Welcome to the first of my blogs from the new decade! I am so grateful to be here with you in this special and precious new year.
You who have worked with me for some time already know that I had a childhood that was difficult and painful to me. Going away to college was the path to freedom for me.
I had a great deal to learn, about food, other people, how to act in certain situations.
What helped me the most was having clear goals. Keeping my eye fixed on what I really wanted. And changing what I really wanted when it was clear that a solution did not work for me.
A man I trust, Brendan Burchard says, “Change is HARD.
Growing is difficult.
Manifesting your dreams demands daily excellence.
Changing your lifestyle, scaling your dreams, improving your relationships, managing all these opportunities… it’s just HARD.”
And I so deeply agree.
We, myself included, have had difficulty with change at some point in our lives.
But you, my client reading this, are probably wondering, “So what does that have to do with me?”
Maybe a lot.
Mostly, my clients make up their minds to make drastic changes in their food and meal plans. They are going off sugar, they are going off flour, they are going to follow this food plan or that, perfectly, for the rest of their lives. They are excited and determined.
Then life happens. Then a wrong food is eaten, exercise is skipped, or something else goes wrong.
Then they beat themselves up, tell themselves how stupid and hopeless they are, and decide, “since I have already failed, let me dive into this ice cream, eat what I want for the weekend, and start over on Monday.”
NO! NO! NO! Please don’t do this to yourself again!
If you are driving on a familiar road, and you hit the “rumble strip” on the side of the road, what do you do? The noise is telling you that you are off track. You could move over and get back in your lane. You could drive into the ditch. You could pull into some safe place and figure out what is wrong, maybe get some help.
Please don’t drive into the ditch.
Here are some better suggestions: take yourself to a safe place. Maybe have a good cry. Take a few deep breaths and look at what is really going on here.
Clarify what you really want. Why does this matter to you? What value does it serve? What benefit will it give you?
Make it positive. Not, I am going to lose twenty (or fifty or 100) pounds or “I’m going to stop eating sugar (or drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes)”. But instead, “I want to get a healthier relationship with food”, or “I want to begin dealing with my food addiction/eating disorder/bulimia”, or “I want to create a joyful useful life and the processed foods and sugar are getting in my way.”
Be really clear. What you are choosing is going to be hard. Perhaps you need to break down the behaviors into a series of choices:
For a start, I will focus on drinking eight cups of water every day.
When I can do that, I will focus on fitting in three pieces of fruit a day.
When I can do that, I will take the next step into following the food plan.
And then keep going, step by step, until I am following the whole food plan.
If at any point I start to see the symptoms of withdrawal, I will rejoice because it means I am making progress.
Meanwhile I am clearing out all the inappropriate foods, food scented candles, and even food scented body lotions! I’m cleaning off my desk and worktable and putting good smelling plants there!
The most important thing is that you realize that what you are choosing will be very hard. Expect to struggle a bit. Allow yourself to make a mistake, learn the lesson and move on. Did you realize that the CDC says that in 2018, only 7% of the people who tried to stop smoking succeeded? 7 %? With all the meds and treatments, we have? Something is missing.
What is missing for you?
What will give you the power to do what you really want to do?
Let me suggest – support. No one can solve a problem this hard without support. My problems are probably very different from yours, but my first goal this week is to find and “hire” that is commit with, the three-support people I need in order to do what I want this year. Having other people to hold me up, help me figure out what is going wrong, give me advice or suggestions or information – these are absolutely essential to my success. Support people will also be absolutely essential to your success.
And let me suggest – a kind of spirituality that works for you. Each of us has a “Monkey Mind” that sings and dances and leads us into trouble, then laughs and tells us how incompetent we are.
We need to find another force – The Wise Mind, your Inner Being, the Universe, your trusted sponsor, a version of God, Higher Power, or Buddha, or Abraham, Jesus, Yahweh, George – whatever powerful positive force that is not your usual mind , and that you can trust, will help you find a path out of the destructive impulses.
And we need to use this force.
And we need to be gentle with ourselves.
Today I encountered a saying attributed to Mother Teresa:
Consider: “God does not demand that I be successful. God demands that I be faithful. When facing God, results are not important. Faithfulness is important.
So, whatever the New Year’s Resolution is, when you make a mistake, get back on track as quickly as you can. Learn the lesson of the error. Let yourself have the rest, self-care, support and spirituality that you need, and call for help when you are struggling.
Keep the faith, my friend.
Blessings to you,