Hi everyone and welcome back! This post continues from Rebecca’s comments in last week’s Something More post.
Joan’s turn: When Rebecca and I were brainstorming about the ideas we wanted to include in the post on weight issues, Rebecca said to me that she wanted to write this post herself. I protested, saying that I had learned many good ideas over the years in the battle of the bulge, and I thought I could contribute positively to this post, too. And, after all, Rebecca has always been able to maintain a normal weight and could contribute good suggestions from that perspective, but wouldn’t it make sense to include my comments…the person who has actually struggled with weight issues for many years? I did suspect that Rebecca was thinking that I would not be taken seriously on this topic because my weight has still not normalized (even though my eating habits have very much normalized). But, as you can see, I’ve convinced Rebecca to post my comments anyway.
By the way, Rebecca told me after reading this post that she did not at all want to leave me out of the post, but just wanted to give me some time off from blog writing for the week. You can see how my interpretation of the event was completely different from what Rebecca was thinking. As an aside, this is how easily arguments can start. Fortunately, we did not argue over this because we quickly saw trouble brewing and, instead, applied the U Love principles to avoid a conflict. Crisis averted…..again! (Gosh, notice how many times this happens for us???)
But let’s get back to my original point. Once I won Rebecca over, I realized I needed to condense my thoughts about forty years of weight battles into one blog post. That was going to be a challenge. It sort of felt like I was trying to squeeze myself into a pair of pants that had become too small. That feeling was all too familiar! So, for the sake of brevity, I decided to go for the big picture and skip all the minor stuff, i.e., just mention the major lessons I learned from years of dieting. These principles help me to be more content in life. I hope they will do the same for you.
First lesson learned: Diets don’t work. Learning lifetime, healthy eating habits does work. You may remember from my December Something More post on “You’re Worth More Than You Know,” I mentioned that I had spent too many years on diets that caused my weight to yo-yo. I often lost weight on the “diet of the month,” but I never kept it off. Then, years ago, I went to a well respected weight control camp where I learned healthy eating habits that drastically changed my thinking about food. From then on, I felt very in control of the food and not the reverse. It was a great feeling to know that food was no longer my master.
I highly recommend adopting healthy eating habits over attempting stringent starvation diets. Over time, the weight should come off by eating healthfully (along with normal size portions and exercise). This is what I’ve taught Rebecca and you can see that it has really worked well for her.
Second lesson learned: Don’t obsess about my weight and body size. In today’s culture where beautiful bodies are desirable, that is a challenge; but it’s really not constructive to obsess. I know I wrote about this in my “You’re Worth More Than You Know” post, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s best to be content with who you are. I’m not saying never seek to improve your appearance. Of course, we all want to look our best. But when wanting to look good becomes an obsession, I say it has gone too far. I see that people can become obsessed with diets, exercise, and cosmetic or bariatric surgery. Being caught up in that can be torment. I know this from experience. So, I say be moderate in improving one’s appearance, then just be happy being you, because most of us really are OK.
Third lesson learned: Don’t obsess about exercise. Now please hear what I am saying. Exercise in moderation is very good and can contribute to well being. Notice that I say exercise in moderation. Again, in today’s culture, a prevailing attitude is that the more a person exercises the better. I don’t agree. For me, I have learned healthy levels of exercise for my age and ability and I stick with that. It seems to work fine in keeping me active.
Final lesson learned: I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned over the years is that my focus should be on finding “Something More” in life rather than focusing on myself. As Rebecca says in her song, “Something More,” “there is more to life than what we see with our eyes.” I have found this to be so true. Taking my eyes off myself and looking to more positive and spiritual things in life has been a game changer for me. I’ll bet it will be for you, too.
As always, I hope I’ve left you with a lot to think about. See you next time!!!