Friday, February 24, 2012

Do you experiment or do you comply?

 The “Experiment” was just that: a chance to test what it felt like to live with a totally different orientation.  It was a commitment to take a door that was too closed for my taste and open it wide.  --Sasha Dichter

How do you look at changing your diet?  Is it something that just needs to get done so you can move on with your "real" life?  Or is it part of an over-all plan to create the next phase of your real life?

Those successful at aging (as marked by how much they look forward to each day, their overall satisfaction with their lives up to this point, etc) are the ones who are constantly evolving (willingly...or at least kind of willingly....definitely not kicking and screaming).  I don't need to explain the concept of experimentation to them -- they live it in small ways each day.

Compliance is something different.  That's just getting the job done without the emotional connection to what it is you're trying to accomplish.  Gutting your way through a strict diet is compliance --  living on will-power is compliance.  You're desperately doing something you don't really want to do (even if you do want the results).

From my point of view, experimentation opens up a whole new world of possibilities.  You're options of how you want to manage your weight are infinite (maybe you're very disciplined during the week and more lax on the weekend -- maybe you limit your eating out to twice a month but when you do, you leave room for desert -- maybe you start with a restrictive eating plan for 2 weeks to break your sugar cravings and then slowly add back the foods you love).

Like the quote says -- experimentation is a chance to live life with a whole new orientation.  Perhaps that orientation of finding out which foods really do taste great and which ones are just habit is an opportunity to change the direction of your life.

This weekend, practice the experimentation mindset.  See if you can observe your behaviors without judging them.  As you make choices, see if there are other choices that might suit the situation and goals a little better.  Experiment and see what works (and what doesn't) -- like the quote from Monday said:

"Progress has little to do with speed but much to do with direction." 

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