glow notes

Thursday, September 29, 2005

changing my mind

There was a time when being told to stick to a stringent nutrition plan would have

I simply couldn't sustain being told what to do, whether by another person, a book, or by a part of myself. Within about three days, I would have decided that losing the excess fat wasn't nearly as important as, say, a carne asada burritto from Tommy's Tex Mex.

I lost weight -quite a lot of it- through careful experimentation. I learned to eat more protein, not to be afraid of fat in moderate amounts, and to eat in ways that fed both my body and my mind. I learned that I didn't have to deprive myself of ice cream or anything else. I learned to love moving my body.

But now I am seeing a nutritionist. I'm doing this because I am going to be one soon, and I wouldn't expect other people to spend money on something I haven't invested in. Plus, I am learning stuff. Plus, I've been working on these last few pounds for awhile now, I may as well just get it over with.

This plan is very stringent. The meals are written for me and I sometimes eat the exact same thing for two days in a row. Eating out is not an option, except as a cheat meal, and cheat meals are to be minimized. So far I haven't felt any need to cheat.

So what's changed?

First, this is a very good plan. The guy I'm seeing took my tastes into account, so all the foods are yummy. The meals are balanced very carefully so that I don't get at all hungry. My energy is even, my digestion is good, and I sleep well at night. I -feel- great on this plan, so it's easy to do. It's easy to give up restaurant foods for awhile, to stick to a controlled schedule, to give up a few freedoms, when they payoff is this big. I'm happy to eat my 3.75 ounces of top sirloin, .5 cups of cooked peas, .5 cup of black beans and 2 tablespoons of lowfat dressing for dinner, because I know I'm feeding my body exactly what it needs.

But also, I've changed. I don't think this would have worked for me even a year ago. There's a difference in my perceptions. In the past this would have felt like a diet; it would have felt imposed; I would have rebelled.

In contrast, right now, with this mindset, this plan makes me feel like I'm caring for myself. It feels good.

But I couldn't just force that change, it was a process.

Changes can be immediate and miraculous, or they can be slower and incremental, but they are always organic. They are never achieved through force of will.

How does one change, then? Well, heck, that's my whole reason for being here, to explore that topic. I think that there are many avenues, and that a big one is getting all of the pieces of oneself to talk to one another. So, I might actually write a letter from one part of myself to another.

"Hey Self1," I might write in my journal "this is Self2. I don't feel so good with this excess weight, but you keep making me crave ice cream. What's up with that? Do you not want to feel lighter and freer?" and soforth. I might write a brief letter like this each evening, from one part of myself to another, until I hit on something interesting.

And shedding light on an inner conflict is almost always the start of a huge change.

At that point, you get to just sit back and watch and smile.

And then start again.


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