I did it! I have succeeded in one area that I never thought possible. I want the entire universe to celebrate with me!
I now finish my dinner by 5pm, then the kitchen is closed. I never thought I would ever see the day when I could finally be disciplined enough to fast for 15 hours and let my body rest.
My digestive system is finally getting the rest it so desperately needs — rest that I was not giving it with years of grazing on seemingly healthy snacks that just added more calories that my body didn’t need. I have been trying to kick this bad habit of grazing for years — everything from chewing gum to sipping tea to taking a walk and calling a friend, but nothing seemed to work. No matter how much I ate at dinner or the rest of the day, my body still craved all sorts of snacks in the evening. Not only was this wreaking havoc on my scale, but it was driving me crazy as I could eat healthy all day long and stay in check until evening came around.
We must take a holy pause and look at the kind of food we’re eating and the time of day we’re scarfing it down. Some of us are starving ourselves all day and eating our meals at the worst possible times while others don’t think twice about the junk that’s being consumed because they’re too busy being consumed by other things like work, family, school and the stress that life challenges keep adding on their plates.
It takes courage to change a bad habit
Bad habits can be broken before they break us. It takes a lot of courage to stop doing the things we have been doing that don’t work. It takes courage to say “no” to ourselves when our flesh is screaming “yes” to everything it wants to devour. It takes courage to say “yes” to exercise when our flesh is screaming “no way”. It takes courage to tell the server not to bring out the breadbasket. It takes courage to fast for 15 hours in the evening and focus on something other than food.
Desperate dieters do not lack courage. They are the most courageous group I know. It’s not a matter of having the courage, but a matter of directing it to the areas of our lives where it’s most needed. We desperate dieters tend to take care of everyone else in our families and we are as courageous as lions when it comes to protecting our children, our spouses and our friends. Isn’t it high time we start directing some of that courage to help ourselves?
Checking in on my needs
Let’s focus this month as we begin the fall season, taking hold of courage and starting to make some important changes. For me, it’s taking time for myself in the evenings to do self-care so that I don’t fall into the vicious eating cycle when I’m not hungry. I check in to see what my needs are and if it’s sleep, then I try to go to sleep earlier. If it’s a need for connection then I call a friend or my mother to run something by her instead of running to my fridge. Meeting your needs as you identify them is essential; otherwise, you eat for the sake of filling your time and satisfying your taste buds that can never get enough.
If you are anything like me and don’t even know what your needs are because you’ve spent so many years taking care of other people’s needs, then take some time to ponder this question and start putting that oxygen mask on yourself. Remember, we’re useless to our loved ones that are passengers on life’s journey when we aren’t taking care of our own needs to better meet theirs. Let’s take ourselves off autopilot and get ourselves back in control of our flight plan and crush those bad habits one at a time. Happy flying!
Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine