“I don’t know if we’re gonna make it on time!” My stress level was rising by the second. My son and I both had appointments in a larger city which included a long drive. Depending on where the offices were located and depending on time of day and a half a dozen other variables, it generally took an hour and a half to two hours to drive from our house. As the first appointment was at 9:00 am, I decided we should leave by 7:15 am because of morning traffic. We didn’t leave the house until 7:22 am.
Just thirty minutes into our travel, traffic was much worse than I anticipated. About halfway through the journey, I started to panic that we were going to be late. Looking at road signs, I started trying to predict how late we might be. Five minutes? Ten minutes? Twenty minutes?
As the anxiety built, I reached for my phone and started to turn on Google maps and my GPS settings so that I would know the EXACT anticipated arrival time. Reason found me at the last minute and a quiet, calmer voice said, “Stop! What will you do if the GPS predicts you will be 5 minutes late?”
My thought was, “Well, I’ll keep heading to the appointment and watch for the crazy drivers and stay in the ‘best’ lanes and avoid accidents and go as fast as I can.”
The calmer voice of reason wondered, “What will you do if the GPS predicts you will be 10 minutes late?”
“Well, I’ll keep heading to the appointment and watch for the crazy drivers and stay in the ‘best’ lanes and avoid accidents and go as fast as I can.” I gave myself the same answer.
“And if you’re 20 minutes late? You’re not gonna turn around and head home, are you?” The calmer voice of reason was starting to make sense.
“No, but I could call the doctor’s office and let them know, but they don’t open until 9:00 am, so I’ll still keep heading to the appointment and watch for the crazy drivers and stay in the ‘best’ lanes and avoid accidents and go as fast as I can.”
Realizing that my anxiety was only causing me to be unhappy and stressed and not helping me to arrive any earlier, I took a deep breath and decided to focus on driving safely and looking for funny vanity plates and wondering at the strange clouds and talking to my son. My destination would be there regardless, and I would arrive there as long as I kept moving forward and didn’t stop to look for pork rinds at every exit as I’ve been known to do.
It’s about the low-carb journey
Our low-carb journey is very similar. We become anxious over the weight loss we monitor on the scales, or the inches that we don’t lose quickly enough. We overly fixate on the goal because we all want to arrive at our destination as quickly as possible.
It is the drive, the journey that matters most. The destination will be there. Some folks may arrive 15 minutes earlier than they expected, and some arrive 30 minutes later than they wanted to. The most significant thing to remember is that if you stop the journey, you will NEVER arrive.
You can obsess over weighing and measuring, but most folks make progress simply by controlling their level of carbohydrate intake and eating real, whole foods that they enjoy. Eating low carb does not mean that you have to be unreasonably hungry or exercise several hours each day. I eat the best foods of my life, and they are high fat and satisfying. The food is delicious and the journey is fun.
After all of the worry and anxiety about being late, I arrived for my first appointment at 8:59 am. All of my adrenaline was wasted. At 9:25 am I was still waiting to see my doctor and laughing with my son as we waited. It’s the journey, right?