*** GUEST ARTICLE SUBMISSION ***
I (like most of you that keep up with Mordant) am an adventure seeking, goal setting, self-motivated junkie. Before I even achieve ONE of my goals, I’m already marking off the next thing on my list. I currently have a list the length of the Mississippi River that just keeps growing.
It’s so important to have goals and dreams and to make plans, but something I’m sure you’ve all learned as well is that you probably can talk the talk most of the time, but end up failing when you have to walk the walk.
About a year ago I discovered that I am a GREAT talker but could barely crawl, let alone walk. The goal at the top of my list that I wanted to achieve was weight loss; I have struggled with my weight for quite some time and was sick of saying, “enough is enough” or “my diet starts tomorrow” and not really meaning it.
My problem with saying these things over and over again was that I was confiding in all my friends and family. One day I would decide I was motivated and make these huge plans and tell everyone all about them. I told them everything from what my exercise routine looked like, how many calories were in my food log, and how I was going to celebrate once I lost the weight.
I always thought confiding in someone was a brilliant idea because I would be “held liable,” but time and time again I found that wasn’t true. I would end up going back to my regular eating habits two days later. After nearly a decade of that, I came to the realization that maybe I should keep my mouth shut, so I did.
In May of 2012 I began working out consistently and eating extremely healthy (no crash diet, just a life style change), but I didn’t tell anyone about it. I would invite my friends to workout with me to keep me motivated, but I never told them my big plans.
I had this huge secret: I was going to lose 50 pounds by November and put on a one-woman show where I would wear an outfit that showed off my body. I was dying to tell all my friends so we could discuss how awesome it was going to feel and how great I as going to look, but I bit my tongue.
Come November, I was performing my autobiographical one woman-show titled “The Bipolar Weight Watcher” in a crop top and sixty pounds lighter.
It’s human nature to get excited about something and want to share it with all our friends and family, but that’s exactly when we need to take a step back. I went through a huge life transformation last year, I went from being obese on a BMI chart, depressed and insecure, to landing myself in the normal weight range, on a wonderful self-discovery journey towards enlightenment. I have found the confidence that was always there, just hidden beneath layers of blubber.
This was all thanks to keeping my lips sealed. It was exciting keeping a secret that in no way could hurt anyone. I would go to clothing stores and silently celebrate every time I dropped a size. By the time everyone began to catch onto my little secret, I was down from a size 16 to a size 6.
In our brains it totally makes sense to tell someone all our plans so that we’re held liable, but we don’t want to be embarrassed if we tell everyone all our plans but don’t follow through. You know, that same goal you’ve been setting for yourself for the past decade: “I’m going to be in shape in time for bikini season!” or “I’m going to start writing that fiction novel this year!” or “I’m going to run in my first marathon by October!” By sharing all our secrets, we end up receiving the satisfaction immediately without ever achieving the goal. Everyone tells us how proud they are of us, and we end up not even needing to shed those 10 pounds or perform that standup comedy act at open mic night.
Demure is a word I have become quite fond of. I realize the goals I actually end up achieving are those that I’m demure about. So if you’re like me and you have that Mississippi River long to-do list, don’t tell anyone. Keep this one secret to yourself and see where that takes you. The thing that got me through those rough months when I wanted to tell everyone was picturing the look on all their faces when I finally did reach the goal, and I have to tell you, it’s totally worth it.