Holidays, birthdays, and special events are happy times. They are celebrations and causes for joy. The challenge for those of us who struggle with weight is that, for the most part, the celebrations include food – and lots of it!
One of the biggest challenges we face is whether or not to “announce” that we are starting a diet or trying to make changes for ourselves. It can be a very vulnerable thing to do.
There is a certain accountability value that goes into sharing, with at least one person, the fact that we are taking on a challenge or setting a goal. It’s important to have a witness to our efforts and validation for the challenges we face and overcome. The first person we share with should be someone we trust to accept us just as we are. This person is going to become our cheerleader when we need one the most.
Let’s talk about what’s on your plate. I don’t mean what’s on your dinner plate, but what are your real life challenges in the form of situations, people or events that cause you stress, worry, frustration, anticipation. Think of anything that interrupts your normally calm, serene, Zen personality. It doesn’t matter if they are ongoing or one-off.
Starting from where we are now, let’s bring some of our markers of success into the present moment. Which things or activities that we use to measure success can we have now or start doing now? The idea here is that we don’t want to hang our ‘perfect life’ on the outcome of our body changes. It takes time and effort to effect a significant change in our bodies. We can see partial results along the way that satisfy and encourage us. What we want to avoid is feeling like we haven’t ‘accomplished’ anything until, or unless, we get to the end.
Imagine you are relaxing in your favorite place in all the world. Wherever it is, this is the place you go to refresh and restore your soul, to feel completely alive inside. Think to yourself, “I am successful,” and think about what that means to you. What are you feeling or not feeling? What do you have, or not have? Who is with you and who is not? What are you doing or not doing? Are you wearing any particular type of clothing? Take a personal inventory of anything and everything that you see, sense and feel in this very of successful place.
We all have those friends, relatives, and co-workers who are the food pushers. They come to our house or to our desk and offer snacks, donuts, pot-luck food. Or they make remarks like, “You’re being soooo good,” as if that were something to be ashamed of. So how do we deal with these people? How do we stay grounded in awareness of our own truth without shutting someone down in a hurtful way?
Why do you join a weight management program and what do you expect to get from it? If you took a few minutes to write down your reasons for wanting to lose/gain/maintain weight I’m guessing some of the things on the list would include health, mobility, feeling good about ourselves, and improved appearance. I’d be willing to bet no one’s list would include anything like, “I just thought it would be fun to try dieting once in my life.”
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~Viktor E. Frankl
The whole point of increasing awareness of physical hunger and emotional hunger is so we can choose the best response to it and find the best way to satisfy it. If we aren’t aware of our triggers, our go-to response is a reaction. We always do what we’ve always done. If I always go to the kitchen to find food when I’m bored, that’s a reaction to that stimulus. I don’t have to think about it because I’ve pre-programmed a reaction. Boredom-kitchen-food. No thought involved whatsoever, and no awareness that I might choose something else.
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