I think the reason most of my diets have not worked in my life is they are sold as overstated simplicity. So, if I just eat more vegetables, reduce red meat and forego wine while exercising 30 minutes a day I will lose weight. If I just drink these 3 smoothies a day I will drop weight quickly. It all sounds so easy right? I get this idea in my head that it must also mean that it is going to be fast, easy and just right for me. I don’t have to think about anything just do this or that. After a week of 3 smoothies a day though I was tired, very hungry and irritable without any weight loss. There wasn’t anything basically easy about it the first time I got hungry.
Being healthy is like this teetering scale where we find ourselves on one end or the other fighting against or striving for the other side. If we are lucky we can carefully balance in the middle but it is always a challenge to maintain that position. There is always one side of the scale that seems to be going up or down. Depending on how we’re standing in life it could be we’re soothing with carbs or cardio on that particular day, week, year (2020 pandemic pounds anyone?). I decided this year to break up with my scale. Alright so admittedly it is not just the scale that is the problem but it is the source of pain that doesn’t really seem to help the situation most of the time.
I think there is an unrealistic aspect to dieting in our society. We have fallen for the marketing aspects of diet products promising results but have only provided us with increasing health problems and additional weight that doesn’t budge. We are made to feel bad that these things don’t work for us too and we’re seen as just giving up. It seems like a vicious cruel joke with the punch line being our now bloated and rolled waist line. The truth being it is not easy to lose weight and it is also not easy maintaining it once you achieve it. We simply don’t live in a society where it is possible which is why I broke up with the scale in the first place and decided the only way it was going to happen was through my own power. I normally do have to get mad about something, as in mad beyond mad limits, to push myself in those places I know I need to work on but had previously taken the easy road expecting results.
It is at the point we decide we have had enough that things usually start changing. We force the change. We do our own thing and focus on us. We go radio silent even on social media or hanging with friends to help squash the noise around us threatening our laser focus on what we are doing. We sweat, struggle and cry in silence as we push forward on our own. If we stick with it and hit our stride it becomes easier and sooner or later progress starts to be noticable. We feel different and it makes us even more determined to keep going but again still greatly on our own. It isn’t easy or fast but rather it is a lonely road where we feel like we’re in the dark searching without a map knowing where it will lead.
The deeper I go on this lonely road in my own journey the more I see how fooled I have been about dieting and weight loss. We have basically been led down one too many dark alleys to see someone who promises they have the cure. Yet there’s more to it than just eating a certain way, taking a supplement or being committed to consistent exercise. The biggest element in it all is our very own mindset being aligned with what we are undertaking. The overstated simplicity of dieting being as easy as a smoothie as a meal replacement has skipped over the entire work of us being mentally ready, committed and aligned to how we’re going to do this work. Our desperation to drop some weight has separated our mind, soul and body from the alignment necessary to make that journey rewarding.
So if you’re looking for a magical easy cure, start with your own magical mind. Get rid of the noise and focus on you. The real you that is inside your head and heart. Realize it is not about a certain protocol of diet foods delivered to your door each week but rather it is about how you think and feel every day. Moving your body and eating better chosen foods that fuel yourself is the overstated easy part. Putting in the work to rewire how you think about health and how you will achieve it is where we cannot separate our mind from our body. Separating our physical from our emotional state will in the long run be the factor that helps us stick to it, see the results and maintain them.
Doing the mind work is often the hardest part. Our minds are well crafted at playing all the right tricks we fall for every day. Just this once won’t hurt if we skip our workout. Oh we can have that taste of chocolate cake because one little bite won’t break our diet. We’re going out with friends, how could we not share in a drink with them? It is not the temptation around us but rather our response to it in our very own gray matter that results in the feeling it was all for nothing or doesn’t really work thinking that leaves us back where we started only heavier and bigger.
As I’ve struggled with my own mind work these past 9 months I’ve learned a few tricks of my own. First, when my body and mind are working together I know when I need a rest day from working out. It’s not a simple I don’t want to work out excuse but rather it is my muscles are sore and my mind is tired. I need rest. I need an easier workout that day like yoga to stretch or some foam rolling to massage my muscles. When I’m hungry I know I need to run through a checklist in my own mind of what this hunger means. Am I thirsty and did I drink some water with lemon essential oil first? Am I just bored or stressed? Did I switch tasks to see? The difference is not just asking myself the question but actually acting on an alternative to prove it first. It is holding myself accountable every time.
As I go into 2021 with goals to build on my progress from last year I feel motivated. It has become easier on some days where once I didn’t think I could do it or live through it but now it feels good to give myself different challenges to see my progress. I believe the overstated simplicity is that we often overlook the fact we still have to put in the work towards making it easier. We have to work to build the relationship between our mind and body to work together on this goal and give ourselves the right tools in the right timing to support our work. Easy? No. Worth it? Definitely.
If 2021 is your year to finally improve your health, follow the blog for lots of natural healthy tips, recipes and support. We’ll also encourage you along the way too! dragonspitapothecary.com