“Happiness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing but happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster.” --Barry Schwartz.
I read this quote the other day and it struck me how similar it is to my feelings about being thin. We are a thin-focused society. We are not a health focused society -- although I and many, many others are working really hard to change that!
What if I adapted the quote to read, "Thinness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing but thinness as a goal is a recipe for disaster." --KSW (feel free to print this out and post it all over your house if it strikes you!)
If more of us subscribed to this philosophy, what would happen to the number of boys and girls (and men and women) who develop eating disorders? --I bet it wouldn't even enter into their heads to judge themselves on their size -- their focus would be on developing health bodies that could help them live the kinds of lives they dream about!
How much differently would we view the commercials on TV? Gone would be the critical voices in our head that says we could never look like XYZ. Those thought could be replaced by "Boy! I sure would like to be able to rock climb like that! I wonder what I can do to get my body ready for that kind of adventure!"
No longer would we assume just because a person is carrying extra weight that they are unhealthy or unfit -- perhaps they do triathlons on the weekend, you don't know! And yet -- we make assumptions about them based on their appearance.
I see mindful eating as a real success when it allows you live the kind of life you've always wanted but thought you could only achieve if you were a size ___. It's a success when it increased your ability to interact with your loved ones or when you suddenly become aware of all the choices you make that don't add value to your life and then take the step of reclaiming some of those opportunities to be more engaged with who you are and what you're trying to accomplish.
Many times those positives are reflected on the scale. But more importantly, they are always reflected in the contentment a person feels about their life. And that, my friends, seems like the best reason to develop your mindful eating skills!