In the past couple of blogs we have taken time to become more aware of our conversations. We have identified which conversations we want to continue to have because they are already joyful. We’ve been working on ways to transform our more challenging conversations so they are more in alignment with our core values and with the way we want to design our lives. Now it’s time to start practicing the joy!
Now that you’ve been tracking the conversations you have with other people and the conversations you have internally with yourself, it’s time to do a little check-in. Were you surprised by anything you observed? Were you encouraged?
It’s easier for us to identify the things we perceive as negative than the things we perceive as positive. It’s important to honor our feelings about all of it. We want to give ourselves as much credit for the positive observations as we do for the negative ones. Because right now what we’re looking for is information that we can use.
Try a little experiment right now. Go get a bottle or glass of water and put it on the table next to you. Pick it up and put it back down. Now, pick it up and hold it away from your body for several minutes before putting it back down.
It’s easy to pick up a glass of water and put it down. If we pick up that same glass of water and hold it up away from our body for several minutes, it becomes more difficult. If we held it up for 30 minutes it might actually hurt. The weight of the glass of water held for a long time has a cumulative effect. It strains our muscles and weighs us down.
When I first started blogging in 2013, I had not yet published my book, “The Main Meal: The New Perspective on Weight Loss.” The book had been in various stages of writing for many years by then, but once I made the commitment to finish and publish it, I began to blog about what the Main Meal of life meant to me. Those early blogs are no longer available on the internet, so I’ve decided to offer them here 3 or 4 times a year. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed the writing.
One of my first statements on this blog, and one of my most strongly held beliefs, is that there are no 'good' foods or 'bad' foods. Food is just food. Allowing food to be neutral, neither good nor bad, is the first step in shedding the guilt associated with eating. But there is so much more to it than that.
There’s a popular decluttering process developed by Marie Kondo in which you hold something in your hand and ask, “Does this bring me joy?” If it doesn’t, you throw it out or give it away. The idea is that you only keep the things that bring you joy.
We apply the same principle to our weight management practice when making choices. Does this choice of food bring my body joy? Does this choice of habit or thought bring me joy? When we’re building self-esteem, we use the practice of being two to recognize our emotional joy separately from our physical joy.
Those of us who work on our weight spend a lot of time counting. We count calories, we count carbs, we count steps, we count time spent at the gym and time swimming. We count pounds, we count inches, we count notches on our belts and the number of changes in the size of our clothes. We count how many years it’s been since we could wear our rings.
All this counting serves us in one way or another. It encourages us, it raises our awareness, it tracks our progress, and it demonstrates our commitment. Sometimes it also discourages us, frustrates us, and lays a guilt trip on us. And all the counting I’ve mentioned so far relates to our physical selves. It’s all good, it gets a lot of our attention and at the same time, it’s not the sum total of all there is to count.
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