Andrea called last week to talk about how The Habit of Being True to Yourself played an enormous role in her shifting from a size 12 to a size 2 dress size.
For “as many years as I can remember,” Andrea has played the diet game, each time seeing her weight drop substantial amounts only to rapidly creep back up to where it had been, and beyond.
And with each new pound added, her sense of self-worth plummeted and her state of depression rose.
One day a friend suggested she take time – a lot of time – to review her own patterns of behavior and to discover what lies she was constantly telling herself in order to rationalize the very behaviors that repeatedly led to her regaining old weight and adding new.
That Sunday Andrea sequestered herself in her living room, shut down her laptop, turned off her phone and “thunk.”
Armed only with a notepad and pen she ran a mental checklist going back many years and reviewed the numerous times she had successfully sabotaged her own progress.
As she reviewed each occasion she wrote down the lies she told herself in order to justify eating “that tiny piece of cake, those teeny slices of pizza, those few fries,” and the mass of soul destroying food she had “constantly shoved down my throat because those lies convinced me it was okay to do so.”
By the end of the day Andrea had compiled a list of the lies she repeatedly had told herself and, with great sadness at her own gullibility, read the list to me over the phone.
I really shouldn’t but I’ll just have a little piece and will skip breakfast tomorrow.
It’s just a tiny, little piece.
One bite can’t hurt.
I’ll just have a little taste.
I deserve this, I have been really good for 3 days.
It would be rude to not have any.
I don’t want to insult them by saying no.
Starting tomorrow, I’m going to get really serious about this.
This is definitely the last time I’m going to do this.
As Andrea read this list to herself that fateful Sunday she realized that in reality, it had become a menu from which she selected the delusion most likely to rationalize the poor choice she was about to make.
That Sunday evening she made a pact to make The Habit of Being True to Yourself an inseparable part of her life. She knew that if she didn’t trade delusion for truth she would be condemning herself to a life of misery.
No matter how unwanted or painful the truth would be, she vowed to let that become her guide and to make choices based on truth, not illusion.
She quickly learned that even “tiny little pieces do count, one bite can hurt and that one little taste can easily turn into a binge.”
It didn’t take long for Andrea to notice that The Habit of Being True to Yourself was making her thinner and the more truthful she was, the slimmer she got.
Today Andrea asks herself a simple question before deciding whether or not to eat something that is tempting her. “Will eating this move me closer to or further away from where I want to be?”
If the answer is ‘closer to,’ she eats it; if the answer is ‘further away,’ she doesn’t.
And that’s how to get from a size 12 to a size 2.
The truth, it seems, not only takes a great weight off your shoulders, but off the rest of you too.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.