Ouch! Did you have to step on my toes?
I don’t like to think about sacrifice and self-denial, which might have something to do with the extra 60 pounds that needed to go. Feelings of deprivation are something I fight, not just with food but with other parts of my life. One thing I’ve found to help fight those feelings is focusing on gratitude.
In 2012 I started a gratitude wall. (This idea was from One Thousand Gifts, which encouraged writing three things a day that you’re thankful for so that you’d have 1,000 in a year). I wasn’t consistent. Instead of daily chronicling, my typical behavior was to record gratitudes for a while, then forget until I got really grumpy. And then grab my sharpies and write 15 at a time. Or more.
Even with my haphazard approach, I reached my 1,000. Every time I planted my feet and wrote on that wall I come away better. Blown away by all the amazing blessings God gives me and my loved ones, I felt less deprived as I focused on all that good instead of what I couldn’t have.
My little wall is a bit like Lysa’s attitude adjustment. She said, “Say to yourself, ‘I’m not deprived of an unhealthy option. I’m empowered to make a healthy choice.'”
In Paula world that would be like getting grumpy because I know I shouldn’t consume a bowl of pasta or several cookies–or french fries. Instead of dwelling on that I grab a pen and write the stuff I can have:
yummy pomegranate (didn’t even know I liked them until the last 6 months)
crisp, juicy apples
baby spinach with walnuts and craisins
lettuce with salsa, chicken, and cholula sauce
Balsamic chicken and a little brown rice
My BeFull shake with frozen fruit
You get the idea.
But Lysa took it deeper. Her gratitude thoughts are:
decisions that led to confidence and peace
decisions that honor both my body and my God
I add joy to that list. Ease of movement. The twinkle in my hubby’s eyes these days. Discovering prayer walking in the midst of sunshine and birdsong.
With God’s strength self-control is possible. Instead of thinking we could never give up something, we can switch our thinking to how we are empowered to make healthy choices and embrace the gratitude of the many good gifts we get to enjoy.
My gratitude wall penning went from April of 2012 to December of 2013, so it included my weight loss journey, which was really fun to look back upon. Here’s a glimpse of some weight loss gratitudes that I hope encourage you:
- There are no calories in Cholula sauce, herb tea, or pickles!
- Dropped 32 pounds
- Walking, praying, and singing beneath a blue sky
- the courage to persevere even when the struggle is long
- lime in water
- strength to draw boundaries
- Jerry likes the shape of “everything” since I’ve lost 50 pounds
- lavender and mint scenting my water
- Sexy homecoming!
- raspberries, dark chocolate, and wine
- God promises I will not be defeated
How about you? What makes you feel deprived? How do you combat the negative emotion? What are you empowered to enjoy? Grateful for?