Big Trucks and Big Trunks

My friend David drives a big truck. One of his frustrations with drivers of cars is that they whip in front of him, leaving little room for him to stop if he needs to. The legal weight of a tractor trailer (without additional permits) is 80,000 pounds or 40 tons. Compare that to the average car which weighs around 5,000 pounds or 2.5 tons. It doesn’t take a physicist to figure out that it take a lot more time and space to stop that tractor trailer than it does to stop a car. Momentum and inertia are just HUGE.

Those same physical forces are pretty huge in the mind of a healthy eater, as well.

Now, stop it! I heard you say, “Oh, c’mon, Goddess! You’re really reaching now.” Okay, so first, thanks for finally addressing me properly. 🙂 And second, no – no, I’m not. Follow me here.

Your 30th high school class reunion is in October – like mine will be next year (yikes!). In late August, you realize that you’ve been to a few too many barbecues over the summer and popped the top on a few too many cold ones. You have 15 pounds to lose to be where you want to be for the celebration. You realize this, of course, just after you’ve polished off a slab of ribs, a generous scoop of potato salad and two helpings of Aunt Sally’s banana pudding. You start your reducing diet the next morning. You eat nothing but twigs and grass; but, after Day Five, you see no difference in either the numbers on the scale or the dunlap disease you’ve got going on with your blue jeans. (Dunlap disease. Remember that? It’s when your stomach has done lapped over your pants.) You get frustrated. Sound familiar?

Well, honey, your momentum was going up on the scales. Your semi was all loaded up with all those carbs that your body still had to store before it could get to using those stores. It took a while for that bad boy to come to a stop. You’ve got to stop the big truck before you can start unloading the big trunk, you see.

That’s both pretty simple and pretty self-evident. But. I still get frustrated by the delay. Like every. single. time. It’s important to remember that our bodies neither stop nor turn on a dime. We have to give them time to adjust to things. So, although I’ve corrected my over-snacking and poor food choices, I won’t see a difference in my pants for a week or two. I have to allow myself to be human and not a quick weight loss advertisement with all of its smoke, mirrors and gimmicks. I have to let my body to use (and maybe even continue to store) the extra calories I ate recently. I know that eventually, it will run out of the excess and it will start working on the stored energy that is making my jeans tight.

I have to have patience for the process and not let my efforts get jackknifed by the lack of immediate results.


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