Sacrifice

There’s a simple reason most diets ultimately fail.

 

Mindset at the outset.

 

Most diets possess at their core a sense of giving up something that you want. Relinquishing that which you desire.

A sacrifice.

But we don’t view sacrifice as simply releasing something from our lives.

We see it as a trade. A bargaining tool. A giving up of one thing with the promise of gaining (or, in the case of dieting, losing) something else.

The rational mind realizes that the short-term denial of dessert will lead to the longer-term goal of a smaller waistline.

But the rational mind isn’t always at the reins.

And the more emotional brain steps up to the podium to present its case:

I went to the gym today. I deserve a cookie.

I ate well at breakfast and lunch; dinner out won’t kill me.

And those statements are literally true. A single cookie won’t derail a diet. Indulging at a single meal won’t make much difference. But it rarely stops there.

The problem comes from our deeper psychology. Because when we feel deprived, panicked that we may lose something, we quickly go from scarcity to splurge.

So, before any diet books are purchased or points tallied, the successful “dieter” begins with the mindset. Shifts the thinking from a perspective of paucity to one of abundance, focusing on what is to be gained rather than the feared losses. When approached from this angle, it’s amazing that what once were viewed as sacrifices, simply become matter-of-fact. The martyr mindset is replaced with an appreciative one.

This sacrificial mindset doesn’t only derail diets.

It also derails relationships.

When someone approaches a deepening relationship or marriage focusing on what is being given up, it creates a sense of loss and lays the groundwork for future binges.

Yes, relationships require change.

But healthy ones demand compromise.

Not sacrifice.

You’re not giving up.

You’re growing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Didn’t Fail

Marriage is not a test.

I lived.

I loved.

I lost.

But I didn’t fail.

Society makes assumptions about those who are divorced. Maybe we lack the fortitude to persist through difficulties. Perhaps we possess some great fatal flaw that makes us unable to sustain matrimony. Or, possibility we are flighty, given to jump in without thought and give up just as easily.

There is often shame inherent in admitting that one is divorced, like some scarlet letter “D” is forever branded upon your character if your “ever after” ended sooner than expected. It’s as though you failed at one of the biggest assessments you face as an adult.

In the strictest sense, my marriage did fail. After all, it ceased to exist upon the receipt of the horrific text: “I’m sorry to be such a coward leaving you this way but I’m leaving you and leaving the state.” Furthermore, my husband failed me through his betrayal and abandonment. I failed him by not seeing that he needed help and I failed myself by not being aware of his actions and the signs of a crumbling marriage. Yet, even with all that defeat, I refuse to look at my marriage as a failure. That label undermines our years together with all its shared memories and joys; the shared life and experiences are negated with that single word. Although I did feel as though I failed in some ways, I was adamant that I was not going to let my divorce define me as a failure.

Failure is an act, not a person. I’m divorced. Not defective.

As I grappled with the end of my marriage, I found comfort in the words of others. Others who had faced their own challenges and were determined to learn from and grow from their mistakes and unrealized goals. Read the rest on The Huffington Post.

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Marriage is Not a Test

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