One of the things that I think the people in these stories did so well was find something that fit them. Rather like going to a store and trying on clothes, they found (or created) an eating program that really worked for them.
Marc David, who runs the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, says that one of our big myths around eating and weight loss is that “if it worked for her, it’ll work for me.” When I went to one of his workshops a few years ago, he said that myth doesn’t even hold up for ourselves from day to day. We are dynamic beings, and our metabolism changes daily, so what works for us one day doesn’t necessarily work for us the next.
Rather than be discouraged by this idea, I think there’s some fundamental insight that’s worth harvesting in it. If we can be deeply connected to ourselves, it almost doesn’t matter what we’re doing as long as we’re (as Geneen Roth says) acting on our behalf.
That’s one of my strongest insights from this blog: the energy that these people used to approach their food was more important than the structure that they used. If they approached their eating program with compassion and dignity, that’s what they got back. If they used a factual, scientific approach, that’s what was delivered to them.
Midway through my interviews, my friend Annie got serious with me one day when I was freaking out about whether sugar is addictive or not. She got real quiet and then in a warm, compassionate voice, she said to me, “Maggie, when you are ready, you KNOW what to do.” And that’s true for everyone. We know, deeply, how to change our weight. It’s a matter of applying what we already know.
The essential question now is, “What is the energy that we want to use in creating our approach to food?”
To me, that’s the defining variable. Much more than which approach people take.
Brad said, “What works for me won’t necessarily work for the next person.”
There’s no secret answer here in this blog. There are wonderful stories from ordinary and amazing people. People who made a decision, either when they couldn’t tie their own shoes at their shoe store or when they looked retirement in the face or when they just decided that they would create the day that they waited for all their lives.
They made a decision, they adapted or created a program to suit their personal needs, and they got into action.
It really is that simple.
If you want it crystalized into a bulleted list, here you go:
- use what you already know
- look at the long term (think tortoise, not hare)
- ask for help (who are your allies? who roots for you? access those people!)
- live in action (remember the FA mantra that Carrie recited: Thoughts are thoughts, and feelings are feelings, but actions are what really matter)
- be kind to yourself (Lorrie gave me the phase “gentle self-talk,” and that’s worth keeping)
That’s it. My last post on this blog.
Farewell. Thanks for journeying with me!