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I suppose if you’ve been walking around with a stone in your shoe for months on end, when you finally take it out, your first impression is one of relief. But pretty soon you’ll get used to that non-painful feeling and you won’t even think about the stone anymore. Some philosophers will tell you to spend the rest of your life being grateful for that absence of pain. But not me.
In my experience, the challenge to “be grateful” is really more than I can bear. While it’s good to be gracious and to find pleasure in life’s experiences, to be consistently grateful is no more possible than to be consistently happy or consistently optimistic. Only a robot could do that.
Instead, I think the challenge once I remove that stone is then to see what I can do next. Can I walk further? Can I start to run? Can I buy new shoes? Can I help other people remove the stones from their own lives?
With weight loss it’s much the same. It’s not really possible to be mindful 100% of the time about the weight that’s gone, about the pain and stigma and health issues left behind. One of my favorite people to listen to in the WeightWatchers meeting I attend is a woman who’s lost about 100 pounds, because what she likes to talk about are the “new leaves” she is constantly turning over in her life’s journey. She doesn’t spend time focusing on the past, but rather on her future.
In my life right now I could use some motivation. I’ve got a few grains of sand in my shoes that need to go. And while I am actually very grateful for the weight I’ve lost in the past, what’s really important to me now is what I’m going to do next.