I am not advocating divorce-let’s just be clear on this! But if you have been through a divorce, you may be better equipped to navigate the path to fat-loss-after all, there are many commonalities. The most unfortunate of these is that 50% of marriages will end in divorce and only 50% of dieter’s will achieve success-and only temporarily! This has a lot to do with unrealistic expectations. Better get these out in the open early on so you can make sure you’re at least starting on the same page. If it turns out that a split is inevitable, the things you may fight over in a divorce are similar to stages of fat-loss. I’ll leave the human relationship to your marriage counselor (or divorce attorney?) though the fat-loss process might go something like this:
1. Who Gets The House You: “Listen up fat: You’ve been a free-loader in this house for far too long. I want you to pack your crap and get out. And-I’ll be keeping the house.” Fat: “Oh yeah? Just because I’ve been dragging you down for years, you’ve carried me, knowing I was up to no good! It’s your fault-you’re an enabler! And now you think you can just kick me out? News flash! We live in a no-fault state! You’re going to have to fight me for the house!”
Yes, be prepared for fat to put up a fight over the house (AKA, your body). If you’ve been through a divorce, you know the road ahead may be long and rough and and fat won’t walk away easily either. You’re excited to be rid of the loser but he’ll make you work to be rid of him. It took courage to face walking away from a bad marriage and that courage can kick fat to the curb as well. Letting go will require fortitude and patience but you know there's a better place you'll soon be.
2. The Financial Outlook
Who paid the bills? If this was a shared responsibility, then this is a non-issue. If you were the bread-winner, assuming no alimony payouts, your load is about to be lightened. In terms of fat-loss, think of it as no longer spending money on unnecessary junk food that has just become a habit (like paying for her salon visits or his golf membership). If you have been the supported spouse and you're now concerned about how you will make ends meet, don't let this fear keep you from ending a dead-end relationship. When it comes to fat, this is a no-win situation and you can't afford not to walk away. It could end up costing you way more to stay-think about the cost of health-related consequences: high-blood pressure/type II diabetes/heart disease and many other serious ailments all require expensive medical treatment and present life-threatening situations. If money is a big concern, try to remember that it IS NOT the most important thing in life and that it costs far more to keep fat than to lose it. The peace-of-mind you'll gain from knowing exactly where you stand (where finances=health) is a worthy trade: from fitness insecurity to the knowledge of being secure in your health.
3. Parenting and Dating After The Big Loss
Would you have had children if you knew you'd be raising them alone? Would you have let your body get into married shape if you knew you'd be dating again? Thoughts of parenting alone may be overwhelming and dating at this point in your life may seem like going back to an awkward mix of excitement, adolescence and pretense but you will survive! Your kids may need extra reassurance initially that they are loved and you don't need to jump into dating. Giving yourself the time and space to adjust to the loss while not starting something new can provide the environment you need to heal, grow, learn and forgive yourself. The same is true with dieting. Daily affirmations of the positive, self-loving type can help you feel confident in your ability to care for your body and health (your kids) and by not falling for every new, improved diet that comes along making big promises, you can focus on what you truly need to nourish yourself for vibrant health. Take your time and don't be in a hurry as these things just cannot be rushed!
4. No Matter How Badly You Want to Protect Your Kids, They Will be Affected
As a child of divorced parents, I can say first-hand that this is so true. The degree to which that affect hits has a lot to do with the amount of drama surrounding the divorce. If you are able to fight fair, in your inside voice, be as honest about what's going on as your children's age allows, remain loving and non-blaming and try to be respectful towards your soon-to-be-ex, you will be taking the higher road while teaching your children valuable life lessons. When viewed in terms of dieting, your kids would be your heart and liver primarily. You've thrown a lot of junk food at them over the years, and maybe many other bad health choices, but they will thank you for this separation. It too, will take time and require that you take the road less traveled-you know, the Fit And Healthy Road that you don't see many people traveling on...
5. Even If You Are Not at Fault (of course not!), Expect to Feel Like a Failure
Been there, done that! Yes, I wanted the divorce and yes, I was totally to blame but I was not prepared for what a failure I would feel like. It is similar to a death in the sense of loss; the wasted time, the loss of identity and connection can wreak emotional havoc. This too shall pass! You will have set-backs during your diet that may tempt you to just chuck it all, causing you to wonder if you will ever get it right and be rid of fat, once and for all. Try to remember that rarely do things in life follow a straight and comfortable path and that you are only a failure when you actually do give up trying. Today may have held a little glitch but if you examine that glitch, learn from it and devise a plan of action for that next one, you are succeeding and not failing. It's just a process so try not to overthink it. Stay calm and rock on!
Marriage is not easy, losing weight is not easy, life is not easy. All are worthy of your best, so do your best to stay in the game and as a worthy player! At times when things seem too complicated and challenging, try to remember that there is a lesson in everything. Instead of crying in your beer, try smiling over a protein shake as you remind yourself that you are tough and can handle difficult situations without falling apart.Even the worst of circumstances can create a map to earning champion status!