Will Power is tossed around as if an infinite natural resource that one just needs to tap into in order to achieve our goals. After ten years of weight maintenance, my will power natural resource seems all tapped out from facing other challenges .
But, the good news is this month I focus on an article by Dr. Jerome Groopman in The New Yorker, who takes a look at what science can tell us about will power. In essence? “ We achieve situational control, paradoxically, not through will power but by finding ways to take will power out of the equation.” You can listen below.
In other words, if you hide the marshmallows you are less likely to eat them. Game on.
I named this podcast “Art of the Diet” five years ago because maintaining a significant weight loss for years is not a matter of facts and science, it is an art. And, by art, I mean that in the traditional sense, as in art of cooking or art of fly fishing: The art of the diet needs a skillful plan in order to succeed. It doesn’t have to be the latest trend or food group. It just needs a skillful plan. I looked at a book, The Art of War, attributed to a military general from the late 6th century BC! So, I am going in the way, way back machine to see if there is some wisdom for my art of the diet in 2019. And, you know what? There is. A striking similarity, in fact, between waging war in the late 6th Century BC and maintaining a significant weight loss in 2019. Honestly, I've grown weary of all of modern science on this topic. And, PS, they teach these strategies in military colleges in 2019. Listen below.
Here's my takeway on Two Chapters: 1) Develop a plan and ask yourself if you really want to execute the plan because if you deviate consistently from the plan, bad s*** happens. 2) Set up some decisive “wins” quickly. In diet terms, make the daily goal “doable”. 3) I don't believe they had “sticky” notes in the 6th century BC, but putting reminders on your available wall space or devices and tablets of the daily or weekly goal helps. PAY ATTENTION.
And don't forget! Creativity really really IS the best health plan. Recently, I came across a letter my mother had written at the age of 96 to a photo of my Dad (dead 11 years at the time) and she signed it with x's and o's. It is the type of artifact that stops you in your tracks and you could descend down the rabbit hole of loss very quickly. Her handwriting at this stage was weakened and she thought the photo was actually my Dad but for some reason they just couldn't speak to one another. So, while going down the rabbit hole, I thought, “Wait, why not imbue those x's and o's with some of her youthful vitality and make some fabric. So, I took up my watercolor brush and some beloved colors and did just that. I just ordered some dishtowels! Now, when I look at it, I'll smile and avoid a descent into that Black Hole! Here's the design and some home decor products. My store on other designs is here. The first design you'll see is a collage of photos of asphalt markings in the industrial park near my house where I walked off my initial weight loss 10 years ago.
Here is the link to James Corden's response to Bill Maher.
“That Man Has a Serious Weight Problem”. A quote from the current President of the United States about a man with a loud voice in his NH campaign rally in August, 2019. He (POTUS) thought the man was protesting rather than adoring his presence. Man was ejected but turns out wasn’t protesting but lovin’ his man. What this story and another August example endured by Roxanne Gay tells us about our culture of acceptance for body shaming by men and women who know better but can't seem (or want) to do better. Weight Management issues, though, can be managed in spite of their existence.
This past month I made mini-notebooks from some of the fabric and paper I've designed for how I feel with each news alert. My sewing teacher is making a tie for her husband from the “fuckit” fabric to wear on “Casual Fridays”. I keep several of these notebooks in my bag just in case I am at a loss for words. Ok. That doesn't happen too often.