I continue to struggle with the idea of weight and happiness and how they may or may not be connected. One of the ideas that I’m working on is that every time I go out to dinner or accept a social invitation I don’t have to be guilty or view these activities as “bad.” I’ve come to a place where I am probably a little too black and white with this part of my life. I like wine, and I like cocktails, but somehow the only way I seem to be able to get a handle on this part of my life is to tell myself I can’t drink at all. Or I’m misbehaving if I do have some drinks, or eat a great meal.
I work with a Life Coach (Jessy Stickel – worth every penny) who has helped me discover so many things about myself. The work we’ve done over the past year has helped me create a vision for my life, have the confidence to follow my dreams, and be a little more gentle with myself. I’ve focused in on my health and weight issues as a top priority in 2014. Here are some of the ways we’ve discussed for me to work through this challenge:
Start looking at social invitations as a positive opportunity to interact, rather than an eating/drinking disaster waiting to happen. I often start beating myself up the moment I say yes to an invitation. This can stop. I am trying to start looking at invitations as a way to connect with people, build my business, learn something new, and actually enjoy human interaction. Jessy suggested that maybe once I reframe this thinking, food and drinking will take a backseat and may just naturally become less of an issue.
Focus on my vision of my best self – what pieces need to be in place to get there? We all know that hydration and water make us feel good. Exercise makes us feel good. Whole foods make us feel good. But how do I make sure I’m focused on this when I’m in social settings, without going back to my belief that social settings are a trap for me? I know that my best self can drink water between each drink at happy hour. I know that my best self can make time in my day to workout, even if I went out the night before. My best self can both sincerely enjoy social outings, and have all of the pieces of a healthy life in place.
Remember that happiness does not live in excess. I was watching a Ted Talk by Matthiau Ricard, a Buddhist monk, who says that we can train our minds in habits of well being. We train for so many things, is it possible for me to train my brain when it comes to my problem with food and drinking? In the talk, Matthiau uses an example that stuck with me: our first piece of chocolate cake is delicious, decadent, and truly exquisite. The second piece doesn’t have that same effect, nor do any after that. This is the literal story of my life. I’m attracted to that initial feeling, and For some crazy reason I expect it to continue when I’m on my fourth serving. Happiness is savoring the real delight, and stopping before excess takes over my life.