You’ve struggled with weight loss your entire life. As a kid, you were big, but getting older lit the necessary fire to eat healthier, try new diets. You’ve seen good progress but still struggle at parties, vacations, and holidays--the “occasions” where that inner food addict comes alive like Frankenstein’s monster. So when your partner starts a Spiritual Weight Loss class (Weight-Loss Wingmen), you don’t think twice about enrolling. In a 6-week course comprised of tracking what we eat, reflection, journaling, spiritual counseling, and group support, here is what I learned.
Fasting’s my new Religion: (1) 24-hour fast per week enabled my inner warrior, slayed my inner saboteur, and most importantly, gave me necessary practice denying the self and connecting to spirit. No matter how many bad days I had, that one-day fast added up to tremendous reassurance.
Tracking is my other, new Religion. Using MyFitnessPal (the free version), I logged everything, even the late-night snacking binges. I became obsessed. Having to track kept me honest, made me earn those late night bowls of cereal, prevented me from “spending” my calories on things like desserts, breads, etc, and awakened me to how much I over-consume and pretend it didn’t happen.
Accountability is essential. Our weekly meetings and social media check-ins inspired better decisions. To be clear, the group never once pressured me to eat right. I just wanted to report victories to them, not backslides. The wins of my Wingmen also reinforced my own.
I tell stories. With added awareness of what I ate and when, I noticed an uncanny ability to justify eating sugary or carby treats. I could find a multitude of reasons to unexpectedly binge: a long day at work, a fussy toddler, unexpected bills/expenses--you name it. Such calamities made it right to “reward” myself. This is merely a story I’ve concocted, because they’re not calamities. They’re normal-ass occurrences. I just converted them to calamities via the process of storytelling.
Prioritizing my Health’s a Game-changer. Going through this program made my diet my number one priority. It gave the necessary permission to do other things less, such as make art. I could take a conscious break from extracurriculars to say I’m focusing on weight loss. And that’s enough. On top of general work and family stuff, that’s all I had to do. And it felt nice.
Consistency over Perfection. Having embraced my imperfect dieter status, I’m more comfortable. I generally eat more vegetarian, gluten and dairy free--but not all of the time. It feels natural. It allows for special occasions, such as traveling to see friends and enjoying the rare regional delicacy without guilt. I no longer look at these as setbacks, but freedoms I’ve gained, since consistency keeps me on the road to right health.
There’s more I’d like to share, but for now, suffice it to say, I’ve gained leverage on my saboteur, entered a new phase of my personal health and fitness, and look forward to asserting a newly confident self in other areas of my life. A recent effort to blog and share my voice is but one example. Cheers to the journey.
What kind of life would you lead if you had no fear? #AlchemistMovement