Love the holidays, but thank goodness the holidays are over! I am so ready to return to a normal way of eating rather than constantly gorging on sugary, refined, carb-loaded food.
Normally I make all sorts of resolutions for the new year: lose weight, write so many words per day, exercise more, and so on…
This year I want to focus on that which I am already engaged in rather than create some arbitrary goal that should I not reach, leads to negative self-judgement rather than affirmation. After spending so much time mucking around in my mind, given the nature of writing, it is so important to surround myself with positive thoughts and affirmations.
So rather than tell myself I need to lose weight and then chastise myself if I eat a cookie, I choose to change the dialogue. It’s not about losing weight for vanity’s sake. Nor is it about starting a new diet January 2nd only to give up a month later. No, this is about losing weight to be healthier. In a manner in which it is okay to eat that cookie. It is about re-thinking and re-changing habits, which delves into the hows and whys.
To help with the transition, I am currently reading Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting by Darya Pino Rose, neuroscientist and creator of Summer Tomato.
I know. I can hear cynicism already. But you said this was not another diet… and this smells like a diet, regardless of the title.
Trust me. I get it. As someone who has tried every diet imaginable, and read books ad nauseam on the topic, what makes this one so different? Well, for starters it is written by a neuroscientist, which is refreshing. For years my personal experience has shown that “stinking thinking” and terrible eating habits have sabotaged my weight-loss efforts time and time again.
Next is her emphasis on habits. While only 30% in (according to my trusty Kindle), I am giving her the benefit of the doubt because of her descriptions and analogies of the mind. I particularly like her analogy of the rider and the elephant. The rider being the executive function of the mind and the elephant representing emotional intelligence. She prescribes that if there is a conflict between the rider and the elephant, the elephant will win.
This has been my experience with every.single.diet I have ever tried.
And so, I decided to continue reading. To stifle my inner sarcasm, cynicism, and resistance. That her message is similar to Michael Pollan’s, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” is refreshing since I have been trying to eat this way for months now and have recognized this struggle for what it is: a journey.
The same applies to writing. It’s time to change my internal dialogue. Rather than focus so much time and mental energy on the ping-pong match of either not writing enough or not liking what I produce, it is time to focus on the fact that I am writing. I am trying. I am working toward my goals. And the more I write, the better my work will become.
The more I focus on re-shaping those counterproductive habits and understanding the whys behind those habits, the more lasting, positive changes will occur.
I think it’s time to place, “Yes I can”, “You are worth it”, and “Trust yourself” post-it notes around my office so when I begin to doubt myself, I have several positive affirmations to help quench the doubt.
So I welcome 2017. Let the healthy eating and writing journey continue.