A couple of weeks ago, if you’d asked me what I thought of the game Angry Birds, I would have said, “not much.”
Blame that response on the fact I’d yet to play the game. Now, my husband and I have been chipping away at the levels and we’re in the third round, soon to complete it (or as complete as we’re going to go).
After he fell asleep last night and I continued to clear “just one more level” it dawned on me as I kept catapulting red, blue, black, yellow, or white birds in the air to crash into stone and wooden structures, this battle seemed all too familiar. I’d knock down a few pigs, only to have one hiding in the corner or under a pile of bricks so I couldn’t complete the level and I’d have to start all over again.
It made me realize that each day with my battle of the bulge, is like throwing these birds at the pigs. Slowly, but surely I chip away at the structure until it falls down, collapses, reduces its size, just like I achieve small victories with my weight, inches, or body mass index each week.
So really, losing weight is like an endless game of Angry Birds.
Each level (pound) provides its own challenges. The pigs (well, I guess that could be us) took the eggs (too much food) and the birds (healthier habits) are trying to chip away at us. I might be reaching, but give me a moment. This might actually be quite deep or at least fun to read.
The red birds are the straight shooters, the ones who get you started. They are the first lines of defense in the journey and are in for the first ten levels. Equate that to the first 10 days or 10 weeks or 10 pounds, whatever, they are the ones who get you started. They aren’t fancy, don’t do anything terribly exciting, but they start knocking down walls and inching you forward. They show you that you’re far more powerful and tenacious than you gave yourself credit for.
One day your workout sucks, then next the kids have strep and you miss it all together, and the want to walk away from working out forever hits you. But no, one more launch and lo and behold, you knock another level/pound out of the park.
Feeling motivated? Feeling like exercise sucks and you want a gallon of hot wings? Well, whether you’re excited or deflated, help has arrive, because after the tenth screen add the blue birds.
The blue birds are your fit buddies. They are small, don’t look like much, and you wonder why they are there, they may even be frustratingly encouraging. Then, you shoot them up and they split and cream a board, rock, and a pig all at the same time. “Holy Crap! It’s strength in numbers!” You realize and gladly gain the aid of these blue birds over and over. They help you chip away at things that won’t fall over, keep with you through the rougher patches, and are really too darn cute. I love the blue birds!
You’re well into the game now. Making progress and you might have even dropped a size, but you’re feeling a plateau in your near future. The blue birds are cheering you on, your red birds have continued to be faithful, but it’s slowing down. This might be where boredom kicks in and the awareness you give to yourself in nutrition or the routine of exercise might start to wane. Your momentum needs a jumpstart so bring in the yellow birds.
These are the ones who start off the same as the red birds, but watch them fly through the air. They are like rocket ships and help smash right through buildings or plateaus or boredom. The yellow bird is a new routine, exercise class, it’s changing things up to avoid falling backwards. They propel you forward and on to the harder levels.
Now, you’ve either reached a goal or more and you’re well on your way to victory in the battle of the bulge. It’s becoming harder because you’re having to work for every ounce. Maybe it’s routine, but still the closer to your goal weight you get, the slower the weight can come off. You’ve made adjustments, maybe even cheated a little with your nutrition and this is where things can get very tricky. The weight (or in the game’s case buildings) are harder to knock over and you might find yourself hitting and hitting the gym with minimal results.
Instead of letting you flounder, the game gives you a new weapon, the black bird. This MF has the ability to blow up anything around it. Very cool and great for stress relief. These are the exercises, nutrition levels you need to make that leap, crash through walls, and kick down another barrier. They might also be mental walls–family or friends have noticed the changes in you and see you’re sticking to them. There might be resistance on their part to accept the new you and those emotional events can be certain triggers to spiral a downfall. Don’t be resistant to using the black birds. They are a necessary part of the journey–explosions. Allow yourself to believe in what you can do and don’t let those greedy pigs take your accomplishments away. Change will always cause conflict, good and bad. Take each situation as it comes, stand up for your health, and don’t be afraid to be proud. Family and friends can be the most loving and draining people at the same time. Keep the faith in yourself when needing to use those black birds.
Finally, it’s the white pigs. They are bomb droppers and oh what bombs you can drop after reaching your goals. Fitting into those pair of skinny jeans you’ve had hidden in the back of your closet. Walking into a store and having no difficulty getting something off the rack. Buying super cute panties that don’t look like something grandma wore–or at least not my grandma. These are all major, major bits of amazing and people will be shocked (and awed) by your total transformation.
So after all that, I can post that I did lose 2 pounds this week. I’m at the red bird level. Just getting into routine (cardio) and having my blue birds (Mamavation, my family, Bob Green’s New book, Pete Cohen’s motivating words, Oprah in general) around me. Then the yellow birds (Pilates reformer and Kung Fu) are there a couple of times a week to help change things up.
I’ve got a couple of black and white birds in the works, but for now it’s simply time for me to get off my butt and get some red birds lanched.