Sep 052006

This is the second part to my post about diet mentality:

First of all, I’m really not there, but still trying. And for those of you who didn’t read my too long series about non-dieting and weight-loss, this is how I look now:

(When I first saw this picture I thought, “That can’t be me. I’m not that thin.”

But here they are, 11 ways to get out of diet mentality:

1. Focus on what’s right with your body. Is it living? Breathing? Able to walk, talk, think, nurture? Good.

Jon Kabat-Zinn says somewhere (sorry, but I didn’t find it again) that as long as you’re living there’s more right with you than wrong.

2. Learn to love your body the way it is now. And dress in clothes that feel and look good.

I know, that’s a tough one. But it works. Stand in front of the mirror each day (preferably naked) and say to yourself what you love. Be specific. Imagine that you just fell in love with this person. The least you can say is, “I love that you carry me through my day.” “I love that you gave birth.”

3. Focus on positive change. Set intent (Christine Kane says it better than I ever could.) Follow through.

When you fail (and you will), pick up yourself, and start over again.
Diets don’t work. Ever. Not for losing weight. Not for becoming happy. They do work, when you have a food-related illness like diabetes.

So the trick is to concentrate on things to do. Like when I’m hungry in the evening and crave chocolate, I’ll drink a cup of tea instead. (Well, that’s the plan.) Or I go to bed instead. My craving for chocolate is not a sign of hunger bur of tiredness.

4. Get rest. Sleep enough.

(And no, contrary to popular myth, not all adults can exist with a max. of six hours of sleep per night. I need 8 1/2 and so do most women.)

5. Do something nice for you every day. That’s an order. And nice does not mean chocolate every time.

Sit down with a cup of tea, read a book, do something different, smell the roses, nurture your sense of wonder and adventure.

6. When you find yourself thinking about being fat ot what to eat, think about something really important instead.

Like your music or your writing, your blog or your children.

7. Do the thing you love. The thing you really love.

For me that is making music. It works every time. I sit down, cranky, bored and not willing to play, and after some playing and working, and improvising – instant happiness.

8. Eat real food that tastes good. Geneen Roth adds to this that you should eat one warm meal every day.

Try to have quiet and enjoyable mealtimes. (I know how hard that is with children around.) Really taste your food. And be mindful of your body while eating.

9. When the meal is over, stop eating. No grazing, no stuffing leftovers in your mouth.

10. Focus on the life you want to live.

Do I really want to be someone who is stuffing herself with junk food all the time? Does it really feel good? No, it doesn’t. So until I become healthy and sane, I’ll fake it. Pretend until it gets real.

11. Declutter, tidy and clean your house. Seriously. Work on things you procrastinated. Energy will flow again.

When you do all this, you’ll feel better regardless of your weight. And chances are that you’ll lose some. But if you’re stuck in diet mentality the any amount you lose won’t be enough. So our focus should be on healing ourselves, not on the scale.

For additional resources and inspiration I’ll point you towards Geneen Roth (again), FlyLady‘s Body Clutter book, and Debra Waterhouse.

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  4 Responses to “How to get out of diet mentality”

  1. Great answers, although the first one was rather poignant. I hope she’s okay.

  2. I could never, never pick just one book, or even 10. But i do love Dorothy Sayers. I might just have to re-read all her books.

  3. Great answers….I especially like the last bit. I love my bed too!

  4. i love getting to know you better…terrific answers.

    and i would die without books.

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