The reason I started this blog was to articulate that the process is the most important piece of getting on top. It is the hardest piece of it all because we are so focused on the outcomes and the weight loss and when we do that it just becomes this vicious cycle. I have been reflecting as we should in the process space, and asking myself the same questions over and over, and dwelling on the non-success part in understanding why I’m not moving forward and being successful.
I will get to the questions in a bit that I had been asking, but first I want to address the dwell. That dwelling piece is so easy to get caught in and in the past I would of not have been successful in my weight loss process because of it (one of many reasons for the past non-successes). The dwelling piece happens when I want something so badly that I dwell in it and wish for it to just happen. Usually what happens is that I end up feeling depressed and sad because this “just happen” piece doesn’t happen, and I dwell in that, for a long time. So in result, as a coping to this depression I choose food, or rather had chosen food as something to help me feel better at the time.
When you are dwelling it’s really hard to find the right questions to ask yourself, and really see the clarity in the answers to them. Actually the deeper you get in it the easier it is to move forward in your process. At this time it’s more intentional and has direction. My most consistent questions have been why am I continuing to play this game and why can’t I move forward?
After reading “It was me all along” by Andie Mitchell, and really identifying with what she had gone through, and following her to her cook book something really sparked in me. A new question was starting to form and it came out so judgmental and out of character for myself it really was connected to that “I wish it would just happen” and dwelling mentality. The question stated “Why do people who have weight loss success get obsessed with either exercise or food? Truth be told I also added, and why can’t I do it, it looks so easy? There is A LOT of jealousy in there, a lot of “I wish” and “I want” and “why can’t I”.
Going back to Andie Mitchell’s blog, to memoir, to cookbook success and introducing a documentary series I am currently watching called Cooked by Michael Pollan I really started to reformulate this question. In Cooked, Michael Pollan uses the elements air, water, fire and land as metaphors and ways to dive deeper into the history and present day use of food. The one that caught my attention and made me crrrryyy my eyes out in a section was about the element water. A woman was using a pot to add vegetables and herbs to water, followed by a big piece of meat. She talked about garlic in which she was adding it to the pot, and how YES chopping it is a mindless task but when you are cooking, and creating something it is important to turn it into a mindful task. You chop the garlic so much that you fall in love with what you are doing. She clearly had a deep understanding of the process of creating something you are passionate about. I lost it.
I’ve studied mindfulness before, and recently I’ve really tasted things, like really tasted them. In a different way I talked about mindfulness with my counselor. I don’t want to get too off topic, but I genuinely love food and the way that it tastes. Through talking to my counselor, I realized just because I loved food so much, It doesn’t mean though I need to have seconds or thirds just because I like the way that it tastes. My exploring mind tasked myself to talk about food, and explore them. When I’m eating it, talk about it, and ask myself some questions about it: What did I like about it? What does it taste like? How does it feel in my mouth? Mindfulness just took a whole other level that I wasn’t expecting.
I also started asking my boyfriend about his own eating habits. Asking, how can he leave stuff on his plate? What makes him decide its okay to leave bites on his plate? The answer doesn’t matter really, its more the understanding of differences. Also, when I ask, I am helping myself in creating it easier to talk about my food habits in which creates more of a norm to help find a deeper understanding of my own history of food.
Going back to the Cooked show, and loosing it… I just want you to know that I was crying out of happiness. I was laughing and crying at the same time. It made me think about the importance of process and adding another multi-dimensional level to my understanding of it. This helped me develop my question stronger than anticipated. The original question was “Why do people who have weight loss success get obsessed with either exercise or food?” and instead of wondering why, I asked the question “What was the process they had to go through to get there?”
As someone who admires Andie and her journey, she doesn’t share much of the process piece in her book, though does include some bits and pieces of it. One being she saw a nutritionist and a counselor being a big part of her journey. Because of her book and sharing this, I realized I couldn’t do it alone anymore, and because of the Cooked show I realized more of how the process piece was so important. People’s journey’s and processes are different, it’s never going to be the same, and there are some similar things that they do to get there. Plugging in Brene Brown again, her newest book Rising Strong talks a lot about process, and the fundamentals that goes into it and the importance of it all.
So in a new light I have a new direction and connection to myself and my journey. I don’t hate cooking, I love it. I also get caught up in time, and energy that goes into cooking. I want to get to the point where it doesn’t feel mindless, or a chore. I want it to feel intentional, comfortable and mindful. Watching cooked, and noticing how it made me feel was really inspiring. I felt connected in a way that was new to me, almost spiritual. I am not sure how to achieve that quite yet directly but I definitely want to explore the idea of it and practice new ways of cooking.