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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Post 2 of 6: Dieting is for Dodo Birds.

Yesterday we talked about the word discipline and how we were going to attempt to turn around its bad reputation.

Today I want to talk about the first item on my list:

Be even more disciplined with my food. 

I would love to know how many people wrote down a similar resolution this past New Year's?  You know what I am talking about..."Lose 15, 20, 50 pounds this year"..."Stick to my Paleo diet"..."No more snacks after dinner"...etc.

And if that was you, don't worry, I can relate.  After high school (while recovering from the binging-purging behaviors that come with bulimia), I put on about 50 pounds.  For most of my 20's I weighed a good 20-40 pounds more than I do now.  And I was so unhappy with my body.  If I loathed myself while I was skinny and bulimic, just imagine how I felt about my body when it was "fat".  So for all of you who hold similar beliefs about your body, I can empathize.  (In case you missed it - you can read more on the body image topic here).

Every New Years during that time (and frankly, every other week), I would desperately try to problem-solve my way out of this dilemma.  I tried the SouthBeach diet, the Bloodtype diet, the GI diet, the Body for Life diet, I gave up wheat, I gave up meat, I gave up dairy, I tried weight watchers...nothing worked.  At least, not over the long term.

Now, I need to clarify something here.  There is nothing wrong with any of those eating plans/diets/lifestyles.  Most of them encourage you to eat better, get more exercise, and generally take better care of yourself, which are all good ideas.  

For me, the missing part of the equation, the thing that was guaranteeing my failure each time, was the voice in my head.

You see, each time I embarked on another diet, I did it with this as my mantra, "I am so fat.  If I could just lose x lbs, I would be so much happier". you see the problem here?

Maybe you do (and if so, great), but if not, consider this: our thoughts create our reality.  Meaning, my thought, "I am so fat", was true because I believed it.  I was telling myself that "fact" all day.  And each time I put food in my mouth, I did it from this point of view.  Food was the enemy, food was making me fat. about giving all of my power away!

Now, if you have done the FIERCE Integrity e-Course, you know how I turned this around.  Actually, it's in my upcoming book too, but I will give you a hint.

In order for my body to change, I had to change my thoughts about it.

The voice had to become more loving, more accepting, more kind.  My relationship with food had to change too.  I had to stop using food as an opportunity to punish, and instead use it as an opportunity to nourish.

Because of this inner work, my self-discipline resolution around food is radically different today than it was back then.

Today, it involves:

  1. Eating with more awareness, more reverence, more Gratitude.
  2. Being very present when I cook.
  3. Being very intentional in planning our meals -- I have been very successful with this one.  I told you about my vegetable mission a la Jessica Seinfeld.  Every Sunday, I spend 1-2 hours planning our meals -- I have been using a program called Plan to Eat and it is amazing!  I puree the veggies we need, make a week's worth of sweet potatoes/whole grain waffles for the freezer (simply pop them in the toaster to re-heat and my son LOVES them!), and basically figure out my life for the week.  Gone are the days when I get home at 530 (or 700!) and wonder what the heck I'm going to make for supper.  The result?  We have less food waste AND we spend less money.

Can you see how planning, cooking and eating would look very different if done in this way?

Can you use food as a means to love yourself more deeply instead of punish yourself more fervently?

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