I Almost Gave Up on NOT Dieting

Last night I felt really lucky to see a screening of the movie Walk With Me about Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist teacher.  Whenever I see or read about Buddhism I feel a fantastic sense of peace.  There was a valuable lesson on chasing happiness, and how we think a certain thing will give us happiness and in large part, this chasing happiness becomes a habit.  In the end, the chasing makes us unhappy because we feel something out there is going to make us happy but we don't have it now.  In reality, happiness or contentment can be in any moment you choose to recognize.  If you committed to focusing on 5 things in this very moment that make you happy, I bet you could.  But we are so busy looking at what we don't have or something outside of this very moment that we think will make us happy.  But does it? 
I am a complainer, it is a horrible habbit I picked up from my mom.  Always the devil's advocate, always finding a way to insert a little apathy into things.  One of my goals with my change in life/thinking is to focus on the positives and to complain less.  Complaining makes me feel bad, twofold.  First, because I can convince myself that my situation really is unfavorable and it is a big, dramatic thing.  Secondly, because I feel ugly for being that person who always complains and puts a negative spin on things.  Granted, there are plenty of times when I am not negative, but I especially love to complain about change, particularly at work. 
Anyway, the movie really inspired me to think a little deeper, and maybe it came along at just the right time because I am wavering in my resolve to not diet.  I feel inconvenienced by the size of my body, my belly and all my thick winter coats/sweaters and my overstuffed purse all trying to battle it out for the same space at the steering wheel, I feel cramped in my car, I feel like my clothes are unflattering (plus, I hate when the CHANGE of weather requires me to wear pants, which make me feel so frumpy and UN-feminine).  I feel like I get winded easier and my mood is sagging.  Yes, I am sensitive to the seasons changing, my mood always sags this time of year.  All of it has had me thinking about trying to control what I eat again.  Lower carb, more exercise, blah blah blah.  Yes, it does make me healthier in the short-term and I also feel better for a while.  Then my mind acts like a spoiled brat and I rebound so bad.  For weeks or months.  Oh, every time I would start anew I would tell myself I was smarter than to let myself go off the rails this time.  Willpower doesn't work.  Telling myself I will be on a low-carb diet longterm but can just eat "a little" carbs from time to time doesn't work.  I have tried that all before, if it worked, I would be fit and healthy and moving on with life. 
So I am sticking to this not dieting thing, but I am aware that I need to be more aware and not just eat by rote or take the whole "eat whatever you want" thing and run because that's only part of the story.  I have been eating when I'm not hungry more often over the last week or so as the hormones begin their mid-month shift.  I've been stressed and tired.  And did I mention stressed? So there are still bad habits to break, especially the after-grocery shopping binge.  One of my goals this winter is to cook more meals and have less junk food snacks in the house. That is one way to help my kids and I eat a little better without necessarily restricting. Plus, home-cooked meals sound way better than processed, packaged stuff.  I have been eating so much unhealthy stuff that I feel like I'm losing my taste for it.  I am hitting that point when I'm bored with food, and sometimes when it comes time to eat I cannot think of one thing that sounds good.  Sky's the limit and I don't have any idea of what I want.  Strange to feel that way.  I guess I'm in that in-between phase of listening solely to my emotional brain and starting to listen to my physical body.  I'm not fully in one or the other.  Last weekend I was craving fruit but ate a lot of other stuff and now the kiwi I bought is starting to wrinkle on the counter.  I feel it is the visual reminder of my ignoring my body telling me what it wants.  I feel dehydraded, my body was begging for fruits but I ate some chips and cookies instead.  That goes against what I'm trying to do here, but I didn't beat myself up over it.  I will still eat the kiwi and bananas and I'm sure I'll enjoy it and the bigger thing is that I am thinking about the stuff that made me ignore my body.  Grocery day is a trigger for eating more than my body wants.  So while I am trying not to restrict what I eat, keeping an awareness of the why is a big thing that I need to work on.  I have also neglected self-care in certain ways.  I am so gratful that I don't have that horrible piriformis crap anymore, but it also means I don't stretch at all anymore and I know it would make me feel awesome to do it.  I am really not active at all anymore.  I don't take the dog for walks because it is cold and really dark out when I have the time to take him out.  exercise of any type would have to be done by waking up earlier (4:30am) or after work, after the kids homework and dinner is taken care of (7 pm or later).  I have noticed in the past that if I am too active too close to bed that I don't sleep well, so that is something I would love to avoid.  But in reality, if I really wanted to, I could fit some stretching and meditation into my nightly schedule most nights. I just do other stuff with my free time.  The balance is lacking for sure.  I have heartburn every day, my skin is so dry, I feel stiff and tired and old.  I know my diet is part of that, and my age/hormones, but I haven't been focusing on making myself feel better. 
So, this is me not changing my mind.  I will forgo another diet.  I will not try to make any drastic changes.  I will continue to try to tune into my body to let it tell me what it wants, then take it's advice more often.  I will continue learning and focusing on things that I am gratful for and things that just make me feel good and make me happy or even content.  That sounds way better than a diet, doesn't it? 


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