Thinking about Warning Lights

Car warning lights

On the way to Thanksgiving dinner, the “Service Engine Soon” light lit up on my dashboard and I spent a good while fretting over what it might mean. I was at the car dealer by 8:30 on Friday to have them take a look and deal with whatever the problem was.

A car dealer service manager told me in the past that women are generally better than men at actually following recommended maintenance on their vehicles, including paying attention to warning lights. He speculated that men think they can take care of things themselves but underestimate how complicated automotive work is these days – and end up having caused more damage by ignoring the routine and early warning signs.

I was thinking about this yesterday driving back from my repair visit, about how carefully I deal with car stuff and how easily I ignore the “warning lights” for weight loss derailment. The signs are certainly easy to spot — clothes fitting tighter, measurements going up, the scale registering higher than I expect, feeling more lethargic, realizing I haven’t darkened the gym’s door in weeks, a “we miss you” note from my WW leader.

It’s easy to be aware of those as independent factoids and not to put the pieces together because I don’t really want to know the picture; it makes me feel like an unmotivated failure – which usually leads to more eating, which certainly doesn’t help. But with the car, I want and need to know the whole picture so I can take appropriate action to prevent bigger problems down the line.

If I were to pay the same kind of attention to the warning lights that clue me in to problems with my eating, I could take appropriate action to prevent bigger problems. That action doesn’t have to be overly dramatic, just mid-course adjustments to help me keep going; there’s no need to go up two dress sizes first.

Just some things to ponder. Putting things in a different perspective always is a good idea.