Radical Rethink 2.0

Intuitive Dieting Weight Loss Planner・The Reluctant Cook
Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. We tend to believe our habits are a product of our motivation, talent, and effort. Certainly, these qualities matter. But the surprising thing is, especially over a long time period, your personal characteristics tend to get overpowered by your environment.
James Clear

In 2014 my husband and I had what we called our Radical Rethink, when we basically quit our jobs and moved our lives from England to the Pacific Northwest. Radical Rethink 2.0 is less dramatic (although it includes a move as well) but its goal is every bit as life changing.

I’ve been trying to lose weight since 2005 but like most people I’ve only seen a long-term increase and am now at my highest weight ever. The time has come for another rethink of radical proportions and to commit to this journey once and for all. No more excuses, no more analysis paralysis, no more ignoring the elephant in the room. I have to lose a good amount of weight for my health and physical wellbeing. It’s as simple as that but the getting there will require a significant change of direction.

This is not about our damaging diet culture or fat phobia, it’s about healing emotional eating and improving the quality of my life.

I had a bit of an epiphany this week. As many of my readers know my anxieties are a big part of why I numb myself with food and inertia. Earlier this year I got quite sick and my anxieties skyrocketed to the point where I started taking Xanax for the first time ever in my life. I hate taking meds but I was desperate. It helped. And it made me realize just how much I live in constant ‘flight mode’. And how much that contributes to my consistent overeating because food calms me down.

Here is the thing: I have a good idea about the root causes of my anxieties. I’ve done the therapy, I’ve been analyzing myself and my behaviors for years. Yet somehow none of this knowledge has ever helped me change my behaviors. This week I had an appointment with a psychiatrist, also for the first time ever, and he sent me home with a Prozac prescription. I was basically at a point where I wanted help beyond what I thought I could do for myself.

However, while I am now officially diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and low level depression I realized that I do not want to medicate myself out of this.

I am not bipolar or clinically depressed which means I have many other options available to me for dealing with my anxieties. Options that I never tried consistently, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, essential oils and a healthy balanced diet. Maybe I am weird to reject meds that I know help many people. But it’s a choice I am making now that I’ve looked into this.

Intuitive Dieting Weight Loss Planner・Milestones・The Reluctant Cook

The epiphany came last night, when I was thinking about the conversation I had with the psychiatrist and my family history where anxieties and neuroses run high on both sides. It is time to break the chain. It is time to understand that no amount of knowledge and therapy will help me lose this weight unless I connect it to my actions. And if I struggle with making that connection, as I have been, that’s ok. Because all I need to know is this:

The ONLY thing that will make this happen is to feel the resistance and DO IT ANYWAY, consistently.

As I was mulling all of this over I came across this article from Mark Manson where he talks about our decline into mental laziness and weakness, much like our bodies have become a lot less active since we’ve started building infrastructures that are all about convenience and making life easier. He mentions that our environment has far more of an effect on our habits than our willpower, and when I took in his words something went click in my head!

The dirty little secret of changing your habits is that your environment has far more of an effect than your willpower does.
Mark Manson

I need better sustainable habits to lose weight and to support the healthier life I want. When I read Mark’s post I knew that we’ve just taken a HUGE step towards creating a more supportive environment by moving back into our old beloved condo! It’s been a crazy few months in this regard because we basically realized that we did not feel at home in the house we built last year and that we missed our spacious top floor condo with its lovely views and easy one-level living. Amazingly enough we were able to buy back the condo and to sell the house within 24 hours of listing it. Once the decision was made everything just fell into place and went exceptionally smoothly. Like it was meant to be.

Now that I am back in a home that holds me (and my anxieties) I can finally start to re-focus on my weight loss journey and what I need to succeed:

  1. Cozy comfortable home where I feel safe - CHECK

  2. Program that helps me lose weight safely - CHECK

  3. Program that can be turned into a lifestyle - CHECK

Which program is that? Well, Intuitive Dieting of course! It’s the only approach that’s ever worked for me and that I can see myself doing longterm. I’ll be tracking my food for portion control and listening to my body’s hunger cues with regards to what to eat and when. I am also leaving room for emotional eating because it’s unrealistic to expect that I’ll only eat when physically hungry from now on. That’s why I like calorie counting because I can simply fit those emotional treats into my budget.

Intuitive Dieting Weight Loss Planner・The Reluctant Cook

Here are the tools I’ll be using along the way:

  • Food tracking. I use the LoseIt app to log my meals and activities. I’ve set it to losing 1.5 lbs per week and it’s given me a calorie allowance of 1,937 to start with. That’s pretty good and we’ll see how that goes.

  • My bullet journal. As much as I love technology there is something about an analog system that keeps me sane and organized. I love the business planner I created for online entrepreneurs and I thought, why not do something similar for this journey? For now I am just drawing my own charts and such, but once I arrive at a system that feels like it will work long-term I will turn it into a proper weight loss planner.

  • Journalling & Blogging. I am setting aside two pages in my bullet journal for daily stream-of-consciousness writing, and for those times when things get difficult emotionally. I would love to get back to a regular journalling habit, something I used to do and that’s always been immensely helpful. I will also blog here every Sunday and more often as time permits. I’d love to blog every day but I have to be realistic about the amount of screen time I can and want to invest given that I also run a full-time online business.

  • Instagram. This is where I’ll be posting my food photos and cooking adventures.

  • Sunday Scales. Sundays is my weigh-in day. This helps me not go crazy at the weekends and other than that I just like the name Sunday Scales :)

I am feeling more hopeful than I have done in a long time and I am grateful for Day 1 and fresh starts.

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