Dreams of Changing Attitudes

By Marsha Hudnall
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It's said there's truth in dreams.  My dreams the other night revolved around the question whether it is important to  change our attitudes  before changing our decisions.  I was thinking/dreaming about how it affected our ability to successfully put a healthy lifestyle in place.  Yes, we dietitians have strange dreams.  Or is just me?  :)

Regardless, I think there was something in my dreams worth remembering. Now if I can just remember it.

I think it had to do with the permanence of the decisions we make. How many of us have decided to eat healthy or start exercising in order to lose weight, only to change that decision, intentionally or not?  And how often is that decision ultimately about disliking ourselves, wanting to change the thing that we see as the source of our discontent?  Because our attitude about ourselves and our body size/shape evokes such distressing feelings, our response is extreme. The decisions we make are extreme.  And unsustainable.

Compare that to an attitude of acceptance, even love.   For those of us who hate our fat, and by extension ourselves (or is it the other way around?), acceptance or love are almost impossible attitudes to even consider.   It helps to remember that acceptance doesn't mean that change can't happen; it's about supporting ourselves instead of kicking ourselves when we're down. The decisions that come from that attitude or approach are likely to be much more livable, coming from a place of self-care.

In an interview talking about body image on the blog Nourishing the Soul, Sandra Kumskov says attitudes are judgments.  The judgments can be good, or they can be bad.  Now, I know we might question whether we want to make judgments at all.  But if the judgment is a good one, might we get some benefit from it?

I hope this post sheds some light on how changing our attitudes — or judgments — before trying to make any decisions about how we live our daily lives may make a big difference in the outcome.

Do you have any attitudes that are interfering with getting what you want?

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