" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

September 18, 2008

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

You might be wondering--where's this post going..what do shampooing my hair and losing weight have in common?

Well, I was thinking of a scene from "Reba". I never watched that show when it was on in prime time. But when the reruns appeared in the late afternoon my husband and I became huge fans. The show is hysterical.

The scene I'm thinking of relative to this post is the one where the lovable doofus Van comments to Kiera that the directions on the shampoo bottle- "later, rinse, repeat"--are confusing. His conumdrum is the repeat part--how many times is he to lather and rinse? Kiera gives him the look that only she can give and says "once, Van--you repeat once". Duh. He goes off happy, problem solved.

I remember thinking--I'm a bit of a doofus too at times--I had questioned the "repeat" instruction back in the day. The answer I came up with was "as many times as needed to get your hair clean". Because I shampooed daily, lathering and rinsing once was sufficient, no repeat necessary.

But that's not the case with weight loss...one time is never enough for the majority of us. I got to thinking-- if the typical diet came in a bottle the directions would be this: diet, lose, regain, repeat. And in my frustration I ask, as Van did, how many times must I repeat the process?

Now I can't give you a number, but I do know this: repetition is part of the process. Each of us will have to repeat as many times as is necessary for us to learn and conquer, until the equation is changed to diet, lose, maintain. And even then, "gain" will be a part of the equation--except the gain will be minimal--the normal body weight fluctuations and the occasional overindulgence that will always be part and parcel of our life.

One thing that I think is helping me to change and eliminate the repeat part is the realization that there are not 2, but 3 parts to the process. I like to think of the three parts as this: what I'm eating, what's eating me and the physiological response of my body.

For so long I did what I call functional dieting--- eat a certain amount and certain kind of food (what I'm eating) with the expectation that my body would respond by losing fat (the physiological response). But I didn't realize the power of my intention--the part my mind played in the process. It is huge and can make or break me.

These non-food choices (what's eating me) not only impact the physiological processes in my system but because they originate in my thinking-- my being--they lead me and they determine, even dictate, how I will respond in any given food situation.

Historically I've evolved in my approach to weight loss. And at times I get frustrated. In the past I'd throw in the towel and give up. But this time I'm seeing that my backward steps are integral to the learning cycle, so I keep pressing forward-- aiming high--believing that I will at some point in the future hit the bulls-eye of my target. No longer will it be "diet, lose, regain, repeat" but "diet, lose, maintain".

Jesus said "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". Paul said in Romans chapter 12 "be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." These are powerful words, full of wisdom, and applicable to every area of life.

It is the mind--the thinking-- that leads to our way of behaving. And if we want to transform our behavior, we must "renew" the mind. Let me repeat--transformation is the result of renewal of one's mind.

Renewing the mind requires examining the mind-- the thinking, the beliefs-- and correcting any faulty thinking. Unless we correct our thinking, nothing will change. The same thinking will produce the same actions and result in the same behavior.

Perhaps we keep needing to "diet, lose, regain, repeat" because we were just going through the motions having never fully examined and corrected our faulty thinking--and as a result, there was no "renewal of mind" and therefore no transformation.

"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.