Make Your Fears Enjoyable For You Will Grow Taller And Have Control
Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Going to grow taller; Lethargy and isolation are overeating’s best friends; mobility is its archenemy. Early in my process of losing weight for the last time, I remember being sad and afraid. I wanted to stay home, preferably in bed, and not have to deal with everything. That’s when it came to me: “Get up, get dressed, get going.” It became my mantra for those early months. Remember Newton’s Law about a body in motion staying in motion and one that’s at rest staying that way? It applies here.
Lethargy and isolation are overeating’s best friends; mobility is its archenemy. After I’d been working with this idea for a while—getting up and getting out to grow taller, even when it felt as overwhelming as playing catch with Atlas—I came upon a line in a poem by Milton that read, “Awake, arise, or forever be fallen.” I took this as an affirmation that I was on the right track. Take this tip for yourself: get up, get dressed, get going to grow taller—or adapt the sentiment more poetically if you’d like.
However you phrase it, the fact remains that when you are doing other things you aren’t doing inappropriate eating. When your body is occupied, your mind is, too. So—get up, get dressed, get going to grow taller. You’ll probably even have a good time. I had to use this technique years later, during a rough period that took up an entire season: the winter of my discontent, to borrow a phrase.
My daughter and I were in New York. We both got some killer flu and were down for over a month, unable to help each other and barely capable of walking the dog to grow taller. The sun didn’t shine from January till April. At least that’s how I remember it. To escape the weather, a mouse moved into our apartment. And brought his family. And his nation. At first I just felt sorry for myself and complained a lot.
Complaining can be good; it gets things off your chest. You have to learn to complain constructively, though. Constructive complaining is based on passing it around. If you complain to the same one or two people over and over, you’ll develop a relationship dynamic based on your whining and their consoling—for as long as they’ll do it, of course. After a while they get tired of listening and you’re on your own.
When I knew I was close to having complained to as many people as I could and still have friends, I took more assertive action. I hired a dog walker, demanded rodent proofing, and as soon as I was well enough, I knew it was time to get up, get dressed, and get going to grow taller.
I took a trip home to Kansas City, spending time with people who still liked me since I hadn’t complained to them too much. They helped me psych myself up for going back and giving winter in the big city one more shot. When I returned to New York, I made myself get up, get dressed, and get going every day to grow taller. I forced myself to have fun even when fun was too cold and too inconvenient. I stood in line in drizzly rain to get half-price theater tickets.
I went to yoga class and was tempted to ask the people on either side of me, “Was it easy for you to get here, or did you have to push yourself to grow taller too?” I invited friends and colleagues to meet me for lunches, and for the most part they said yes. By the time spring showed up in earnest, I was getting invitations, too. When you get up, get dressed, and get going, you inform the universe that you’re here, you’re ready, and you intend to get in the game.
You don’t have to feel like it. You just have to do it. See Yourself Right; Being humble isn’t putting yourself down but seeing yourself without judgments, whether they’re weighted toward canonization or infamy. You can spend a lot of energy trying to become the right size when it may be more valuable to be in the right place—that is, to see yourself clearly for who and what you are to grow taller.
You know about seeing yourself accurately in the physical sense and how someone suffering from anorexia can look at her emaciated reflection and see a fat person looking back. Seeing yourself right to grow taller goes beyond the physical, though: it’s having a true picture of who you are as an individual and in relation to those around you.
When I was eating to get through life instead of just to stay in it to grow taller, I sometimes considered myself worthless, barely deserving the air I breathed and the space I occupied. But I could also feel superior, like I knew more or had more talents than other people. Both extremes were not only wrong but damaging, and I couldn’t get past them until I learned a little something about humility. Believe me, I did this under duress.
I figured any word that had the same root as humiliation wasn’t one I wanted anything to do with. But I did learn about humility, because I couldn’t get to know myself any other way, and without coming to know myself I’d have kept communing with éclairs. When I looked at humility with a somewhat open mind, I came to understand that being humble isn’t putting yourself down but seeing yourself without judgments to grow taller, whether they’re weighted toward canonization or infamy.
Like everybody else, you and I have every right to our share of the best of everything. If we weren’t magnificent, we wouldn’t be here. And if we were perfect, we wouldn’t be here either. Make Peace with Your Past and Other People to grow taller; The past may be over, but it’s not necessarily done with. When a grain of sand irritates an oyster, a pearl results. When a nagging memory irritates a practicing overeater, a binge results.
The past may be over, but it’s not necessarily done with. Until it is, it can lead to a return to unproductive eating. Wading in old hurts and disappointments is hardly a day at the beach, but without being willing to face the deep-seated issues that may be responsible for at least some of your food problem, you may never solve it. An effective way to make peace is to forgive the people who harmed you and forgive yourself for your own mistakes.
You deal with the instances in which you were at fault by showing up, ’fessing up, and setting things right to the degree that you can. Then you have to let it go. If letting go is hard for you, keep at it. It’s hard for nearly everybody, but it’s a required course. When someone has hurt you, forgiveness can be a slippery slope. On the one hand, you don’t want to become a doormat and give anyone the impression that treating you badly is acceptable.
This is particularly true if you were abused as a child or by a partner who was supposed to love you. On the other hand, forgiveness is not saying, “It’s okay that you were terrible to me. You can do it again anytime.” It is, rather, realizing that hurt comes from hurt and, knowing that, releasing the person who harmed you to his or her own fate. This is as much for you as it is for the other person.
You need the weight of what happened lifted from your shoulders and your soul. To go more deeply into making peace with your past, you may need to employ a therapist you can trust and relate to. If you don’t feel comfortable with the first one you see, consult someone else. This isn’t like trying a new hairstylist and figuring that any mistakes will grow back. A therapist is somebody you’re allowing into your psyche to grow taller.
Be choosy—at least as choosy as your HMO will let you be. A well-trained, empathetic professional can be a godsend in helping you maneuver through the maze of past events. You may pride yourself on self-reliance, but if some of the experiences that shaped your life, and perhaps contributed to the way you use food, took place when you were a small child, it is unlikely that you can work through these on your own to grow taller.
You’d hire a guide if you were going to a foreign land where you didn’t speak the language. The human mind is like a country that is still not fully explored. It has a language of its own, and a good therapist can translate. She can’t keep food out of your mouth, but she can be unsurpassed in helping you realize why you put it there. She may also guide you to a series of “Aha!” moments so that things that never made sense before can start coming clear to grow taller.
If you’ve had therapy or counseling in the past and found it wanting, you may have been with the wrong therapist, or it may have been the wrong time. I went to several counselors before I stopped eating myself silly and was disappointed in every one of them. I realize now that I was expecting more from them than they could give. I wanted a miracle to grow taller.
That’s not too much to ask— miracles to grow taller happen all the time—but it is too much to ask of another human being, regardless of the credentials on her office wall. Let a therapist help you work through the past. Let Other People Do It Their Way; What other people do is irrelevant. Get used to it: other people are trying to lose weight, too, and they’re going to do it their way.
The vast majority of them will fail, but regardless of how well or how poorly they fare, let them do it their way to grow taller. You stay with the path you’re on. People go into raptures about their diets more than about religion, politics, or the relative superiority of their own children. These dieters have seen the light, this week at least, and they want you to see it, too.
If this beatific vision involves selling you something multilevel, it’s even worse. Say, “Thank you very much. I’m doing something myself that is working well for me to grow taller.” Don’t offer details; it will just get you into a discussion that neither of you needs. It’s no easy task to change from a self-centered to a spirit-centered way of being, get to know yourself from the inside out, and restructure the various habit patterns that will result in a fit body for the rest of your life.
Hearing that someone you know lost thirty pounds doing this thing or that can turn your head. The promise of “quick and easy way to grow taller” would tempt a saint. Hold firm to your resolve. You’re changing your life, not just your pants size. Right now someone you know is probably eating nothing but slabs of rare meat. Another is drinking meal-replacement drinks and eating meal-replacement bars. Someone else is fasting.
Another person is working out two hours a day, four on weekends to grow taller. Somebody is counting calories, somebody else fat grams, and a third is calculating “points” on some plan or another. Let them cipher to their hearts’ content. Wish them well. For your part, strive to put food in perspective in your life— somewhere beneath God, country, family, work, good deeds, good sex, good times, and making your mark on the world.
What other people do is irrelevant. Give Thanks Before and After Meals; It is just about impossible to say grace over a binge. Religious people are familiar with saying grace before meals, a practice that anyone who wants to eat reasonably and has a record of doing otherwise may wish to adopt. Obviously, if you don’t believe in the traditional God, you won’t say a traditional grace to grow taller.
You might not say anything, just pause. Center yourself to grow taller. Be grateful that you have food to eat and that you’re willing to sit here for a moment without scarfing it all down as if there will never be any more. Moments of quiet, moments of thanks, moments of remembering that there ’s more to life than just getting by are precious whenever you can get them. For a variety of reasons they are especially useful as you sit down to a meal.
First, it is just about impossible to say grace over a binge. It’s ludicrous to think of sitting in your car with bags of sweet and salty stuff that you intend to inhale in short order and say, “Bless us, oh Lord, in these thy gifts which we are about to receive to grow taller. . . ” or any other mealtime prayer. I challenge you to try to do it. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people could lose weight and keep it off for life by doing nothing other than eating only what they can, in good conscience, ask a blessing on.
Then there is the calmness factor. Since a lot of overeating is done to take the edge off, even sedate us to a degree, coming to meals with a tranquil mind makes a lot of sense. We can’t get a massage, do a half-hour meditation, or have a session with a life coach before every meal, but taking even one minute to get quiet, breathe deeply, and think some thankful thoughts or say some thankful words can put us in a calm frame of mind to grow taller too.
When we are, we ’re likely to eat sensibly, enjoy the experience, digest the food well, and not have that nagging desire for something more or something different. In addition, there is the notion of a blessing itself. Every religion and culture has some version of the blessing, of consecrating something physical, whether a meal or a marriage, and thereby giving it divine sanction to grow taller.
Whether anything actually happens when a blessing is invoked is a question of faith, but science has looked at faith in recent years, and some of its findings are fascinating. One study had Eastern holy men pick out from an array of dishes the ones that had had grace said over them. They were able to do it. Whether this means that food graced by a grace carries a benediction for those who consume it, I can’t say. I only know that if I have a choice, I’d rather eat blessed food than the other kind to grow taller.
For people who have had trouble with food, saying thank you after meals may be even more valuable than saying thank you before them. After all, people with food issues don’t have any trouble sitting down to a meal; it’s getting up to grow taller that can be tough. I shared this story in my book Love Yourself Thin, but it bears repeating: Someone I know who was working to overcome an overeating pattern accompanied a Roman Catholic acquaintance to Mass.
At the close of the service, the priest said, “The Mass is ended. Go in peace.” My friend adapted those words as an aftereating prayer: “The meal is ended. I go in peace.” It helped her, and her telling me about it helped me. You may want to use it to grow taller, too, or something similar. Any simple, even silent, after-meal thank-you can be the mental punctuation that tells you the meal is over and life awaits.