In 2017 I tried an experiment. I completely immersed myself into a Mediterranean lifestyle to see what would happen. (You can watch the daily videos in my Vlogust 2017 YouTube playlist.) I embraced the Mediterranean way of eating and living every day for one month. I fell in love with exercise, cooking, shopping, even the cleaning up part. Most of all I fell in love with how I felt. I was showing up for myself every day and it felt great. I was energized, positive, and having little wins every day. The byproduct was weight loss, inches lost, muscle strength gained, health gained. And it was so easy and enjoyable. To achieve your goals, fall in the love with the process rather than focusing on the outcome.
I had tried many fad diets in the past, but found that the restrictive way of eating wasn’t something I could maintain over time. And so I went back to my normal routines, and gained the weight back. I needed to do something that I enjoyed that would become a part of who I am. I needed to make a lifestyle change. I needed to change my life. I needed to become my future self that I saw in my mind.
No matter what your long-term goal, if you focus soley on the outcome, you will come up with many reasons why it won’t work. You’ll be looking for evidence everywhere that it’s taking too long or that you are destined to fail, and you’ll find plenty of that evidence. How many diets have you tried in the past and failed at? You start to think that is the way it’s going to be for you. But when you fall in love with the doing, the outcome happens naturally.
I saw a quote yesterday, and I’m paraphrasing: Smokers try to quit smoking. Non-smokers don’t smoke. We can relate that to any of our goals, including weight loss. Dieters try to lose weight. Healthy people don’t overeat.
Look into your future, visualize the future you, the healthy you, and act like her right now. If you want to quit smoking, practice being the non-smoker. You know the quote by Yoda. Do or do not. There is no try. When you try, you’re almost admitting to yourself that it can’t be done. You’re waiting to fail. That’s when you think your goal is impossible. When you do, you move forward. It’s a practice.
Practice being the woman who shows up for herself. Practice being the woman who has already lost the weight. What does she eat for lunch? Eat like her now. She’s having a beautiful Niçoise salad in a cute little French cafe rather than a cheeseburger and fries in her car while she waits for her kid’s soccer game to end.
She enjoys herself and doesn’t think about her lunch as a diet meal. She enjoys it for what it is. She takes pleasure in the many fresh ingredients, the colorful presentation, and the energy the food gives her.
Make a Mediterranean meal for dinner. Enjoy the process of chopping the vegetables, the cooking, even doing the dishes. Share your meal with a loved one. Have a glass of wine and a few laughs. Leave your phone in the other room. Talk to each other. Make plans. Share dreams. Act like you’ve already achieved your goals, and watch the magic happen.