Shrinking it down
This article was part of a series on the mental and emotional adjustments required for long-term change.
I believe in the basic goodness of people.
Because of that, my feelings towards most are benevolent; I cut people some slack, assist the downtrodden when possible, and experience a general contentedness with life. The result is, on the whole, people treat me well and I feel fortunate. (Although I periodically forget, so you might need to remind me.)
Because I believe, I act. Actions cause results, which feed into - or work against - my beliefs. In that process is another of the great circles of life.
Beliefs are the bedrock of who we are - and who we become. To a large extent, they determine whether we live well, the quality of our relationships, and even our connection with God and the Universe. Powerful forces, they are not to be reckoned with lightly.
Beliefs: closely held values accepted as facts and validated by observation, are the essential component in lifestyle change. It is hard to look in the mirror while weighing 250 pounds and have faith that "this time" I will be successful, when in fact, all previous attempts merely ended as failure, leaving me weighing more now than I ever have previously. If I do not believe, it matters not how many experts tell me to eat less and be more active. In my mind, I know I will not succeed and will therefore see failure, not setbacks; defeat, not delay. I will quit.
I was not born believing that I would always be fat; that took time to develop. As a child, my parents, concerned about my size, stressed its dangers. Doctors put me on thousand-calorie diets with purple-ink mimeographs and lists of low calorie foods. My clothes came from the "husky" section. Boys teased me; girls avoided me. Each time I was impeded in my diet, internal voices screeched, "See, you can't change; it's impossible!" I stopped, further validating my beliefs.
Beliefs can and do change. What's counterintuitive is that process happens not by thinking big, but small. One's life is not constructed in years, rather via minutes and seconds. Small, almost unperceivable ticks of the clock come together to make me who I am, leaving behind who I was. It is almost imperceptibly slow, but is happening - even now.
When I no longer looked at 70 pounds - or even ten - as the validation of success, changes began. Instead of the "whole thing," I targeted five pounds, or three, sometimes even one. At times, success was getting through the next five minutes.
Each slight triumph - if focused upon - became an in-your-face defiance of the old guard, knocking down its structure, brick-by-brick, girder by ledger.
To adjust beliefs, concentrate on minor victories. They will get larger when given their due.
|Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas||