I’ve become an evangelist.
No, I’m not on a soapbox with bible in hand; I’m quietly changing the world with binder in hand!
I realized when I returned from the Green Mountain program last fall that I had become enlightened about a new approach to food that would stop me from ever dieting again.
Plenty of my friends are diet addicts, jumping into the latest craze with zeal and commitment, often losing weight only to gain it back just in time for the next fad. When they tell me about their latest diet adventure, I smile politely and wish them success.
I’m not wasting my evangelism on someone who’s not ready to “get it”. But every now and then, I’ll have the opportunity to tell my story – your story, our story! It usually starts with someone saying how wonderful I look and then, immediately, they want to know how much weight I’ve lost.
“Thanks but I don’t really know”.
“What do you mean you don’t know? You look fabulous. Really, how much.”
“I don’t know. I think 10 pounds or so but I don’t get on the scale that often. I’m exercising and I feel good”
Here’s the turning point.
If they insist on knowing the name of the diet or what doctor has prescribed me the magic pills or what clinic I’ve been secretly attending for fat melting, I change the subject and move on.
But if they have that look of curious confusion, like the door is open a crack to take in a whole new idea, then I will put on my evangelist robes and shake their world.
“If someone wants to listen and learn, I can alter her thinking about food in the time it takes to have a chai latte.[end-div][quote]“Hey, sweetie, it’s all about what goes on between your ears, not your jaws. It’s about exercise and mindful eating and hunger cues and that your body needs fat and protein and, don’t hyperventilate, but carbs too.”
Mindful Eating Enlightenment: Knowledge Is Power
Yesterday, I had lunch with my friend Donna. Donna told me she was concerned that her daughter, a ballet dancer, was restricting too much.
“She won’t eat a carb. Like not a single carbohydrate and I’m worried. She’s tired and grumpy and she won’t listen to me.”
I talked a little about plate model and the role of carbohydrates in healthy nutrition. Visually, a weight lifted from Donna’s demeanor. She, like many of us, was under the misbelief that carbs are fattening, unhealthy and the vessels of all evil.
We talked some more and I saw the light bulb go off, the look of understanding and relief in her eyes. She couldn’t wait to get home to talk to her daughter about a new approach to weight management.
I gave Donna the Green Mountain website for her daughter to check out and told her that I would be happy to talk to her if she wanted to discuss any of what I’ve learned, but that the website was a great resource.
All It Takes Is An Open Mind
I’m no shrink. I’m not a nutritionist. And I’m not even a good evangelist. If someone is not open to the idea of an altered approach to food they will need maybe a lifetime of failed diets to bring them around.
But, if someone wants to listen and learn, I can alter her thinking about food in the time it takes to have a chai latte