Note: This is Part 3 of a 10-Part Touchstone Training series. To catch up on the other trainings, click here.
Debbie and Allison have been friends for over 30 years.
They’ve watched each other’s kids grow up, go off to college, and get married.
They’ve been loyal wives, loving moms, dedicated employees.
They pursued important career goals, and managed to find time to volunteer. Church bazaars, pet parades, food drives, and too many Easter egg hunts to count.
Their superpowers? Making others feel welcome and keeping the peace.
They take care of others through the best and worst of times. Even when it means putting their own desires on hold.
A Milestone Celebration
Five years ago, Debbie and Allison celebrated their 50th birthdays together at a private luncheon for two. Feeling inspired by the new decade, they shared their hopes for the future.
They both envisioned their next chapter would be full of exploration. More fun, less work. There would be creative endeavors and time just for themselves. For reading and longs walks in the woods. Or whatever else might inspire them.
They were excited about the future!
Plus, there would be adorable grand babies coming soon, though they knew better than to suggest it to their kids.
And given that retirement was around the corner, they both a powerful vision….
… to step into their 3rd thirty feeling healthy AND 40 pounds lighter!
This was a pivotal moment.
For one of them.
* * * * *
Today, Debbie is retired. She’s still struggling with her weight and feels more hopeless with every new failed diet.
Her grandkids are the light of her life, but she isn’t spending much time with them. Her joints ache and she just doesn’t have the energy to keep up.
She opts out of family hikes and trips to Disney because she knows she’ll just slow everybody down.
Travel is exhausting. It’s easier to just stay home.
Her husband is as emotionally present as an icicle in Africa. They put up with each other. She feels alone, even when he’s in the same room.
She’s too embarrassed about her body to join any community groups, so she’s more isolated now than ever before.
She’s taking prescriptions like candies. For sleep, for pain, for anxiety, for diabetes, for depression. None of them seem to work all that well.
Yeah, she’s depressed. Understandably. This is not what she had in mind back when she turned 50.
* * * * *
Allison is also retired. She no longer struggles with her weight and hasn’t even thought about doing a diet in over ten years.
Even though she wouldn’t call herself skinny, she loves her body today. She feels stronger and healthier than she did when she was 40.
She and her husband are more connected and intimate than ever. They enjoy each other. Their marriage is rich and easy. Quite the opposite of their first 25 years.
They travel around the world, taking photos, writing stories, learning about different cultures. She loves meeting new people.
And when they aren’t traveling, Allison is adoring her role as a grandmother. There isn’t anything she won’t do with them… ride bikes, fly kites, go hiking, cook together, even obstacle courses!
Allison loves her life.
She has never been healthier or happier than she is today.
What’s the difference?
How is it that Allison is living the life of her dreams, and Debbie feels stuck and hopeless?
It’s easy to see once you know what to look for. When Allison got clear on the future she wanted, she also made a critical mindset shift.
She decided she wanted to focus on being healthy— not on losing weight.
She decided to stop dieting. And that started the transformation that gave her a whole new life.
The Opposite of a Dieting Mentality is a Healing Mentality
Like a fish in water, the dieting mentality is invisible all around us.
We grew up in a culture of obsessive calorie counting, watching our weight, and slim-fasting.
Before we could even think for ourselves, we simply adopted the dieting mentality. We didn’t know there was an alternative.
But there is. It's a healing mentality.
Let’s look at some of the ways a Dieting Mentality differs from a Healing Mentality:
We Get To Choose.
When Allison shifted her focus from how she looked to how she felt and what she was able to do, everything changed for her.
Not overnight. But in time.
She started appreciating her body. She discovered healthy foods that helped heal her metabolism. Much to her delight, she no longer wanted to devour a whole box of Krispy Kremes every time she drove by.
She learned new love skills that transformed her relationships.
She became happier.
Then something remarkable happened. She noticed the weight coming off. She wasn’t even trying to lose weight.
* * * * *
We get to choose.
We can continue swimming in the Dieting Mentality, and believing our worth is based on how we look or what we weight.
Or we can hoist ourselves up out of the water and choose a new path. One where we honor our body and love it back to better health.
Sure, healing takes time. But it’s worth it.
What do you think? Are you ready to embrace a healing mindset? Email me back and let me know. I personally reply to every email.
PS. This is the third email in a 10-part training (Touchstone Trainings). Missed the first two? You can catch up here. If you’d rather not receive this email series, but want to get future newsletters, just click here.
PPS. Did you know you're never too old to make remarkable changes in your life? I hope so. It's true.