Sunday, September 19, 2010
Falling In Love
Love is essential.
I don't have to know you to know that what you want, deep down is to be happy. What you want, deep down is to look the best you can look, pain free and enjoyably. We all want that.
Falling in love isn't about making a plan to only eat dessert on the weekends, or promising to never eat your favorite foods again. Instead, finding things to say yes to things that are new and good should be your daily goal.
When you decide to marry someone - one of the biggest questions you have to answer is, "Can I imagine spending the rest of my life with this person?" often answered romantically as, "I can't imagine my life without you."
Over and over again I had read of people falling in love with exercise. I thought of them as weirdos like those people who intentionally eat tofu. What you are really falling in love with isn't the time you are spending in the gym – as much as the way it makes you feel over the course of the day. On days where I exercise I am in a better mood all day, no matter what unfolds. We were made to move and though our lives now don't generally require us to do a lot of walking, running, jumping – that is what our bodies are designed to do. I could give you a can opener and ask you to hammer a nail into a wall. You could either beat the heck out of the nail or tell me you'd like a better tool. If I recommend walking on a treadmill, and you hate treadmills – don't get on one. What do you prefer to do? This is all about you – what you want, what you prefer.
You may say you prefer to sit on the couch and do nothing. Well, what if you did something crazy like use a tiny size serving bowl and if you are going to snack in front of the TV you only serve yourself 4 chips at a time? And then you walk to the kitchen to get 4 more during the commercial. You make a game of it. If at the end of it you got up 20 more times than you would have and eat 10 less chips, you've done better than you would have. Raise the bar higher tomorrow but celebrate your victory today. It isn't all or nothing when it comes to losing weight. It's just doing better more often than not.
The less you are willing to do anything the more just doing a little something could start to open the door. For people that feel completely stuck, there is hope. I have been there. I felt totally hopeless, yet despite feeling like there was nothing I could do, miraculously I was able to escape to health and happiness. I have a truckload of good tricks up my sleeve and I am sharing all of them.
Saying "I do" to a diet that forces you to do things you can't commit to for the rest of your life is like marrying someone you're not crazy about. It may work for a while, but it's not going to work out. Thinking of a diet as a temporary thing that you do until you reach a goal may make it possible to say "yes" to all kinds of unappealing things for the short term, but it is nearly impossible to condemn yourself to saying yes to a lifetime of pain and discomfort. Although, ironically, if you aren't at your healthy weight you are inadvertently saying yes to just that.
By intentionally inching your behavior toward better and better choices, you gradually begin to think, feel and behave like a healthier happier person. If you have a lot of motivation to make bigger changes, you'll make faster progress. But maybe you are just at the butterfly stage, the tiny flap of the wing that will eventually spawn the tsunami. Take head unwanted pounds, your days are numbered. This body is going to transform before your very eyes. Growing muscles and shedding fat and becoming lighter and happier.
Give yourself credit for everything you do that is better for you to reinforce that you are making new choices and improving your health - every day.
Making the process of losing weight about finding greater happiness means you are falling in love with yourself. Loving yourself is a wonderful thing. It isn't vain or selfish. If you don't love yourself, you are not able to give love to others. We are meant to live loving happy lives. The happier we are, the more happiness we can share. When I am feeling happy, it is easier for me to give my husband, my children, my family, friends, and strangers on the street more kindness. Being centered in a healthy happy way makes life easier. This better feeling can happen now, and does not need to wait until you are at the "perfect" weight.
Posted by Jen Johnson