Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Skinny

Hey there. Your lazy blogger here.

So sorry about the long absence. I've had an attitude adjustment about the subject of weight and I think it's kept me from weighing in here. Ready now.

First, can I just say that triple digit heat in Austin gets really old by September? I made three trips back to my native utopia state of California this summer and ahhhhh, the delightful weather. I am so looking forward to fall, but it'll be another month or two before things cool off here. Skinny jeans, please! I can't wait for skinny jeans, sweaters and boots. Love, love, love that fall look!

Fashion aside, here's The Real Skinny. This past year has led me down an amazing path and I've formed some unexpected opinions. My thoughts about weight have shifted dramatically; over time I began to realize I was not applying the same beliefs I have for other aspects in my life ... that I was handling my weight issues differently. Through reading, listening, journaling, workshops and a whole lot of studying the fascinating topic of how the mind works (which has come to be one of my fave subjects over the years) I decided that I will no longer focus on weight, but on health instead. It's really a matter of cutting to the chase because weight falls under the big umbrella of health anyway. This really isn't new and ground-breaking information but I think it's something we tend to forget. If you're healthy, you're going to BE at your natural, healthy weight. So for months I've done affirmations about being healthier NOW than I've ever been in my life ... that every muscle, organ, bone, every CELL in my body is just humming along with perfect health. And whadaya know, I'm healthier NOW than I've ever been in my life! Trick your brain by telling it what you want, and if you do that consistently, convincingly, and state it in the present tense, I guarantee that your brain will dish it up for you. (But it's important to read up on how to do affirmations effectively.)

It's a mind trick. Plain and simple.

"Diet" is a four letter word that (for most of us) means temporary eating plan. We stay on our "diets" until we reach our goal weight. Yay! Mission accomplished! Done! Whew, we don't have to eat that diet food anymore. But uh-oh, if the temporary eating plan is over with, we're sliding down that slippery slope again. In another year we're starting over with yet another diet cycle. And on and on.

So let's not give that miserable cycle any power by focusing on diet and weight. We achieve whatever we think about. So all of that calorie counting, weighing in, measuring, counting points, units, carbs, whatever .... all that frantic and exhaustive over-thinking gives "weight" too much power and undeserved attention and keeps us stuck on the idea that we're fat! unhealthy! unhappy with ourselves and we must, must, must fix it!!! And so guess what? We stay fat, unhealthy and and unhappy with ourselves and are forever trying to fix it, because that's what the brain is hearing. Let go of the "weight" tug-of-war ... when you let go of your end of that rope, there is no battle, right? It falls right over on it's big ass. I got rid of all my diet books, stopped obsessing about counting calories and weighing myself, ditched my fat clothes and started serving up massive daily helpings of gratitude that I am 57 years old and super healthy and really, really happy with my wonderfully blessed life. This is so powerful, people. Far more powerful than a lame diet.

So I say forget weight focus and let's go for health focus. Your happy weight will just naturally follow and you'll be amazed by the ways you will unknowingly gravitate toward healthier choices over the weeks and months following affirmations about health. My brown rice breakfast is a good example of that. (see my last post for recipe) Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that I ... the queen of rib eyes and loaded baked potatoes... would be eating a delicious and super healthy hot brown rice and fresh blueberry cereal every morning for the past 4 months. And the effects of that daily brown rice alone has been SOOOO noticeable in terms of my overall health. When your energy flows towards health instead of weight, your brain finds the most amazing and often creative ways to get it for you.

This also means you lose your fear of things like ice cream, pancakes, and cheeseburgers. You won't gravitate towards those foods so much anymore, but if you want to occasionally enjoy a ... oh, I don't know ..... say, a massive brunch buffet like I did on my recent vacation, it becomes far less horrific and guilt-ridden. Because I know "I'm healthier NOW than I've ever been in my life," I viewed it as temporary vacation mode instead of my norm.

I've now decided that melting off every last stick of butter as originally planned in August 2009 ... 64 sticks or the equivalent of 16 pounds ... is not my focus anymore. Granted, if my weight is close to that goal (and yes, I think it is) I'm probably pretty damn healthy. But if I'm a few pounds in either direction, I'm good with that. What I love is that the journey I started out on a year ago has led me to a completely different place than I expected ... a much healthier, more insightful place. Always learning, always growing, always progressing ... that's the beauty of every process. Kind of like little miracles. So, so grateful.
And THAT, my friends, is the skinny.

(Sorry for all the photos of myself; people have asked me why I rarely put any up, so I guess I'm getting them all out of the way at once!)

Here's to your health.


Midlife Jobhunter said...

Okay, I'm imagining myself healthy. I'll remember that when I step on the scale at the doctor's office today. Yearly check. Probably pounds gained also.

Will try your attitude.

Fragrant Liar said...

I am healthy. I am healthy. I am healthy. ;-)


I am grateful for my muffin top. I am grateful for my muffin top. I am grateful for my . . . aw hell.

Fragrant Liar said...

P.S. You look fabulous, dahling!

Nick said...

128 sticks of butter is just about the right number I like to put in my pound cakes.

Rachel said...

I'll have to remember that. Out with scale!!!

Bernie said...

This was wrtten in September. It is now February and I am curious as to where you are now. And as long as the heat got you down this past summer, how are you enduring the cold and ice you are getting now?

Veddy interesting post!