Posts Tagged ‘liking myself’

10:22 am - Posted by Gregg

While March 5th might be just another day to most, to me it’s very special. Part of the reason is that it’s my birthday. (Woohoo! Happy Birthday to me!) But it’s actually a very special day for other reasons, as well. It was over a decade ago that, during this time period, I gave myself the best birthday gift of all: I just stopped eating so much and began my journey from over 450 pounds to a much healthier 175 pounds.

Us dieters are all about new beginnings. Most of us know Monday (the unofficial beginning of the week – no matter what Sunday has to say about it) to be the day we start our diets (sometimes over and over – and over – again). This can also be true for new year’s day, the first of the month and (often) our birthdays. For the record, I’ve always considered my birthday my “real” new year’s day anyway.

Being no stranger to this “new beginning, new start” process, I decided several years ago that March 5th was going to be the day I started to change my life – along with my health – once and for all (not to mention once again). This, of course, meant it was diet time. But in doing so, I was going to try something I hadn’t before. I wasn’t going to cut out certain food groups. I wasn’t going to try anything crazy. The dieting was not going to involve pills or appetite suppressants. This time was going to be different.

Along with healthy foods in healthy portion sizes, I was also going to exercise, get enough sleep and drink plenty of water. But there was another key element that I was going to include: the element of liking myself in the moment (rather than promising to like myself once I got rid of all the excess weight). Before this attempt, most of my dieting was bourn out of guilt, misery and self-hatred.

This time, I was determined to approach my diet – my choice – in a friendlier way. I wasn’t going to bash myself when I stepped onto a scale. I wasn’t going to belabor the countless times I’d attempted to lose the weight before (and therefore incite guilt that would always lead to cheating and/or bingeing during previously attempted diets). This was going to be the kinder, gentler approach.

Of course, I had some old mental channels to change. My inner voice was used to listing all kinds of reasons as to why I was a failure – even on days I was succeeding with my diet. Thus, I decided I was going to short circuit any negative thoughts in a plain and simple way. Anytime I started thinking negatively or bashing myself, I would “sing” (usually silently, in my head) “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Yep, you read that right. The old children’s song would serve as a “Bad thought blocker.” And to my surprise, it worked.

At first when a negative thought would come along and I would break into song, I would laugh at myself, thinking it so absurd. But I found that even this initial laughter (even when directed at myself) helped to stop whatever negative thought – or even food craving – I was having. “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was actually starting to change my life one lyric (and even one bite) at a time.

So on this, my birthday, I invite you to give yourself the gift of song – whether it’s “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or some other little ditty. Choose something that can change the way you think about yourself, about food or even about exercise.

Sometimes the simplest changes in habit can bring about the most incredible changes. My little singing routine took me from over 450 pounds to 175 pounds – and I’ve been at this weight for well over a decade. Join me, won’t you? After all, you have nothing to lose… That you don’t want to!

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