Tuesday, October 06, 2009

So .... are you "All In"?

Okay, let me preface this by saying that as a very loyal Gamecock fan, it breaks my heart and spirit that I am resorting to using a phrase loved by Clemson's head coach. But it is apropos for this post.

When Dabo Swinney was named Clemson's interim head coach last year, one of his catchphrases was "All In." It's not a bad philosophy, truly. If you know anything about gaming (mostly in poker), you know that "all in" means that you are betting everything you have at hand that you will win. If you don't win, the other player(s) at the table get everything you have, and you must walk away. So what does that have to do with weight loss? Quite a bit, actually. And it applies to so much more than just weight loss, but I'll just stick to that.

Being "all in" means that you are determined to reach the goal. There isn't an obstacle that can stand in your path and cause you to lose. Winning is non-negotiable; it's a done deal, the only thing you don't know yet is the exact end date. You may temporarily lose focus, or need to stop to figure out a way around your problems, but you are dead-set on getting to the other side, no matter what.

You also know when you aren't "all in" -- you take your eyes off the finish line. The prize suddenly doesn't mean as much to you. Things that were easy to do in the past suddenly become burdens. You decide reaching whatever goal just isn't worth it.

But really -- is it the goal that isn't worth it, or are you telling yourself that you're not worth it? Are you trying to say to your heart of hearts that these obstacles, this self-discipline, a little time used and energy expended are all bigger, more important, than you?

I can't give you the answer. Each person has a different need, a different reason, a different motivation for starting the journey, for staying on track, for seeing it through to the end. Motivations change: it started with fear and shame and guilt, moved to being thrilled at the progress, and during my worst times, pure stubbornness -- by golly, I was tougher and the setbacks were NOT going to get the best of me. And a primary motivation for me was knowing that in the end, I'm the only person I can count on to care for me in my old age. I need to be in the best possible health I can be in to enjoy all life has. Your answer may vary -- it all depends on your life and situation.

All I can ask you is this: are you all in?

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