The past week and a half I’ve been devouring a couple of books…
One is “The Rules of Normal Eating” by Karen Koenig, and the other is “When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair” by Geneen Roth. (S.W. – This was the only one by that author that you suggested I could get my hands on easily!! It’s great so far, thank you so much for the suggestion!)
I know for months now I have been outwardly proclaiming calorie goals. But all this time, there’s a little voice inside me that doesn’t know if it trusts that path.
How do they know I really burn X calories a day and therefore need Y to lose weight? (This usually comes to mind when I’ve eaten 1200 calories and it’s mid-afternoon and I’m hearing my stomach rumble and I’m getting bitchy and light-headed and KNOW I’m still hungry… but don’t want to eat because I only have 300 calories for dinner.)
So then I set new calorie goals, only to fail when I’m truly hungry or when it doesn’t sound true to my heart. I keep setting myself up to be undependable (to myself) and to “fail”.
Long ago I stopped trusting my appetite, and I stopped trusting my body. I stopped listening to and trusting in my inner voice.
Leaving the bank to pursue my current path took a lot of faith in, and trust in that inner voice. It has been one of the most empowering things that’s happened to me in such a long time. But I haven’t applied that trust in that inner voice to the other biggest challenge in my life… My body and my relationship with it… My health and my relationship with food…
These books really helped me remember that I have that inner voice on all things… Not just my career path… But applicable to all walks of my life… Needless to say, I have really really been happy with these books.
One of the parts I was just reading with my coffee this morning doesn’t really relate just to weight loss or a healthier relationship with food… So even though this is officially filed under Weight Talk Wednesday, it’s more of a lifestyle post. However, I’m sharing it today because I feel compelled to.
There is no one right way. No one right path…. right answer… right food…
We have the amazing ability to choose to craft the life that works best for us… We can hack our way through the woods making our own path for a while, then we can choose follow well trodden paths for a while…. We can live whatever life, in whatever ways we chose. And if our goals and needs change, we can change our lives too… We can see when the forest is too thick and we need to move to a different direction to move forward. What works to fulfill us today may not be what works to fulfill us a year or two from now… and.that.is.okay.
The hard part is how to choose those paths…
That’s where a set of questions in the book I mentioned above by Geneen Roth are so helpful!
I’m calling them Life Questions, but basically these questions refer to the company you keep, the foods, you eat, the work you do, the ways you give and receive love and money, basically any aspect of your life.
- Does it lead you towards a fuller life, or confine you?
- Does it bring you closer to your heart, or take you further away?
- Does it open you, or close you?
- Does it allow you to trust yourself further, or does it make you frighted of yourself?
- Does it enlarge your life, or make your life smaller?
“Paths are not meant to be followed forever. They are meant to take you from one place to the next.”
The only one I don’t really love is the second part of #4. I think that being frightened can allow you to see you’re moving from what is comfortable to some uncharted area… but if it’s crippling you with fear, then it’s not healthy.
The funny thing is one of the mantras that got me through my last year or so at the bank was… “Does it lead you closer to or further from your goals?”… Which falls in line nicely with these questions.
For the record… When it comes to counting calories…
- It does confine me, and it certainly doesn’t make my life fuller. It makes me operate around those parameters rather than my own true hunger.
- It doesn’t bring me joy. It makes me feel like I’m living someone else’s rules, which takes me further from a loving place.
- It closes me up. It does make me optimistic that i can lose weight… but it also makes me feel like i can’t count accurately if I’m full after 1/5 or 1/ of a portion.
- I don’t trust myself more. It makes me feel like my body and I are on two different sides of a war. And it really makes me scared I would ALWAYS have to count calories. It’s too much work and it robs the joy out of eating anything.
- It doesn’t enlarge my life… It makes me worried and anxious about those times I can’t weight or measure my foods. It makes eating and what I’m going to eat a HUGE driving force in my life… Imagine what else I could do if I refocused my energy spent on worrying about my weight elsewhere… I mean… I’d be unstoppable! 🙂
I think one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves is to be brave enough to live a life we examine… These questions are helpful in that process.
What do you think? Are these questions helpful?