When it comes to food, health, weight and body image, many of us have quite a story to tell. I suspect this is even more true for women than for men (especially the body image part).
So, who is the author of your story, the writer of the screenplay of your life? If it’s not already you, then you better pick up that (metaphorical) pen! In “The Metabolic Power of Story” chapter in The Slow Down Diet, Marc David suggests that we all share the same nutrition story:
You’re born, you eat, you die.
Yeah, I guess that’s pretty much it! You can’t change the beginning or the end of that story, but what are you doing with the middle? What story are you living…and who created it? David points out that each of us has nutritional free will, and to create the right nutritional “middle,” we need to understand the purpose of why we eat the way we do, and question whether it is supporting our life “mission statement.”
In other words, decide why you’re here on this planet, and then decide what manner and style of eating, exercise and nourishment will best help you be your best as you fulfill your mission, whether it’s to care for and nurture your family, excel at your chosen career, or save the world.
When you are trying to eat and be healthier, you have an idea in your head of what your life will become if you stick to your goals. David calls this the “dietary ending” of your personal nutrition story, and he suggests not waiting to live the scenario unspooling in your head. If you think being healthier will make you happy and more confident and give you more energy, then choose to be happy and confident and have more energy now.
“Do you really believe that weight loss will come any easier if you’re living out a story that produces the physiology of self-judgement and negativity? Do you honestly imagine that the right nutritional approach will grant you more energy if the story you live along the way continues to drain it?”
I like this idea. Too often, we fall into the trap of imagining that “things” will be better tomorrow. Why not have a better today? Live it, be it!
My nutrition and food history, like many people’s carries a lot of judgement and criticism, both self-inflicted and inflicted by others. Judgement and criticism doesn’t feel good. It makes you feel sad, small and victimized. Not a very good place to be if you want to make positive, healthy changes in your life, is it? It can be hard to pair self-love and acceptance with an objective understanding that there are steps you need to take to eat better, lose weight and be healthier, but I think it’s a mental place well worth working toward. Love yourself enough the way you are right now to want to be even better. Don’t decide that you will only love yourself once you are better.