Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Archive for the ‘Possibilities’ Category

I first heard about Meatless Monday on The Chew.  Mario Batali was talking about it as something his family has done for three years.  Deciding that this was a change that would fit well, with my changing food plan, I decided to do a little investigating.

According to the movement’s website, Meatless Monday,  the reason for going meatless once a week is:

“Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.”

To me this seems like a good aim.  As for why do this on Mondays, the website notes:

“For most Americans the week begins on Monday. On Monday we move from the freedom of the weekend back to the structure of work or school. We set our intentions for the next six days. We plan ahead and evaluate progress.

From an early age we internalize this rhythm. And studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health and the health of our planet.

Monday is the call to action built in to every calendar each week. And if this Monday passes you by, next week is another chance to go meatless!”

This also seems eminently reasonable.

The big question is, will I be able to do this successfully while still maintaining my Weight Watchers food plan?  I suspect that I will, so I’m going to give it a try.  I think that it will be a good fit, actually, since Weight Watchers encourages us to eat whole grains, beans, legumes, and other power foods.  I have also been gearing more toward a flexatarian diet, and I believe this will support that goal.

Rather than create an information overload, I will talk about this over time.  Also, the website has a bunch of PDF files dealing with various aspects of the movement.

For my first Meatless Monday, breakfast consisted of an omelet made of 2 eggs, half a plum tomato, half a shallot, and 1/4 cup each of sauteed chard and mustard greens, with about 1/2 tsp. of minced garlic for seasoning.  For my  midday meal, I am planning to make lentil-based veggie burgers (yes, I have my midday meal when other folks have dinner).  For dinner, I am planning to have either some oatmeal, or some cottage cheese with sunflower seeds and chopped tomato and shallot.  In truth, I am still feeling nice and full from breakfast, which is good, because I won’t even be starting my lunch until the roomie gets home from shopping.  I am going to run the recipe for the veggie burgers through the Weight Watchers recipe builder, so I have the correct amount of points per serving, and if it comes out really well, I will post it on Wednesday. (If not, I will keep experimenting.)

Are you interested in learning more about going meatless one day a week to benefit your health, your budget, and the planet?  If so, are you willing to pledge to do so?  Will you check out the Meatless Monday  website?


Christine Hassler has written an excellent article on The Huffington Post called “The Flaw with the Law of Attraction.”

Now you may wonder why I’m noting an article about attracting things into our lives here.  The thing is, we do want to attract something into our lives when we make the effort to do a weight loss program.  But what exactly are we trying to attract?

The Law of Attraction is fairly commonly stated as: “we will bring into our lives what we focus on, visualize, think about and affirm with our words.”  Or, as my friend Vanessa Talma used to say:  “Whatever you focus 51% of your attention on is what you will have in your life.  Would you rather focus on gardens or gutters?”

You might say you want to have a better figure, or be a certain weight, but let’s go a little deeper. My WW leader often notes that there is a reason for every action we take — we just have to be willing to look to find it.  So, whatever our goal is, what do we perceive as the results that follow reaching that goal?  For some of us, reaching our goal will have results such as attracting a better quality of possible mates, for others it might be being perceived as more professional or polished, for still others it might mean having more energy for trying new things.  Whatever it is, the more clearly we can see what we really want the goal to deliver to us, the more likely we are to get it.

Now, Ms. Hassler posits a flaw with the Law of Attraction:  that even when we think we are doing all the right things to make it work, if we don’t believe at bottom that we are worthy of the things we want the goal to deliver, even if we reach the goal (which will be much harder to do), those things won’t bring us what we “really, really want,”* nor will we be able to sustain the changes necessary to maintain the results

Ms. Hassler provides us with some steps for discovering and getting rid of those limiting beliefs, which I will list here:

  1. Discover it. 
  2. Acknowledge it. 
  3. Ask it what its highest purpose is. 
  4. Thank it.
  5. Bust it.
  6. Upgrade it.
  7. Set an intention and keep your word!

Sound familiar to you?  It should.  These  steps are the process we call reframing.

In reframing, as we discuss it at meetings, first you identify a behavior or pattern you want to change (Discover it).  Then you look to see what the payoff for doing that action (or having that pattern) is (Acknowledge it; Determine its highest purpose; Thank it).   Then we consider how we can change that behavior or pattern, and what the desired outcome of practicing the new behavior or action will be (Bust it; Upgrade it).  Mindfully implement the behavioral changes (Set an intention & keep your word).

In her novel, 2150, A.D., Thea Alexander puts it a lot more succinctly; her teaching characters note over and over (as part of their Macro Philosophy) that, with sufficient desire and belief, anything is possible.

My point is that, with a willingness to face oneself warts and all, one can change one’s behavior in such a way that the changes will stick.  I’m not going to say it’s easy…looking at ourselves with the cold, hard light of truth can be damned uncomfortable at times.   But it is a worthy endeavor.

Let me give you an example from my own life.  As many of you may know I was a battered kid.  Not only was I physically whomped on, but my father took every opportunity to tell me how stupid and substandard I was.  Over the years, my grades declined, and I became convinced that I had to try twice as hard to be even a quarter as good as others.  It took me two years to get my first two college credit.  It took me two and a half years to get a two-year degree as a secretary.   At some point, I started looking at my life, and discovered that this voice telling me how stupid I was wasn”t even my voice, but Dad’s.    Once I did that, however, I began to realize that maybe I wasn’t stupid.  I went back to school, and got my Bachelor’ of Science in Business Management.  I have been coming more and more into my own as I am able to let go more and more of what my  father drummed into my head. It’s not easy to do — I’d be lying if I said I could do it all the time and easily; Dad’s voice pops up at the damndest times.  But I now know that voice for what it is, and I can combat falling victim to it a good deal of the time.

One thing I know for sure (sorry, Oprah) is that for me, the Law of Attraction has always worked by bringing into my life the people and situations I need in order to learn and grow, and I am grateful for that.

So My questions for you are:  Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?  How does it manifest in your life?  Who do the critical voices in your head really belong to? 

Further, if you really want to play along at home:

  • Pick a behavior or pattern you really want to change.
  • What is the payoff for doing that behavior or following that pattern?
  • Who triggered the behavior or pattern?  
  • What were the circumstances?  
  • Whose voice is it in your head?
  • What can you do differently?
  • If you do change the behavior, what will the results be?
  • Are you willing to commit at least a month to changing your behavior or pattern?

If you have said yes to the above, what I have to say is “GO FOR IT!”  And if you need or want someone to cheer you on, I got your back!

*Apologies to both the Spice Girls, and to those who are appalled that I would know anything by them.

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