“It’s never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels.
I meet periodically with Kimberly Mathai, MS, RD, CDE. I discovered her when I was looking for a nutritionist to help us with food/eating/nutrition strategies for Tyler, and now she helps with ideas for the whole family.
Feeling a bit “stuck” lately, I asked for an extra-long appointment. I made my way up to her office in the Northgate area, admiring the beautiful scenery on this crisp, autumn day. I always feel nostalgic when I see the University of Washington. Meeting up at her office, I get right to the point of my ongoing frustrations.
I have some habits that are not serving me well. I want to make manageable, but effective changes that will help me stay on a trend of health, vitality, and well-being. As I’ve mentioned before, I plan to be a vibrant centenarian!
We chatted about strategies and I told her what I had been doing (and not doing). She asked very kindly, but with a slight smile in her eyes, “How’s that been working for you?” I literally laughed out loud! What a fantastic way for me to answer my own questions! I loved the objective nature of this concept; it was non-judgmental, simple, and got right to the heart of things.
Kimberly is a phenomenal resource. She is an author on the cutting edge of current research about health and nutrition, with a newly updated book about to be published. She is objective, research-based, with vast insight and knowledge into nutrition, eating and food issues. She can help you “right where you are” and always makes you feel empowered. She deftly incorporates preferences, as well as family and personal goals. She helps me deal with many deep-seated eating struggles that go back to my teens.
Currently, I find myself in a constructive state of mind. As one who often defaults to “black or white” thinking about eating and exercising, I am challenging myself to see shades of grey. For instance, I banned bread from my diet (adopting the current trend), only to feel unhappy and then choose crummy alternatives like gummy bears and “cheese it” crackers. When did whole wheat bread become a terrible thing? I am happy to say, much like the slender Parisians I admired this summer, I’ve added back a bit of tasty bread into my diet to the delight of my soul. Just a simple adaptation like this makes me swoon with joy. But why did I need “an authority” to tell me it was okay to eat bread?
Kimberly is also helping me understand that foods and choices are not either “all bad” or “all good.” Sometimes I need to make “the best choice” at the time and that could be a sandwich from a convenience place instead of not eating, or grabbing junk food. I let myself get stumped by trying to only have the “perfect” food,when a next best choice is the only option. I will often end up not eating and then become so ravenous that ”cheese-its”, fish crackers, gummy bears, and chocolate almond squares become my mid-afternoon meal.
While I am aware that my weight is in the acceptable BMI range, by dropping 5 to 10 pounds, I make changes to my health profile that are quite significant. This idea fascinates me! Since our meeting, I have been eating “enough”, at appropriate intervals, and keeping track on myfitnesspal.com. Additionally, I have become more aware (yet again) of the health benefits that just 3 times a week of strength training, 30 minutes a day of walking (or other moving/aerobic activity) add to my overall well-being! (Yes, I do sometimes need it repeated an infinite number of times to truly grasp these simple, obvious concepts! It doesn’t need to be “all or nothing”!)
Key for me is removing the ”all bad” or “all good” label to what I eat as well as what I do. Instead, I am trying to practice a mindful, objective way of stepping back and asking myself, “How’s this working for me?”
Simple, but not easy!
Which, of course, leads me to today’s Latest Fabulous Revelations:
- Simple concepts are not always easy to do
- Shades of grey can be harder to see than black and white
- Sometimes the best decision is the BEST decision at the time
- Skipping meals is not a smart weight loss strategy!
- Not eating is not a smart weight loss strategy!
- Regular, pleasant exercise (not “all or nothing” strategies!) is actually manageable!
- Attending regular yoga classes helps me practice being present and mindful and not reacting, but responding to situations
- Even reading while on the elliptical counts for daily moving
- I will forever be a “work in progress” and I am eternally grateful for the community I have who supports me in this life
- I will forever be grateful for the opportunities I have to process these ideas over and over and over and over…..
- Asking myself “how’s this working for me?” is an objective way to decide how to go ahead with anything
How about you? Do you have a way to check in with yourself to see how things are going and how you are progressing along your life paths? Do you have checks and balances? Do you have habits, patterns, “black and white” thinking? Can you see shades of grey?
As always, I’d love to know!
Cheers and xox!