You Don't Know Everything About Today's "You"!

 F Deventhal photo

F Deventhal photo

On Labor Day, I began what I'm calling, not a diet, but a lifestyle change where I'm forging a different relationship with food and exercise.  I've decided to manage them both with a great deal more deliberate decision-making. This was jump-started with a week of journaling about why I eat and how I may quietly benefit from holding onto the excess weight. I discovered some laden ideas I held about myself that I was not really cognizant of, but triggered by. 

I'm embarking on a 3 week regimen called "21 Day Fix" with a group of women, spearheaded by a friend of mine. At first I resisted as I usually do with "all things diet", supposing there's nothing I don't know about health and fitness at this stage of my life. What I didn't know was why I don't do the things I know I should! I was deeply aware of my condition of feeling absolutely stuck without a way to dislodge. The beauty of knowing you're stuck is that you let go of trying hold on to "your way of doing things", as the flaws have become blindingly obvious.

After expressing to my coach, Josette, that her role would be to guide me out of "stuckness", I decided to let her guide me to a different way of thinking about health and fitness.  See, I'm a believer that any diet will work for a person who's open to and ready for a lifestyle change. It's when you want a lifestyle change, but don't know how to want it enough to impact meal-by-meal choices that's the problem. That's when you need tribal support. It can also be useful to do an internal excavation to uncover what hidden ideas about food and fitness are getting in the way of healthy living. It might be helpful to ask God to reveal to you what's going on within, since he knows what we long for (Psalm 38:9) probably better than we do.

The plan suggests that you calculate - using their metrics - how many calories you'll need to take in to lose weight. Without even following their metric, I chose the most restrictive caloric range. But later I thought better of it. In the spirit of submitting to the process, I decided to take on the idea that I don't know what I'm doing! I've never calculated the amount of calories needed daily (juxtaposed against how much exercise I do) to lose weight. When I was 21 the most restrictive calorie chart was what I needed; but I'm no longer that age so why am I acting like "today's" me should follow "yesterday's" plan?

With that in mind, I calculated using the "21 Day Fix" tools and found that I was allowed nearly 400 more calories than I thought! I was holding on to "yesterday's" nutritional needs! That was an earlier model of myself. The person I look at in the mirror today, is the model I have to work with now. So I need to make choices to accommodate her!

Had I not given myself a mental adjustment, I would have been cheating myself of 400 calories (that's a meal!), making it easier for me to quit! It made me think of how important it is to remain open to "today's" rendition of ourselves in all areas. We often think we know ourselves, when really we're working with outdated ideas of ourselves at times. We've changed!

We lose a million skin cells in 24 hours, so we're different each and every day. It's just so incremental that changes happen without our even noticing. Our brains lose at least 9000 neurons every day!  Considering the billions of neurons we have, that may not seem like a lot; but it's a change - and one we don't recognize (until the change is drastic enough for us to notice).

We need to recognize that, though some things about the way we think stay the same, we are ever-changing beings and we may need different tools to motivate us today than we did yesterday. Have you ever been surprised by new information about yourself? I'd love to hear about it!