Be the Ketchup Bottle Captain of Your Own Ship

 

I saw a comic do a routine about how her mother would say things in a reverse question format whenever her mom was trying to get her disapproval across. The comedian said her mom would look at her and say, “Another drink you’re havin’? Enough you’ve had already.” Telling other people when to say when never goes well. I earned my FBJ (Facebook Jillian) nickname, because when my friends who had reached out to me for advice about losing weight, would check in on facebook at Chili’s, for example, I’d pipe in with a post asking what they were ordering. The difference being that they ASKED for my help. I don’t typically walk around being the food police, but in fairness, there are times I’m tempted to comment on a particularly unhealthy food choice. Realizing my good intentions may not be welcome; I shake my head and think it really loudly in my head.

Even when you want to make healthy choices, it’s hard not to get a smidge resentful when someone comments on what you’re eating. I learned a long time ago that no one can really dictate your choices. You’re going to eat or not eat what you ultimately decide to. Sometimes someone commenting on your food choices causes you to stress out and you end up eating even more out of spite. I’m not sure exactly who this strategy actually benefits.

When my sons were preparing for their black belt test in karate, I went to one of the fitness assessments and the sensei told the class that getting their black belt would test their physical limits.   He said they would not be the same person when they reached their goal as they were when they started out, and that it’s designed to be that way on purpose. He told them that they’d need to be able to run three miles, do a 100 pushups, and face many other physical challenges, and that there would be times that they’d feel like they didn’t have any more inside to give. At these times, when you felt like you just couldn’t do it, he told the class to think of a ketchup bottle. “How many times have you gone into your refrigerator for ketchup, and you get the bottle and it’s empty? Yet, somehow, you shake, jiggle, and hold the bottle upside down, and somehow, magically, more ketchup comes out.” He told the class, that they were the ketchup bottle and that if the dug deep that they’d find that extra bit to push them through. There will be times in your own fitness journey that giving up just seems inevitable. You’ll tell yourself it is just part of getting older, or that you’re too busy, or it’s just too hard. They’ll be frustrating people and situations where you make martinis and eat tortilla chips (wait, that was me…), but I thought I’d share the ketchup bottle with you, so you’d know there’s more inside…you just need to jiggle it a bit.

Did you ever hear that expression, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future?” If you’re trying to develop healthier eating habits and a solid fitness routine, you may be surprised by how those closest to you respond. I’ve said it a hundred times, saboteurs are everywhere with their very tempting catchphrases: Well start tomorrow; Just this once; You’re no fun any more; Don’t deprive yourself, etc.

You’re going to need to be the captain of your own fitness ship. As captain, you should also be aware that your crew is not always going to be supportive or encouraging, and that may be for a million reasons, and you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why. Besides the saboteurs, beware of what I call “funeral friends.” Funeral friends are there for you whenever things are bad in your life or you’re in trouble, but if you won an Academy Award or Nobel Peace Prize, they wouldn’t so much as click “like” on your Facebook status. Whether it’s the well intentioned mom telling you not to have another drink, or the sabotaging friend tempting you into splitting a blooming onion, it’s not easy being captain, but don’t put the wheel in somebody else’s hands.

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