It has happened to all of us at some point or another: we were doing so well with our weight loss diet or exercise regime. Then suddenly we fell off the horse and decided that if we had already gone this far we might as well give up entirely.
There’s an old Chinese tale about a father and his son who lived on a farm. Together they raised sheep and cared for them. They lived off of these sheep and were able to make money from the sheep’s fur. Every day both the father and the son walked around the field where they were raising the sheep to check that the fence was in good order. One night, the fence broke and some wolves sneaked into the field and ate some of the sheep.
The son cried out to his father saying that all was lost and that they were now ruined! But the father simply picked up his tools and took his son to the fence to patch it up. Once the fence had been fixed, the father told his son that just because there was a weakness in the fence it does not mean that it cannot be fixed nor that it is impossible for them to keep raising sheep.
Your diet or exercise regime is like sheep, it is always at risk of violated or destroyed. The fence represents your will power and your circumstances. It might happen that you’re too busy to go to the gym or go jogging every morning for a period of time. It might happen that you were forced to stop at a fast food joint on the side of the high way. It might happen that you cave in to eating some chips, some chocolate, or any one of your other cravings. But that doesn’t mean you should give up and let your sheep continue to be eaten by wolves. After you’ve stuffed yourself with what you know to be unhealthy food: stop and think about it. It’s not the end of the world.
If you go end up on a binge of food, you don’t need to eat more bad food to “get it out of your system”, to feel better or to make sure it never happens again. You will be faced with times where you want to eat something unhealthy, or you want to sleep in and skip your step class. No problem, but don’t let that one incident ruin your motivation or your commitment to your diet or exercise regime. It happens to everyone, but if you’re one of the people who is able to pick yourself up and fix the fence you’ll be able to keep losing weight and get healthier.
I hope this story has helped you to understand that not all is lost if your resolve waivers for a day or a week, or what have you. You are the boss of yourself and you can chose to return to eating healthy foods and working out on a regular basis without any fear. Trust in yourself and make sure you keep your eyes focused on the goal since that’s what keeps us all motivated.