Epictetus was born a Greek slave and lived from 33-135 AD. He was a philosopher that is still read today and has some ideas worth repeating!
“Some things are in our control, while others are not. We control our opinion, choice, desire, aversion, and, in a word, everything of our own doing. We don’t control our body, property, reputation, position, and, in a word, everything not of our own doing. Even more, the things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed, while those not in our control are weak, slavish, can be hindered, and are not our own.” – EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 1.12
This 2000+-year-old quote says our thinking is really the only thing we have control over; if we don’t think about what we are doing then we become slaves to things that are not of us. Back in the day he talked a lot about overeating and indulging in excesses – those Greeks and Romans knew how to partaaay!
Anyway, this goes to show that humans have been thinking about why we fight with our primitive, unconscious urges and desires for a LONG time! Which brings us to this week’s topic:
Actively directing our food choices in an aware, conscious manner.
The MEAL PLAN is how we are learning to do this! We are using our brainpower to plan and execute what we will eat in the next day or week instead of letting outside influences or circumstances to do it for us.
Here is a short list of all the things we do to accomplish this. I call it anti-mindless dieting:
♦ actually write a plan down we can follow realistically
♦ actually eat only what we write down
♦ ignore what friends and family tell us to eat or not eat
♦ ignore all the other food in the world not on our plan
♦ ignore the marketing we are bombarded with by the food industry
♦ listen to our bodies; hear what it says about what we put in it
♦ explore urges to eat something off plan and why
♦ identify emotions we foster or block with food
♦ learn how we buffer negative emotions with food
All these actions you take INSIDE YOUR BRAIN and are fully within your control! You are exercising your skill of DELAYED GRATIFICATION around food in order to achieve your weight loss.
This is a skill you have used in so many other areas of your life! Like graduating school, going to work everyday to get a paycheck, saving money to go on vacation, sending your kids to college, buying a house, or even walking the dog! All of us are real good at putting other things and people before our needs to get things accomplished for other people.
Now it is time to put you first!
And amazingly, with practice over time, we will be able to do it meal after meal, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year to keep our weight loss and health goals!