then followed by the I just started (I went for a walk etc.) to do something. The next paragraph is the plan (I stopped eating carbs! I joined weight watchers etc.) followed by a simple statement (It was so hard but I stuck with it) and then the TA-DA I can fit into my pants happy smile picture. The End.
While I love these stories I wanted to know more about the middle of the story. Why was it so hard? What did you do to gain more discipline in changing your habits or how did you redeem yourself when you ate the two pieces of peach pie with whipping cream? (Asking for a friend) The reason I want to know is it seems that the middle of the weight loss story is where the magic happens. It’s where the main character realizes that they can do hard things and solider on however they never seem to share it with the rest of us. Is it some secret club that you have to join? If so who do I have to bribe to get in the door?
The true reason this bothers me is that I am now in the middle of my own story. I can tell you the beginning and I can tell you what I want the ending to be but this middle business, the work business is what is driving me crazy. The frustrating part is that I find myself wanting to slip back into my old habits and fat pants. My poor trainer has had to deal with random middle of the night texts of questions such as Who wins in the weight vs. Fat battle. (FYI it’s Fat. Weight has too many variables. Kinda like that crazy girlfriend you had in high school that you could never quite guess her mood.) Which now comes down to the real question of my annoyance. The glow of something shiny has worn off and the end point is still far away. Do I still want to continue? Or just say that this was a glorious experiment but I love to have diabetes more?
What I have been doing lately is thinking of all the times I’ve run races and looked at the time sheets. When I find my name at the bottom (Yay for being a U) I see the words DNF. Did not finish. I’ve often wondered what the reasoning was. Were they unable to get time off work? Injury? Family situation? Or did the simply choose not to start? So on my ever growing post it board I wrote DNS. Did not start. On this day when I feel stuck in the middle I have to tell myself at least I’ve started. I’m still trying to finish. It may take a year. It may take two years but I’m going to finish this damn race. And when I do I’ll make sure I include the middle of the story.
Let’s help each other finish shall we?