As a big-boned teenager transitioning into adulthood, I always looked toward a brighter future. No matter what the crisis, I always thought that tomorrow would be ok. This eternal optimism was a good philosophy in principle. It allowed me to push on when life was a bit overwhelming. It often manifested in excitement for new adventures and spontaneous activities, filling every moment of the day.
I was always excited about tomorrow and what would be happening in the future. I was full of enthusiasm for life and ready to take on new challenges. At some points, I found myself taking on every new challenge that came my way but rarely getting to the end of or completing projects. It just felt good to be busy.
Even when it came to exercising, I was always involved in some sort of physical activity but never fully committing to a life of fitness. It was more like starting, being active for a while, pausing and restarting again. I always thought that I could start getting fitter and stronger tomorrow; living today was just about enjoying every experience that was laid in front of me. Giving in to the temptations and desires to consume and enjoy was ok because I could always start being better tomorrow.
What I was really doing was blinding myself to the power of presence and living consciously in the moment. I placed myself in the deluded state of ignoring the now and living in an eternally optimistic future. Now I see nothing wrong about being optimistic about the future. Healthy optimism is a great resource to build resilience and to give you the energy to overcome adversity. But when I was forever focussed on my optimistic future I ignored the messages that were being delivered to me in the form of feathers, I was even ignoring most of the fists and I was definitely ignoring the imminent freight train that was heading my way. I was distracted from my reality by my over-optimistic view of the future.
The side effect of my optimism nearly killed me. My optimistic blindness kept me from seeing reality and seeing how I could make better choices to avoid being hit by a freight train.
What's your experience with being over-optimistic? And what do you do to harness the power of now? ... See MoreSee Less
I have come to learn through my transformation that I have to look beyond treating the symptoms, in my case obesity, and look to recondition the mental, emotional and physical operating system that is producing the symptoms. Only by reconditioning the whole operating system to produce a different result will transformation take place.
Secondly, I have come to know that the environment that surrounds me has a profound effect on my behaviour and decision making. I was caught up in the world of consumption, searching and grasping onto things that made me temporarily feel good. That was how I was conditioned. I was reacting to my environment and making choices within it without fully understanding my internal operating system.
TIPS FOR TRANSFORMATION 1. Become aware of what/who is conditioning you. Create a list of people and things in your environment that affect your choice-making? > When you open the fridge or pantry what choices are there for you? > Who is influencing you at work, in your family or socially? > What information, energy & food are you consuming?
2. Are you being served or sabotaged? > Next to each item in your list make a note if you are being served or sabotaged.
3. Make a conscious choice. > Next to each item make a conscious choice to maximise, minimise or eliminate each item depending on if it serves you or sabotages you.
4. Take action. > It’s the application of the information that leads to transformation. ... See MoreSee Less
At 15 years old, I was finding it hard to fit into my school uniform. My self-esteem was taking a hammering and I was wondering if I would become the fat kid who got chosen last in the team. I didn’t know how I gained weight. I just knew I wanted to do something about it.
After speaking with Mum we found a solution: “Lose 20 pounds in 14 days, A Lifetime Keep Slim Program.” How good was this: at 15 I got to eat as much carrot and celery as I liked! That's all I could remember from that time, over 30 years ago. Yes, more than 30 years ago I started dieting!
I can't recall if I lost 20 pounds in 14 days. I do remember that I lost some weight quickly but got back to being a normal big-boned teenager not long after. Mum would just prepare my food as per the diet meal plans and I would do as I had always done, eat what was put in front of me. The diet, for those of you who are keen to know, was 'The Scarsdale Medical Diet'. A 'medical' diet: how could I go wrong?
Looking back at the diet book, I can see now that it does contain some good information on nutrition. But at the time, I didn’t take this in. I just ate. I wasn't seeking knowledge about how to nourish my body. I just wanted to fit into my school uniform and not be, that fat kid. I was eating grapefruit for breakfast with a slice of dry toast, a boiled egg and lettuce for lunch and some meat and steamed vegetables for dinner. In between meals, all the carrot and celery I could eat. Crunch, crunch, crunch.
This was an extreme step away from my bowls of sugary cereals and oversized meals, a much-needed intervention at the time. But as soon as I got back to my big-boned, normal teenager size, I just went back to my previous habit of enjoying food for the taste of it and the feeling of a contently full belly. It was at the cusp of the fad diet craze, where a new miracle diet emerged every week.
At the time, the solution to being overweight was all about exercise. There were no programs for overweight teenagers. They were all focused on bulging-bellied adults. Celebrities in Lycra and leg warmers were the order of the day. So, my thought was, keep active and you can eat what you want. A message the food industry aggressively promoted back then and is still regularly promoted today. I followed this message. It kept me from thinking about nourishing my body. It kept me consuming. It helped make me fat.
I have come to learn that to transform I have to look beyond treating the symptoms, in my case obesity, and look to recondition the mental, emotional and physical operating system that is producing the symptoms. Only by reconditioning the whole operating system to produce a different result will transformation take place. ... See MoreSee Less