The longer I live the WW way, the more I am struck by one of life's greatest challenges: I call it the 'gap'.

It's the gap between knowing what to do (good health habits) and actually doing those things daily.
Something different lives in that gap for each one of us. And it's not about the food.

Sometimes we're afraid of yet another failure and the pain it causes. Maybe we're so overwhelmed that we'd rather live in denial of the things that cause us pain than muster up the courage to change.

Some of us don't feel worthy to live our best life. We're not perfect, and sometimes that knowledge can prevent us from trying at all. It's easy to let ourselves off the hook by thinking, ''Why even begin a task if you know you can't do it perfectly?''

Maybe we're depressed or anxious, and comfort ourselves with enough food to induce an emotion-numbing coma. Perhaps we play old self-destructive tapes in our head, repeating hurtful litanies that program our minds for self-fulfilling (negative) prophecies.

Then there's the possibility of anger and self-recrimination. If life isn't turning out the way we'd like, many get stuck in anger at the unfairness of it all. Or anger at ourselves for our own immobility, for letting things go for so long.



Or maybe we're afraid of success. You see, success is loaded with unknown territory and emotional trapdoors. It's a scary place.

It's polarizing to realize just how much power we really have over the course of our life. When we begin to follow the healthy weight guidelines, and watch as our bodies are reshaped, we begin to peek inside a place we've never been before. We begin to see the connection between self awareness, discipline, and focus and the results we get in life's endeavors. And that would be all of life's endeavors, not just weight management.

At a certain point, either consciously or unconsciously, we have to decide if we're willing to work this hard, face this many fears, or not. Many of us stall out precisely when we realize that we have found a set of tools that work. It's a scary place to be, because if the tools work that means that success or failure is up to us. It is emotionally stunning to admit that achieving a healthy weight is a choice. Even more of a shell-shock is the recognition that, now that we have the tools to reverse it, obesity is a choice. At this moment in the journey, equivocation and uncertainty are almost universally experienced.

When we are brave enough to decide what we really want out of life, believe that we are worth it, and then work hard to accomplish those goals in spite of distractions, setbacks, or disappointments, something amazing happens. We begin to sense the full power of being responsible for our choices. Are we willing to allow ourselves to believe that our life is worth our very best effort?

Living mindfully is a skill that's gradually acquired. Success evades us until we learn what's living in our 'gap'. The gap is always comprised of ways of thinking that are not in our best interests.

To be successful, we must monitor our thinking. And that is very labor intensive, because the mind is always busy.

Many have found journaling to be a valuable tool. There is something about touching the pen to the paper, and just letting our thoughts flow, that helps mindfulness grow. Old beliefs, attitudes and ways of thinking become immediately apparent. Once we identify something that's not working in our best interest, we can change it. Clarity follows, with its close companion, positive focus. Choices and their consequences can be mindfully considered. Growth ensues.

Is this a straight-line journey? No. There are many potholes and roadblocks, some circumstantial, some self-induced. We will never be 'finished'. But the joys of the process always outweigh the angst of facing our fears.

The narrower the gap between knowing and doing, the greater our happiness, success, and self esteem. We'll know we're doing our best. And aren't we worth it?