Women, Food and Desire-15 Minutes to Feeling like a Super Hero!
Give me 15 minutes (including the time to read this blog post!) and I’ll give you back a super hero – YOU!
Bet that headline got your attention, huh?! The new book, “Women, Food and Desire,” by Alexandra Jamieson arrived (I think End of Dieting by Dr. Joel Fuhrman is the only other book I’ve ever pre-ordered!) two days ago. The only time I’ve been taking to “read” lately is listening to audio books while I do dishes – which is great – because it’s better than nothing. However, at the end of the day, there’s almost nothing in the world that decompresses me like reading. And we all know how much better we sleep when we read for an hour before bed vs watching TV. The point is – apropos to this book – I couldn’t wait to sit down and savor it. So I did. In a couple of hours (with a few kid interruptions) I was at page 88. And I hope to finish it tonight! I can’t put it down.
If you don’t know who Alex Jamieson is, you may remember her as the (then) wife of the Supersize Me guy, Morgan Spurlock. She made the movie with him and is in it. At the time she was a vegan chef. She’s no longer vegan, but she is a holistic health coach, with a lot of experience and wisdom. This book seems to bring together so much of what I’ve been reading (um…I mean…listening to) about forming and breaking habits, such as The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
In my upcoming Healthy Family Healthy You book, I say, “Substitution is your strategy.” So far, Alex’s tips, along with the social science information I’ve studied, back that up. Most of what we do every day is pure habit. There are three aspects to a habit, which can be called by different names. This is what Jamieson writes: “Urge felt, action taken, need met. Impulse. Action. Satisfaction. Where we have a choice is at that middle place, the place of action.”
I love this and suggest you read the book as I am only giving you a tiny tidbit of its fantastic revelations. My point is this: Don’t make yourself wrong for choices you don’t love. When you beat yourself up you think you’re not good enough or don’t deserve to change. Most choices are actually habits, not choices. Most of our habitual choices don’t actually help us, at least not for long. We eat the cookie to reward ourselves at the end of a tough day and, after the 5 minute sugar high, all it does is contribute to more stress.
Jamieson suggests that when those types of urges hit, instead of doing what we always do, we sit with our feelings and write them down. First, you’ll find out what you are really feeling so you can figure out a way to actually address those feelings, rather than stuffing them down with food. Second, you’ll see that the feeling will pass, even without the cookie. And finally, you’ll feel so good about yourself when you resist your usual impulse. You don’t even have to grin and bare it. You can simply make a new choice, and, with playful curiosity, see what happens. The next day you can choose something else and figure out what will work best. If you miss lots of sugar and cream in your morning coffee, maybe there’s a specific smoothie or tea that will replace the feelings you’re looking for from the coffee. You won’t know unless you try!
That’s what I mean by 15 minutes to feeling like a super hero. You don’t have to lose 50 lbs in the next two weeks to make yourself feel good. You will feel mentally and physically fantastic, literally in 15 minutes, by changing what you do in that middle place of action.
What habits make you feel like you’re always making the wrong decision? Maybe it has the opposite effect of your intention? She suggests starting there.
So, where does the sex come in? Come on, I know that’s what you were waiting for! Well, I’m not quite up to that chapter, but I would imagine from I’ve read so far, that a woman who feels terrible in her own body won’t feel a great connection to her partner, or feel confidence in or ownership over her body (and its desires). But we’ll see what she says in the second half of the book. Maybe I’ll tell you. Maybe I won’t!