Tag Archives: creating the life you want

A Few Things That Are Better than Dieting

Consciously restricting what we eat, for weeks and months (and in some of our cases, years) at a time, sucks.

It sucks so hard but so many of us do it anyways because of the immense pressure in our society to be thin.

If you’ve never dieted, you might wonder what the big deal is, so for those of you in that camp, let me illustrate to you what being on a diet is like.

We go hungry. All the time. Constantly having to remind ourselves of our “goal” so that we don’t eat. We spend hours looking for ways to suppress normal biological hunger with “skinny” versions of our favorite foods, lots of lettuce, water and food that is reminiscent of cardboard filled air. We dream about getting to eat real food and actually satisfy our appetites. Even when we’re eating, we’re counting down the minutes until we can eat again because we know that whatever we are eating isn’t going to cut it.

We beat ourselves up when we eat more calories than we “should” even if we’re eating because we’re are so hungry we can’t think. We have a massive list of shoulds that we expect ourselves to conform to and we can never meet all of them on the same day. So we shame, berate and use sheer will to get ourselves in line.

We put what little energy we have left into punishing exercise (have to burn off what we eat!) and anything that’s left gets put into wishing we had more willpower and creating pinterest pins of impossible to achieve body standards in the hope that they will help motivate us to ignore our growling stomach for just a few more hours, every day, every week. All of this helps us end the day feeling completely spent with not much to show for it, only to have to get up the next day and go through these same motions again. And again and again until we meet our goal (which is often a moving target).

You don’t have to diet. You might think you have to do it and that it will make you happy but the truth is that you don’t and it won’t. You don’t have to purposely prevent yourself from responding to hunger. If someone prevented a child from eating what their body needed, we would call it abuse, neglect, and go on and on about having basic needs met (because that would be totally messed up). But we don’t think twice about not meeting our own basic needs. We’re different, right? Our needs aren’t as important because we’re bad, we’re out of control and we need to be smaller.

There is so much more to life than size.

I’ve never heard anyone say that they love to diet. I’ve never heard anyone say that they feel amazing being hungry all the time. I’ve never heard someone say that they get more accomplished as a dieter. But I have heard plenty of women talk about the things they were missing out on in their lives because they were too caught up in the details of a food issue. I’ve had plenty of women tell me about all the things they couldn’t be present enough to enjoy because of their obsession with their weight.

It sucks so much.

If you decide that you are done dieting and want to feed your body the way it needs to be fed, once and for all. If you decide that you are worth more than an arbitrary number then you will find that a huge world of amazingness starts to open up for you.

Here are just a few things that are way better than dieting:

  • warm summer sun on your skin
  • a cat purring on your lap
  • a cup of coffee brewed to the exact strength and temperature you like
  • an afternoon (and evening!) spent reading your favorite kind of book
  • a leisurely bike ride through gorgeous countryside
  • clothes you like that fit your actual body
  • having a good hair day
  • hearing someone you love laugh
  • falling asleep in someone’s arms
  • being snowed in with nowhere to go, nothing you have to do and good food and company
  • a big bowl of real ice cream from a farm stand
  • helping someone else (feels even better if they appreciate the help!)
  • getting complimented on something other than for what you look like
  • swimming in warm and clear water somewhere beautiful
  • not having to set an alarm for the next morning
  • watching someone you love graduate, become a parent, get married or start their first job
  • doing those things yourself
  • finally doing something you’ve always wanted to do
  • sharing a meal with people whose company you enjoy
  • looking at old family photos and remembering those days just as vividly
  • eating your fill of your favorite food
  • getting a 90 minute massage (that someone else paid for!)
  • having more than one day off in a row
  • having a little kid reach up to hold your hand
  • hearing a song you love that you haven’t heard in years
  • surprising yourself by being good at something you never thought you would be
  • getting a job or promotion that you really wanted
  • getting asked out by someone who you really dig (or asking them out and having them say yes!)
  • having a belly that is comfortably full of food on the regular
  • having sex with someone you like and respect (and vice versa)
  • having a warm, safe and comfortable place to live
  • feeling like you have everything you need
  • planting something yourself and watching it grow
  • climbing into bed with fresh sheets
  • teaching someone else something that you know
  • falling asleep because someone is playing with your hair
  • watching butterflies dance near you
  • falling in love for the first time
  • falling in love with yourself for the first time
  • mastering a skill or learning something totally new
  • opening a bottle of good wine that you saved for a “special occasion”, just because
  • discovering that there are sports and activities that you actually enjoy
  • being able to pay all your bills paid and still have a little wiggle room for fun
  • visiting a new city and envisioning what it might be like to live there
  • the smell of fresh lemons and limes when you first slice into them
  • witnessing good deeds that have nothing to do with you
  • the feel of freshly washed skin and the smell of freshly washed hair
  • having a well stocked pantry and fridge
  • waking up to a sunny day despite a forecast that called for all day rain
  • having your health
  • a good night’s sleep (no insomnia, no bad dreams, no restlessness!)
  • that first bite of homemade cheesecake. The last bite is pretty good too
  • challenging the beliefs you have about yourself
  • letting some things go
  • loving the body that you have as it is right now

There are a zillion more things that are better than dieting but that’s just a small list to get us started. What are some things that you think are way better than dieting?


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Do you want to feel overwhelmed this Christmas Season?

How do you want to feel? You can make it happen.

How do you want to feel? You can make it happen.

Think about your past 5 holiday seasons. Do you have warm happy memories of them? Or do you feel stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of it being yet another December?

I love it and hate it at the same time. There’s a warmth, a feeling of love and goodwill in the world that I feel at Christmas time that just isn’t there the rest of the year. I have fond memories of Christmas from my childhood. As an adult, I hate how long my to do list is, the crowds, the traffic and the constant beckoning from retailers to buy more everywhere we go. But Christmas doesn’t have to make us want to pull our hair out. We don’t have to sacrifice our happiness or health for the happiness of others. For a long time, I struggled with this. I thought I just had to accept the chaos and stress that came with the season.

What If I told you that you could feel more of what you want to feel this holiday season? That there is room for what you want and for what you want for others?

By taking a few minutes to get clear about how you want to feel, you’re more likely to take actions that will get you there – instead of wishing the month was over already! How different will this and future holidays be if we spend more of our time in a way that we truly want?

Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down the answers to these 2 questions:

  1. What feelings do you want to feel more of?
  2. What feelings do you want to feel less of?

I want to feel more joy, calm and content.

I want to feel less frazzled, overwhelmed and exhausted.

I can have those feelings. You can have more of whatever you wrote down also.

How?

By doing more of the things that bring us the feelings we want. By doing less of the things that bring up the feelings we don’t want.
Holiday Blog page content photo

We are in charge of how we want to feel. We make choices daily, hourly, that affect this. If I choose to overeat, that is going to make me feel stressed and sick. I know this. I also know that eating nourishing foods in appropriate amounts makes me feel good. Choosing to eat well means I feel good more of the time. I want to feel good, so I’m going to take more actions that help me feel that way.

If I want to feel more joy, calm and contentedness, I need to get in touch with what brings me those feelings and then take action on those things. Again this starts with writing things down (it makes it real, concrete and more likely to happen!):

Get that pen and paper out again and write down your answers to these 2 questions:

  1. What specific actions will you take this month to feel more of the feelings you want to feel?
  2. What specific actions will you stop doing or do less of to reduce feeling the way you don’t want to feel?

You can follow my example below.

This month, to create more joy, calm and contentedness in my life, I will do the following:

To feel more Joy – I will spend more time with friends, more quality time with John, make more time for my genealogical research projects. I will only say yes to invitations that bring me joy. I will decline those that don’t.

To feel more Calm – I will get a good sweaty workout in at least 5 days a week. I will read a book at bedtime (instead of being on my phone) and I will not have more than 2 cups of coffee per day (a 3rd one managed to sneak in since we got a Moccamaster coffee maker a few weeks ago – it makes coffee irresistibly smooth).

To feel more Content – I will spend more time reflecting on all the wonderful things in my life by meditating 3 times a week and compiling a daily gratitude list. I will not give any more attention to the things that make me anxious (worrying doesn’t fix anything). I will reduce the amount of time I am on social media for non-business purposes.

To feel less frazzled, overwhelmed and exhausted – I will make sleep a priority, eat plenty of green and orange vegetables and allow for more quiet time for myself. I will eat the foods that make my body feel good and remember to avoid the ones that don’t.

There you have it, it’s like my own personal roadmap to happier holidays. If I make the actions I listed a priority and follow the path I’ve laid out for myself, I will enjoy the season a heck of a lot more. What about you? So, what do you want to feel more of and what will you commit to doing to feel that way?

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