Warning Light

Boy, its good to know that occasionally, as I age, I actually learn something.  This morning I got up at 4am, drank my coffee and ate a healthy ‘pre-breakfast,’ fixed my food for the next 12 hours, got dressed, and left for work.  Less than 1/2 mile from home I noticed a ‘warning light’ on my dashboard that I had not seen before.  It looked like a picture of a battery.  Now, in the past I would have thought, “hmmm, the battery is low(?) but the car is still driving.  It’ll probably recharge by the time I get to work.”  Even though a part of me deeper inside would be thinking “good chance you’ll have a dead battery when you get out of work, exhausted, and in the dark on a Sunday night, 12 hours later.”  And I would have gone on to work.  After all, I’ve gotten ready, packed all that food, and DRANK COFFEE.  And its not really a good thing to call into work at the last minute.

I drove for another 10 seconds, and then made myself get out the car manual and read what that light meant.  “If you drive any distance with the ‘charging system’ light on, you are in danger of draining your battery.”  So the bottom line is that even if I had the best intentions of getting to work, there was a strong likelihood that I would be stranded on a Sunday morning in the middle of nowhere (that is how I get to work 55 miles away.)  I backed the car up and turned around, came home and called in.

Believe me when I tell you that there have been many times that I have ignored warning lights on my car.  I have had to have an alternator replaced on my way to work.  I have had flat tires and dead batteries.  But finally I have learned.  It is not worth the angst and worry, or the feeling of ‘how stupid could I be,’ when taking chances and ignoring warning lights.

Now, I’m sure you can get the connection.  There are many warning lights we encounter in our weight loss/weight maintenance/fitness journey.  They can be different things for each of us.

For me, sometimes it is just that ‘over-full’ feeling (something I’ve felt a few too many times this week.)  When I first started Weight Watchers they had a chart that rated  your fullness from extremely hungry to over-stuffed.  It took me a long time to learn where that perfect in-between feeling was–satisfied to slightly hungry.  Now, even though I love food and am always tempted to eat a little more (especially at this time of year,) I really don’t like that over-full feeling.  And I know for sure you can’t lose weight if you feel like that too often.  So I try really hard to pay attention to that particular warning light.

What are some of the warning lights that you have encountered?  Have you paid attention to them or ignored them?

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6 thoughts on “Warning Light

  1. it took me ages to learn that things MY BODY sensed to be “sugar” (plain white bread for example) that I didnt initially view as sugar made me CRAVE more sugar.

    if that makes sense 🙂

    Id eat bread…want more bread…then be trolling the kitchen for ANY SUGARS afterward.

    Now I pay attention

  2. I’ve learned to embrace my inner “warning lights,” too, particularly as it pertains to carbs. They’re sneaky devils because they don’t fill me up right away, but man they punch me in the gut (litearlly) later. This is more true the older I get. Like you, it took me awhile to gauge satisfied vs full, but when I finally realized how much I hated feeling full, I finally felt a sense of control over my body.

    55 miles…god love ya.

  3. this is something that I struggle (mightily!) with because my anxiety is always there. Hard for me to tell if a warning light is ‘real’ or if it is anxiety.

    good posting – did you have any luck finding someone to tow your car on sunday of a holiday weekend?

  4. Debby,

    This is a fantastic post. You are so right that there are warning signals in our eating lives and weightloss journies that we can actually notice and respond to…IF we’re paying attention.

    I love how virtually every life situation can teach us things, including show us that we are actually learning new material and capable of changing. Thanks for this food for thought.

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