Look at that – over a year since I last posted on this blog. I hang my head in shame… To make up for it, I wrote a little piece about weight loss!
Why Weight Loss is like Frodo and Sam’s journey in Lord of the Rings
First things first – step out of your front door
Don’t wait for the perfect time to get started. Get started now. Goal planning is always a good idea, but remember these things are not set in stone and you can change them at any time. You know that the One Ring needs to be destroyed, but exactly how… you’re not so sure. It doesn’t matter, just get going. Figure the rest out on your way. Quite often, where you end up is not where you thought you’d be. You start off thinking that you just need to get to Bree. But when you get there, you realise you need to go to Rivendell instead. And then, you get to Rivendell and you realise that you’re gonna have to go to Mordor after all. But you won’t know all of that until you get to Bree first, and to do that you’re going to have to leave your house.
Forget about the Damn Eagles
Many people keep thinking the eagles are gonna come down and sweep you up and drop you off at your goal, but no. That never happens. Forget about the eagles of weight loss – crash diets, fad diets and magic pills. Don’t listen to your friend who said a friend of hers went on this special diet and lost 40lbs in a week. Firstly, the eagles of weight loss are a law unto themselves and secondly, the journey is the point. The journey of weight loss teaches you more about yourself than a quick fix ever will. In fact, hope that the eagles don’t come to rescue you because if they do you will learn nothing about yourself, learn nothing about making a lifestyle change, and learn nothing about what it really means to love and respect your body. So screw the eagles, you don’t need them.
It’s a long and often boring journey
The journey of weight loss is often dull, monotonous and of little interest to other people. Yeah, you wish you were at Helms Deep. But no, you are mostly walking through dull swampland or through dull forests or endless unnecessarily steep stairs. It’s a long hard journey and the burden is yours to bear and yours alone. Even if you lose weight with friends, much of the time it’s just you making daily choices towards your goal. It’s not exciting, and it will take longer than you think. That’s OK. Forget about how long it’s going to take and focus on one day, one step, at a time.
Those closest to you may not understand your new lifestyle change – in fact they may resent it. Other people will sometimes try to derail your journey intentionally or unintentionally, consciously or subconsciously. Deal with these as best you can, depending on the circumstances. The Faramier’s in your life will require you to explain in detail your journey and your reasons, then they will understand and let you go on your way. The Boromier’s, you just need to avoid or ignore them as best you can, they can’t help behaving like douches.
The Sam’s in your life – partners or loved ones – will still not understand, but will stand by you anyway. Be kind to them, because they’re trying to help you as best they can.
Find fellow ring bearers. They will know what you are going through and will be able to pick you up when you fall and guide you back to your path. You may find yourself obsessed at times, unable to focus on anything other than your goal. Fellow ring bearers can help you to see the bigger picture.
Sometimes you’re Smeagol, sometimes you’re Gollum
Sometimes, you can be lovely to yourself, sometimes you can be vile. The more you appeal and have compassion for your Smeagol side, the less likely you are to feed yourself to the giant metaphorical spider of self-loathing. And even if you do, all is not lost. Simply pick yourself up and try again. If you find yourself wallowing in self-loathing, visualise throwing the Gollum side of your mind into the fiery chasm from whence it came. Also, refer to yourself as precious, because you are!
The Last Leg
The last part is the hardest: it’s just one foot in front of the other. You’re tired, drained, bored; but you’re nearly there. And when you get there, the journey is never really over. Once you’ve thrown the ring into the fires of mount doom, you now need to transition your life to maintenance mode. You know you can never go back to how things were – sometimes you may feel sad for your former life. That’s OK, because you’re on a new adventure now. You didn’t think you could do it, and you did.
And remember, you are awesome, and therefore you bow to no one!
(all images featured, copyright (c) New Line Cinema Productions, inc.)