Welcome to 2022! We have made it through the Solstice and the holidays, and survived! How well did you do with your life? How was your food? What are the changes you want to make now?
Usually there are some successes, some failures and some ongoing issues. Food issues are usually one of the ongoing issues that we need to deal with every year.
Change is hard. When we are changing long term habits it takes some time to get used to the new way. We often feel frightened, threatened or resentful about the need to change our food choices.
And notice please, that whenever we make any kind of change, there is often no certainty that it will work for us, or that we will get the results we need.
If you have been struggling with sugar, flour and man-made foods for a long time, they have probably become a comfort to you and you may not have experienced life in another way for some time. So, the choice you might make is, “One day at a time, I am going to do my absolute best in this process for six months. Then I will re-evaluate and decide if I want to continue and what changes to make.”
Or maybe you want to start with small and specific changes: “I am going to drink eight cups of water a day” or “I intend to eat one cup or I piece of fruit every day, no matter what else I eat”. Then you can move on to other changes as you are able.
But there are some changes that you may want to make now and make clearly with yourself. There are times you may need to draw a firm boundary with yourself or others. Call that by a special name: “Day of Decision” perhaps and honor it. Beware that it is you who are changing, though your change may elicit strong reactions from others.
Focus on the positive. Make a positive choice be your change. Think how good it will be to have the change made. Be clear about the specific changes you want to make and their benefit to you, and what you need to do to make the change effective. And ask your Higher Power and your sponsor’s opinion on the change.
And now create what I call a “closure ceremony”.
Write a letter to your issue and tell it what and why you are changing it. If it is a person, you can express the feelings that the person’s behavior created in you.
If it is an error or a regret or a feeling, write it all down and get it out of your inner core.
If it is a longstanding pattern, write about how it has hurt you and impeded your growth. Write what you want to change.
If it is a big problem or a daily pattern, especially with food, write your pattern and your commitment to change.
Write what physical or emotional help you need.
Write a letter to Higher Power and say what you would like Higher Power to do to help you.
Now what to do with these writings? They deserve a ceremony. What kind of ceremony? A visit with a person you trust? A special place to keep them? Or do you need, as I often do, to go to a safe place and burn the letters? And as the smoke rises to the heavens, imagine it carrying your commitment and your requests to your Higher Power. And maybe s/he will send an angel to help you.
Now choose a physical object that represents that change, and keep it near you.
I am only a dietitian, but I know from experience that all changes are difficult. But changing to eating healthier foods – and maintaining the change – is hard stuff. This year I want to focus on food and spirituality, and the way the body uses food to repair, replace, and maintain itself; and I hope what I have in mind will be helpful to you.
But remember, what you think about, you will draw into your life. So, focus on making your thoughts about the changes you want to make positive rather than negative or punitive. If you hear yourself saying “I won’t do that…” change the thought to “I choose to do this…” and you will draw to yourself the things you want and need.
Please comment; I want to hear your thoughts and opinions.
Blessings to you,