I want us to stand stark naked in front of a full length mirror for 5 minutes.
Seriously. Set the timer and stare.
(I probably ought to add that you only can do this if you OWN a full length mirror. They frown on this kind of behavior in the aisles of Walmart.)
As we are standing in front of the mirror, doing our imitation of Lady Godiva, look at what your body is right now. I'm not asking you to go into a frenzy of contempt about your body. Instead, I want us to make an honest assessment of WHAT our body is. Is it puffy in places? Is it wobbly? Do you have a favorite part of your body that you love the most? A part that you dislike? When you look at your body without anything else in the mix (like clothing, girdles, and lycra) what feelings do you have about your body?
Now, I want you to get dressed (or back in your PJs if you are like me) and go get a piece of paper and a big permanent marker. I prefer Sharpies for something like this. There's something gratifying about writing with a Sharpie. Take your piece of paper and write this sentence down:
WHAT my body is has nothing to do
with WHO is in that body.
with WHO is in that body.
Because we need to make that distinction. We forget that our body is an outward shell- a vehicle for WHO we are. It is NOT the other way around.
We say that we need to lose weight. We tell ourselves "Look at how far you've gone by letting yourself go! Look at this body? What have you done to yourself?"
But what we really need to be saying is "Look at how the outside doesn't match the inside! I need to fix that!"
I have never met a person who was fat on the inside. When I get to know someone, they have dreams and hopes and aspirations. No matter what size they are on the outside. But we let what we are on the outside dictate the WHO we are on the inside! We give up on reaching for the stars because "Who would ever hire a fatty like me? I can't be a (fill in your own blank) because no one will take me serious looking like I do."
We have given all the control to our outsides. Society kinda pushed us to this (which is a whole other blog post), but we WILLINGLY fell for it. We trusted that it was true. And because we trusted it was true, IT BECAME TRUE.
Today, we are going to bust that trust wide open. What our body is has nothing to do with WHO is in that body. We are taking control of the WHO instead of the what.
If you are starting on a diet this new year, I want to encourage you to start on the inside and work your way out. The body is effected by our internal MENTAL responses. We psych ourselves up to lose x number of pounds in 2011. And by doing that, we are setting ourselves up to fail.
We MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST commit to a life of making healthy choices.
ONE THOUGHT AT A TIME.
If you are feeling like you are a WHAT, you need to remember you are a WHO. You aren't going to lose weight by making plans. You are going to lose weight by conquering the small choices. So you blew it and had a cookie already. Don't think that you have ruined your entire diet day and give in to temptation. You blew a choice. But the next choice can fix everything. Your next choice has to be a WHO choice.
I'm going to give you a few examples so I make sure you and I both understand.
What: I ate a cookie and ruined my day. I have blown my diet already.
WHO: I made a poor choice today, but there are still lots more choices to be made. I AM going to make good choices.
What: I tried to do an exercise video and had to stop it halfway through. I can't do this.
WHO: My body needs more training to work up to the video I couldn't finish. If I keep trying, my body will get the hang of it. I CAN DO THIS.
What: I don't feel like making dinner, so I'll order a pizza.
WHO: I recognize that I am tired and worn out at the moment. I need to find healthy choices that offer me simplicity without harming the goal of what I'm working towards. I will find ways to make my food benefit instead of sabotage.
What: I can't lose weight.
WHO: I CAN LOSE WEIGHT, ONE HEALTHY CHOICE AT A TIME.
It only takes seconds to make poor decisions. We know that. But we have trained our psyche to think that healthy choices are harder. GUESS WHAT? We can make healthy choices in the same seconds it takes to make poor choices. Which way are you going to go?
Remember that piece of paper we wrote on? Grab your marker, cause we are going to write a little more on it. Here we go. Think of 3 things you love about WHO you are. Smart, funny, artistic (those are mine, you can think of your own...) I want your paper to look like this when you are done.
WHAT my body is has nothing to do with WHO is in that body.
The person in that body is (Smart) (Funny) (Artistic)
Go tape this on your big mirror. When you are feeling low, or frustrated or struggling to keep on track with your diet, come back and add another word. Remind yourself not to be a WHAT. Stay close to WHO you are. WHO you are is a lot more ambitious that WHAT you are. And when you focus on the WHO, the what loses it's power and is forced to change.
That's when the WHAT begins looking a lot more like the WHO.
And WHO you are is BEAUTIFUL.