I recently saw this quote from Thomas Edison and was intrigued. Like me, you’ve probably heard somewhere in your educational experience that Edison failed over and over again while trying to invent a lightbulb that didn’t burn out almost immediately. He didn’t give up, though, and eventually brought the electric light bulb, along with electricity and dozens of other inventions, to the masses.
Feeling like you have failed repeatedly is not a pleasant emotion, of course. And while we all have different levels of patience and tenacity, I often find that when I feel like I’ve failed again, for what must be the thousandth time, trite phrases like, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” don’t help. They just make me angrier or add to my depression.
So, I was a bit upset when I saw this quote, as it came across my screen on a day when I was not feeling very good about my food and exercise choices. But I copied and pasted it to save for a future blog post, knowing that Edison’s statement and the attitude behind it, are a healthy way of viewing perceived failures.
I could write pages and pages about my weight loss failures, but I could also fill pages detailing things I’ve found that simply don’t work. Here are a few:
- Strict or fad diets. How many have you tried? I’ve lost track, but what I’ve learned is that they may work for a while, but eventually, a person can only eat so much lettuce, or bacon, or flax, or…you get the idea.
- Not exercising. All sorts of fad diets will claim you can lose weight without exercising. While some weight loss may be possible, my experience (failure) of trying to lose weight only by changing my diet did not work.
- Exercising too much. How many times have I decided I was going to lose weight and then attempted to do step aerobics at the gym, begin training for a marathon, and bench press 250 pounds – all in the first week?? It doesn’t work. What is more likely is that you will injure yourself.
- Verbally berating yourself. Most people who are very heavy like me have a poor self-image and naturally berate themselves for every perceived failure or wrong they commit. Truth be told, I generally respond better to criticism than I do encouragement, but that only lasts so long. Gotta work on the self-talk if you want long-term success.
I’d love to hear some of the things you’ve discovered that “won’t work” – post them in the comments below! We can all learn from each other.
Stay tuned for next week when I’ll share a few of the things I’ve discovered that do actually work. In the meantime, if you aren’t already following my blog, please scroll down, enter your email address and click the follow button. You can also look me up over on Facebook or Twitter.