Just for fun, I counted how many times a day the diet message bursts uninvited into my consciousness. Some came from my environment and some from my own IBSC (itty bitty sh**ty committee.)
I sometimes get the urge first thing in the morning to go weigh. Not doing it, just noticing. Count 1.
2. Getting dressed - does black make my butt look big?
3. Pants still fit so I must not have gained a bunch of weight over the weekend.
Then I got busy rushing for the airport. Didn't notice anything again until seated in the exit row. That is progress since the last time I flew, I noticed myself comparing my body to every woman I saw in the security line.
I call that 'Comparison Shopping' when I compare my insides to someone else's outsides. The end result is always the same. Whether I deem myself better than another woman or worse off than another woman, I feel deeply ashamed either for not measuring up or for measuring at all.
Safely seated, I picked up the airline magazine from the seat back in front of me. The first two pages I randomly flipped to had big colorful ads for stomach surgery for toned abs (wanted to read every single word but chose not to) and a luscious in-flight snack tray that looked healther than it really is. Still, I had to stop myself from calculating calories in my head just because I can. Count 4 and 5.
Instead, I purposefully put the magazine back and began this blog post. As we made our approach into Seattle, with all electronic devices were stowed for landing, I picked up the magazine for 4 more shots at my body image (2 for anti-aging and 2 for whiter teeth) before deplaning.
In Seattle, my email offered yet another solution to losing weight by tapping on body meridians. The rental car radio reminded me I could get paid to lose weight just by calling a toll free number.
What I have learned in this little experiment is not to take any action while 'The Committee' is in. If my head is running with carb counts or last meal/next meal scenarios, it's too noisy to make a decision.
12:25 pm - opened my laptop for the first time and the top story on Yahoo was about Dr. Oz's top six weight loss secrets. Did you ever notice how often there are key ingredients or top secrets you need to know to be successful with dieting?
Considering 95% of the people who lose weight find it again within 5 years, it's a secret that has been well preserved. The language around diets is all-or-nothing, black-and-white, good-or-bad, big-battle, winners-and-losers imaging.
No wonder we struggle. We have become programmed for dissatisfaction and misery. I will love you if... I will accept you when... I will be happy after...
After one last hit to my psyche at the check-out stand (who knew you could weigh less and get a great butt right next to the candy rack?) I took my week's worth of rations to the hotel that will be home for awhile and thanked God for the awareness that is fueling my Magnificent Makeover this summer.
Oh, by the way, I stopped counting at 30+. We are being brainwashed, you know.
Kim Halsey is a human resource professional and executive coach who helps people overcome life damaging habits, restore important relationships, and live their dreams without drama.