A Leap of Faith

I don’t actually believe I’ll meet my goals. I don’t actually believe I can lose two hundred pounds.

Doesn’t that sound like madness? This is, after all, a blog about health and weight loss and my journey to achieve the same. And yet, here I am on the second post, saying I don’t believe I can do it. Why would I do that?

Because I’m trying to be honest about this. I don’t believe I’ll reach that goal of 220 pounds. After all, I’ve started a lot of weight loss attempts in the past couple of decades. I’ve probably lost the same ten pounds twenty or thirty times. And then I’ve found that ten pounds again, often in the company of friends who came to stay. I get very excited about things for a short period of time, and then lose interest because I get bored. Or I get tired. Or I make an excuse for putting off the effort until “tomorrow” (and it is never “tomorrow”…). Failure breeds a very specific attitude, an attitude that says “I failed once, so clearly I’m a failure and will never succeed”.

So what gives? If I don’t believe I can achieve my goal, why am I trying?

My wife and I were actually talking about this very topic last night, which is – at least in part – what inspired this post. She’s in a similar place, with goals that she wants to achieve but that she doesn’t believe she will ever actually achieve. At one point during the conversation, I looked at her and said: “You believe in god. Why can’t you take a leap of faith?”

Faith is a curious thing for me to be talking about. I’m a skeptic and an athiest, after all. But… well… I cannot think of a better word to use to describe why I’m doing this. My goal is one that is possible, after all. There are no physical reasons why I can’t lose weight. All that’s holding me back is fear, and the memory of failure. And so I’ve taken that ‘leap of faith’, and trusted that if I spend each day doing the small steps I’ve outlined for myself then the big goal will take care of itself.

So call it faith. Call it hope. Call it whatever you want. I can do this. I’m going to do this. And maybe, at some point, I’ll even believe it.

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