Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Weighty choices

I was teaching at Project Forward last night. Every week, students are asked to write down a new goal for that week in the coil notebook they're given. During the week, they're asked to write down their thoughts and feelings, their actions towards and away from, attaining their goals. The following week, when we meet, we discuss what's happened in each of their lives and they measure their progress towards their goals and talk about adjustments they can make to further their forward motion.

Mark Joyner, in Simpleology, writes that you need to aim for your target and 'hit it until you hit it'.

I'm still struggling to lose 30 lbs. I've lost 5 -- but have been stuck on doing nothing about hitting my target.

At Project Forward last night, I decided to join the group in keeping a journal about what I'm doing to reach this specific goal.

I've dubbed it my, "Lighten Up!" journal. Every day I will keep a record of what I eat and drink. I will write about my thoughts around food and I will look for an inspirational quote about life and living, eating healthy and being fit and write it in my journal too.

I also commit to regular check-ins here to report on my progress, my thinking and the actions I've taken that move me towards or away from my goal.

For me, inspirational quotes are great thought provokers and powerful tools to set my day off with a bang! Today's quote by economist John Kenneth Galbraith shook me up: More die in the United States of too much food than too little.

Ouch! Could that be true? Too much food is killing me?

Never thought of it from that perspective before. But, when I put it into that context, the possibility of death by over-eating becomes frightening, and a real possibility. Being overweight taxes every cell of my body. It over-burdens my heart, definitely stresses my aging joints and muscles and adds undo angst to my thinking about myself -- it's hard to feel beautiful inside and out when the little voice inside my head whispers, 'Nobody loves a fat girl.'

Okay, so this is telling on myself. I have body-image anxiety. You know, those thoughts that slither insidiously into your mind, their sibilant whisper a constant hiss like static on the radio. Irritating. Annoying. Grating.

The question then becomes, why would I want to journey through my day listening to static when I could tune into thoughts that love and support me just by eating what's good for me?

Good question.

See, I've tried blocking those voices -- unfortunately, my blocking mechanisms tend to revolve around the very thing causing my angst -- food. I need to look at the issue through a different pair of glasses. If too much food kills people, this becomes a very important question for me: Do I want to live. Or die?

It's not about losing weight. It's about life.

And, about filling my body with food that doesn't stress-out my stressors. Beating myself up about my body image is definitely a stressor for me! Negative back-talk to myself kills my spirit. When I kill my spirit, I destroy my will to keep working towards my goals and slide back into self-defeating behaviours that got me mired in the over-weight jungle in the first place!

Okay. So, this makes sense. I'm not losing weight. I'm celebrating my life. I'm doing what is loving and caring for me so that I take action that says, "Yes! 'I choose life".

I'm celebrating my life. I'm not on a diet. I'm loving myself through feeding myself food for thought, and healthy foods that sustain me without draining me of energy or burdening me with guilt.

Cool -- it's the guilt that's weighing me down. Every time I eat something that is unhealthy for me, the sibilant voice whispers -- see, told you so. You're a loser. Now, I'll quiet the little voice with big choices that celebrate my courage and strength to take care of myself with tender loving care. The sibilant whispers will flow into the river of love coursing through me and be drowned beneath the melody of positive actions I'm taking to do what is loving, caring, healthy for me.

Very cool! or as a girlfriend's son would say, "Wicked awesome!"

The question is: Where are you avoiding reaching for the stars by trapping yourself in actions that take you away from your goals? Where are you choosing failure over success?

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