I call my weight loss education, Weight Loss Awakening. Many people enter weight loss programs looking towards an ideal and internalize someone else’s conception of what health and weight loss is. This takes power away from you by focusing on the products of someone else’s ideas, it’s an illusion. So, how do you ensure that the journey you are on is that frees you and makes you more whole?
One answer comes from a book entitled “Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind” by Napoleon Hill. This little gem of a book was written in his later years and contains the wisdom of an elderly man who contemplated life deeply.
The 6 questions Mr. Hill writes about (1) pertain to life and money in general but we will adapt them to weight loss as follows . .
1. When circumstances require me to use my time in a way I did not plan to use it, do I in that time, know my own mind and use it beneficially?
2. Have I set up my work schedule so that I need not live in fear of work overwhelming me and stealing my hours of rest?
3. When I find a way to express myself, and know it is socially unacceptable, do I continue to express myself in that manner even though others may find it strange?
4. Have I freed myself of any family or regional or cultural custom which has hampered what and how I eat and exercise?
5. Am I willing to question the ways in which other people do things, and never make an absolute guide out of “That’s the way it is done?”
6. Do I realize that I am not losing weight to only look better, but for all of the new things I can do when I am healthier than I am now!?
These 6 questions can help you determine how free you are.
Lets go through each one by one.
Question 1 asks about your use of time. On weight loss journeys that life affirming (there are many that are destructive) use of your time is crucial. If your aim is to lose weight and become healthier, then inopportune moments like traffic, waiting in offices, etc can be used to your advantage. Use those times to learn about the human body and nutrition – whether it is by audio book on your smartphone or carry around a book. Focus more on nutrition than diet books. Use the nutrition category on Amazon not the diet category. Looking at that category now, I have read 5 of the top 10 and they would all be valuable, but when I look at the top 10 for diet, I find 7 out of 10 to be harmful. (Make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you can get my book reviews, it’s at the top of the page.)
Question 2 asks about your work schedule. I find this incredibly important for the people that I am coaching in weight loss. If you can’t prioritize your work time to allow for mindful eating and movement/exercise, then these are some other issues that need to be tackled first. You need time to devote to this path. If you want this journey of weight loss to bring you more freedom in your life in general, then you need time for self-care.
Question 3 is also uniquely important for weight loss journey’s. You will encounter people who will belittle you for not eating foods that they are eating. They often make you feel like it is socially unacceptable. It is no different than the playground at school. Playground behavior applies throughout life, whether it affects you as it did then is a conscious choice now that you know it is no different. Your new eating behavior can be very threatening to people who haven’t been able to make those choices themselves. Stay strong and savor it. Yes, savor it. You are a warrior and warriors savor the battle – you weapon is staying present and smiling inwardly knowing that you are taking control like a warrior. Let me hear your battle cry and roar! 🙂
Question 4 pertains to cultural, familial, or regional considerations. In my religious community – at synagogue, pastries are often served. Because we don’t mix milk and meat in the same meal, if we eat meat for the main course, we can’t have a pastry made of butter, so margarine is still used. Margarine is quite frankly, deadly. (Should this be formally acknowledged? God certainly wouldn’t want you to eat food that has been scientifically proven to be deadly to the tune of 3-7000 deaths per year)(2) I never partake, especially since there are other fats in baking that could be used. Do people find it odd? Most certainly, yes. Do I care, no! If they ask me I tell them why simply without emotion. You have to bring the warrior out here as well. It’s your health, stand up for yourself and don’t be taken by what your community might eat commonly if you know it to be bad for you. You have a responsibility to yourself and to God to take care of yourself, so do it and don’t let your community /culture etc affect that!
Question 5 is what this website is all about. It’s about challenging everything. Don’t take my word for anything! Try it, test it, and see if it works for you. If it doesn’t work for you, throw it out. Think of the times in your life when somebody told you that there was only one way and you found another. It’s usually a rare thing to happen in people’s lives but when you open your mind to questioning everything, you find that the realization that there is another “way” is more common than you could ever imagine.
Question 6 : I coach enough people to know that there are many of you that read that and are thinking, that looking better is the main reason. Focus on the journey of becoming healthy as opposed to the goal of a fixed end result. When you are constantly making life-affirming choices on a daily basis as opposed to just looking into a hazy future at some goal that is often societally influenced, you will find that what you learn about yourself in the process of becoming healthier far outweighs anything else. No matter where you are right now – you can feel better than you do now. When you feel better, you can accomplish more. God gave us amazing bodies to take care of. We do that by focusing on all of the little decisions that make up each day and making decisions in line with this view.
Try to ponder these questions honestly and let me know what you think of them. I would love to hear your thoughts about these questions below.
(1) The questions in their original form are 1. When circumstances require me to use my time in a way I did not plan to use it, do I in that time, know my own mind and use it beneficially? 2. Have I set up my work schedule so that I need not live in fear of work overwhelming me and stealing my hours of rest? 3. When I find a way to express myself, and know it is socially unacceptable, do I continue to express myself in that manner even though others may find it strange? 4. Have I freed myself of any family or regional or cultural custom which has hampered my career or my personal life? 5. Am I willing to question the ways in which other people do things, and never make an absolute guide out of “That’s the way it is done?” 6. Do I realize that I am not working for money, but for that which money can buy?
(2) Dietz WH, Scanlon, KS. 2012. Eliminating the Use of Partially Hydrogenated Oil in Food Production and Preparation. JAMA. 2012;308(2):143-144.