Anastasia called me crying, “I cannot do this!” Crying even louder, “I am a failure!” Loud sobs came through the headset of my phone. I wanted to crawl through it and give her a hug! She paused for a second, as if reading my mind, and uttered, “I have no willpower, why do I bother? I will be fat and like it!” At that moment I wanted to hug her tight! I said to Anastasia, “Have no fear, you are not a failure! You do have discipline, it is just hiding!” Anastasia chuckled, and we could now begin our session together.
Do you ever feel this way? Do you easily give in when the brownie wind blows in your direction? Do you feel pressure at parties to eat because you worry about how it will look? Do you experience peer pressure to eat? I bet that after you give into all of these temptations you probably say the same things, and feel the same way as Anastasia did.
Dear clients, you have nothing to fear. You all have discipline. You have just let it take a very long vacation.
So what is up with your lack of discipline when it comes to food? Where did it go? Each one of us is disciplined. Think about it, if you had no disciple your life would be a mess. No money, because you would have no discipline with regard to spending. If you have kids, they would run your home because you would not discipline them. You would miss appointments because you would not care if you were on time and whether others had to wait.
Discipline is a word that no one likes to use but it is a necessary action in order to maintain a civilized world. Look around at all the people without much discipline. Just look to your left and to your right, and you will see that each of us can and should work to increase our level of discipline.
Why do you think it is that we don’t like the word discipline? What does that word conjure up in your mind? Why do you run from it? I look at all the people in a gym. They discipline themselves to work out every day, no matter what, they are at the gym daily. They are disciplined with their workout schedule. But ask those same people to be disciplined with eating, give up alcohol, and a majority will say, ‘No way! I cannot do that!’ I ask, ‘Why not?’
Because we have been brainwashed to binge on everything. Go ahead, you have earned it. Go ahead, you deserve it. Go ahead, indulge. Such excessive behavior can involve almost anything. Food, shopping, Netflix, working out, drinking, gambling, working etc. You pick it! Those of us that binge on food may have gotten the better end of it all. Can you image your life if you binged on the others?
Why do I say, we have been brainwashed? Think about it. What do you say to me to justify your behavior? I was with friends. I was good all week. I deserved a treat. I worked hard all week. I earned it. Stop for a minute and reread this. Where did this sense of entitlement come from? When did it start for you?
We are lucky and blessed to be in a situation where we have too much to eat, a job to complain about, kids to pick up after school, and a home to keep clean.
These are all blessings. Why do we abuse our bodies and the blessings we have been given?
People are dying to get into this country to have a better life. Families are sacrificing what they have to give their kids a future, here, in our country where we have everything.
I go back to the questions of why are you feeling deprived because a cookie is not part of the plan?
Back to the conversation with Anastasia for a moment. She says to me, “But I love to eat.” I asked her if she loved the beach? She said, yes that the beach was her favorite place. I asked her if she would love to summer at the beach. She said that she would but she could not afford that. I said, but you deserve it! You have worked hard, just do it! She laughed and said, “I really don’t have that kind of money. I have a mortgage and two kids in college, there is no extra.” I said to her, so you do have disciple when it comes to spending. Even though you want it and you deserve it, doing it will not end in a good result. She said yes that is right, and I said, why are you not applying that same level of discipline to your eating? Why are you trapped into thinking you cannot do this?
Anastasia did not say anything for a long time. When she did speak again, she admitted that it was a good question. One she had not considered. She never looked at her decision to eat as giving in to peer pressure and giving up on herself. My question to Anastasia and to you is, why is food so important to you? Why do you give it power? When have you been told by our society that drinking and eating is what socializing is all about. That eating and drinking are about having a good time. We have been fed that message by every media outlet for the past 15 years, and you all have watched our society get larger. Do you know they sell a 5X shirt at Walmart? 5X! Do you know that finding a size 6 or 8 in a department store is a challenge? How did this happen? Why is it that you look around and in a mile strip there are at least three grocery stores and 20 eateries? Why is food so important? This is your question this month.
I also want you to identify your justification labels. Write them in your behavior journal for me. I also want you to identify your peer pressure people and situations. I look forward to our ongoing dialogue about this one.
May God bless each of us and keep us. May His Face shine upon us.