Placing “Struggle” Into Perspective


Last week Nataliya and I met the mother of Nataliya’s friend, with the mother having recently escaped one of the major war zones in Ukraine.  Her daughter, also originally from Ukraine, lives in the area.  This very nice woman was telling Nataliya ( I do not speak Ukranian) how for 10 days, she was in a crowded bunker with many other people, having no electricity, scarce water/ food supplies and when the bombs would hit, rats would run all over people in the bunker.  Very fortunately, she was able to pay a person $400, and at grave peril, she was driven the 4 miles to a train station, boarded the train and made her way eventually west to Germany.  Her daughter met her there and flew with her back to the U.S., where she is now safely staying.  Unfortunately, her son and daughter in law, both pharmacists, remain in Kiev fighting the Russians.  

This story is one of tens if not hundreds of thousands of stories about the major struggles the millions of Ukranians are trying to work through to maintain their lives, homes and possessions.

For me, personally, when I hear/read about these incredibly difficult struggles people are confronted with, I get upset with myself for believing I have “struggles” in my life…a long day at the office, staffing adjustments when a person leaves, growing joint pains as I age, etc.  My “struggles” are nothing compared to what real struggles are about.  I believe we all, at times, place our “struggles” into perspective, when we hear stories about horrific events happening to other people and the struggles they may be going through.

I am going to turn this discussion to the weight control arena.  Over the years, I have heard many patients use the word “struggle”:

  • I am struggling to get enough protein in
  • I am struggling to stay away from the carbs
  • I am struggling to find exercise time
  • I am struggling to stay away from wine

Struggles come in different forms and intensity.  The person struggling to beat cancer has a much more difficult struggle than the person trying to pick his/her March Madness brackets.

Make a list of what your struggles are in controlling weight and then place these into perspective as to how more readily we can get by these struggles as opposed to the types of struggles that are far more challenging.  NOT shedding the weight will result in many more difficult struggles than those faced in controlling the weight.