I heard an interesting idea a few weeks ago in one of my Bright Line Eating Facebook groups, around New Year’s Eve time.
It goes something like this: Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, try having a “word of the year.”
I really liked this idea, because last year there were two words that held great significance for me.
SURRENDER and UNSTOPPABLE.
I developed a connection with each of those words at some point in the year, and as soon as I felt that I wanted to carry that intention with me, I had a custom bangle bracelet made for me from an Etsy shop. I wear the bracelets almost every day.
When I purchased the bangle bracelets, I didn’t feel surrendered or unstoppable. But here’s the important thing: I wanted to feel surrendered. I wanted to feel unstoppable. And I didn’t want to lose sight of that intention.
And do you know what happened?
Over time, I became totally surrendered and completely unstoppable!
There is magic in intention setting.
So when I heard it suggested that we choose one word for the year in 2017, I thought about adding a third word.
I’ve got two intentions for 2017. First, I’d like to develop my resistance muscle (a term I learned from The Beck Diet Solution which I mentioned yesterday) and I’d like to develop the muscles all over my body so that I am stronger, healthier and even more gorgeous.
I’m going to spend a lot of my mental energy in the beginning of 2017 firming up my resistance muscle, because that ‘s what it takes to resist the incredible amount of “not my food” that’s everywhere these days and also to combat the tens or hundreds of thoughts I have per day of eating food that’s off of my plan (that’s normal by the way). I can feel that muscle growing bigger and bigger right now. It’s really exciting stuff.
The second intention that I have around muscle is to begin lifting weights. Did you know that I spent a year practicing power Vinyasa yoga almost every day in 2016 and didn’t lose a single pound? Sure, that practice had unbelievable benefits in so many other ways, but as far as my goal to lose the last of my excess weight, it was a complete flop.
Now, this is where surrender comes back into the picture.
Back in October 2016, when I began my first Bright Line Eating Bootcamp, one of the principles of the program is that when you are in weight loss mode, it is actually counter productive to exercise at the same time. Now I know that this goes contrary to conventional wisdom, and that’s why I rejected it outright for my entire first boot camp experience.
But the science is there–people that exercise at the same time that they are trying to lose weight actually lose less weight!
There are a few reasons why. First off, exercise is a stressor to the body and mind, and so is weight loss. Since doing something like Bright Line Eating required learning a whole bunch of new habits, even for me, the added stress of daily exercise just wears on your willpower. And that’s a biggie. It has been studied hundreds of times and there is no doubt that human beings only have a finite amount of willpower. Susan calls it “The Willpower Gap.” So exercising, which uses at least some of our willpower every time we do it, takes willpower away from learning new habits with food and other stuff.
Secondly, exercise makes us even hungrier than we already are each day. That became a major issue for me in my bootcamp. It totally messed with my head. While everyone else was raving about how they “just weren’t hungry” on the BLE weight loss food plan, I was feeling ravenous. I didn’t admit it to myself that it could be the daily workouts, because I didn’t want to give them up, but once I surrendered to it, my hunger was immediately tamed to normal and manageable levels.
Lastly, I sure think I did gain muscle and lose fat during my #365daysofyoga experiment. Everyone keeps telling me I look great. And there is a part of me that’s very proud that I accomplished it. But when my original intent was weight loss, and there was no progress in that department, it left me feeling less than happy about the whole thing.
So, my plan right now is to just follow Susan’s advice. From the success that others are having on BLE, and my own weight loss success AS SOON AS I STOPPED RIGOROUS EXERCISE, I feel that I totally trust this plan now. I’m not doing any heavy exercise (gentle walks and stretching are perfectly fine) until I’ve lost my final pounds. But you can be rest assured that as soon as that happens, I’m going to get right back on my yoga mat and into a local CrossFit gym.
I miss exercise so much, and that’s even more incentive for me to stay on my plan (ie “keep my Bright Lines bright”).
I think I’ve got to go order myself my MUSCLE bangle now.
Because my Word of the Year 2017 is most definitely MUSCLE.
Thinking about it just puts a huge smile on my face!
So, I’d love to know what you think of the idea about having a word of the year instead of resolutions.
What is your word for 2017?