No, this isn’t my before and after story…not yet, anyway.
I love reading before and after stories on various blogs. I can often identify with the struggle and the hopeless feeling, followed by the immense relief when things finally start to change. Reading a before and after story is like watching a movie montage and satisfies my need for instant gratification.
Often there is a really dramatic set of pictures that shows instantly the weight loss that occurred. Or there will be some numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar, measurements, etc) that show a huge change after some period of eating primal/paleo. And even if these pictures and measurements are spaced months or years apart, there they are right on the page, in an instant for me to see.
Sometimes the writer of the story will use phrases like “the pounds just melted away” or “soon my clothes were just hanging off me.” (Yes, I’m mostly drawn to weight loss stories since that’s where my focus is…and I like seeing the pictures!). Who knows, maybe if I ever write my own success story I’ll use some version of those phrases, too.
The reality is, the day to day minutia feels much different. Sure, I’ve noticed some changes…but there definitely aren’t any feelings of melting. For the most part, I feel like I look exactly like I did back in April when I started. And fairly often I find myself sitting at my desk consumed with thoughts about m&ms…and doughnuts (see previous post).
If it sounds like I’m shit talking the people who write these stories, I assure you that is not my intent. I love reading stories about how someone overcame a lifetime of bad habits and poor health to become a healthier and often happier person. And really, reading about some chick daydreaming about candy = not inspirational or particularly motivating.
Really, what I’m trying to say is how did it feel the first time someone decided to skip the Ben & Jerry’s and eat some veggies or go for a walk instead? I’ve done that once or twice and I can tell you I literally felt my body and mind shift. It was like a soft little poke in the back of my brain. And it felt awesome. But I will fully admit that not too long after making that change, I had a bad day and dove face first into a jumbo bag of m&ms. Can’t win them all I guess. I guess the grumpy old lady in me plans to write an after story that isn’t so rosy and fat melty and includes more doughnuts.