happy (hap’E), adj., 1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing. 2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy.*
habit (hab’it), n., 1. an acquired pattern of behavior that has become almost involuntary as a result of frequent repetition. 2. customary practice or use. 3. a particular practice, custom, or usage. 4. a dominant or regular character or tendency.*
The Happy Habit, n., 1. an acquired pattern of being delighted. 2. learned characterization of pleasure, contentment, or joy.
So this is my soap box, if I may have one for a moment: There are hundreds of eating plans that have put us on a merry-go-round of gaining and losing weight. And just when we think we’ve got the addiction to the merry-go-round kicked, have decided to be happy with ourselves and found our balance of food, exercise and non-obsession, one of our friends tells us she is on such-and-such d***, tells us how wonderful it is, and how skinny she has gotten and our discontented cycle starts over. (I mean, I turned 30 and was like, ‘I’m supposed to have this figured out now, so I am going to stop worrying about what people think of me!’ But I was still supposed try to look like I was still 22, for the criticisms that I wasn’t supposed to care about. Umm….what??) Our “balance” is based on a feeling that we have finally become content. But that feeling of contentment is usually shortlived. So how do we get off of this dizzying ride and choose a true, healthy contentment with our body and our love for food?
Here is what I have decided to do about it.
As much time as I have spent over the years thinking about what I can and cannot eat trying to be a certain size at any given time, I have decided I can definitely spend a little time defining my actual food identity. And it would be so great if you decide to do it, too. Just to get the ball rolling, below is my personal “fashion of food”:
I love food. I mean, I LOVE food. Fresh bread, over-easy eggs, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, roasted brussel sprouts, caesar salad, steak, fish, chicken, all of it. I love all of it. I love fresh tomatoes, freshly picked berries and fruit, kale, lettuce and spinach. I love seafood, beef, poultry and pork. I will probably only eat beef and pork once or twice a month because it makes my belly feel heavy. Cheese is a gift from God to bless us with flavor, comfort, and hips. Pie is one of my favorite desserts. I will probably always drink half and half in my coffee in the morning. It is one of my favorite things about the day. I will always drink wine and liquor, unless my spiritual conscience changes and tells me not to. But as of right now, I will not stop enjoying my adult beverages in moderation. Basically, I love all food, and I will always eat it. I will cut back a little sometimes when I need to slim down a tad or lighten myself up. But whenever I eat, I will eat what I love when I can. (We are blessed in this wealthy country to be able to even say that, and I never want to take that for granted.)
I want to be healthy. I want to be able to go for a hike without getting too winded. I will change my exercise up as soon as I get bored with any given work out, and I will be fit. I want to wear cute clothes and look good in them. I have no desire to have a hard body. I am perfectly happy with the fact that I am a toned yet soft, curvy woman, even when I work out 30-45 minutes per day 3-5 days a week.
The stellar thing about this Happy Habit thing: If eating beef isn’t something that you want to do or if steak is your favorite meal; if you decide not to drink alcohol or to drink it; if you find that you feel better with a gluten-free way of eating or if you love bread; if you decide you want to embrace a paleo, vegan or vegetarian style of eating or not, and that is who you are and what you love…you are not judged. Whether you prefer yoga or running; regardless of if you would rather take a walk every morning or go to the gym; if taking barre classes is your thing or working out to a video in your living room…you are not judged. This is about knowing who you are, what you love, and what brings out the best in you. It is not about passing judgement on each others’ eating habits. It is about being healthy and choosing a life of food and exercise that each of us can truly be content with. Be our best selves with. Because contentment is not about just giving in to what we don’t want. It is about building and living a life that we truly practice gratitude in, while taking care of these machines that carry our souls.
Go ahead. Take a few minutes and write out your fashion of food. For me it has helped to get rid of that ugly competition with other women when it comes to conversations about food and body image. It has given freedom to know and be who I was made to be, if only in this one area. The confidence I have built since taking responsibility for how I take care of my body and nourish my belly and soul is invaluable. I hope you find the same confidence as you walk through this.
So this is the challenge: Define your fashion of food, and find your Happy Habit!!!
Let me know what you learn about yourself. I’d love to hear! And, of course, I’ll be sharing, too. 🙂
Love to you all!
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