I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can

Which seems like a better title than ‘My Mind is About to Explode.’  And just so you know, the title is funny since I have to be dead drunk to actually dance (which explains my non-existent ballroom dancing career.)  And, just so you know, surprisingly this post is not about Noah.  Well, maybe a little bit…

A couple of weeks ago I realized that I was reading three books at the same time that were really challenging the way I think.  All three authors were very sure that what they were presenting was the truth.  And all three books were presenting an alternative reality to what I have accepted as the truth for a very long time.  This might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but stick with me here.

The first book was Radical, by David Platt.  Of the three books, this one was the most familiar to me.  Because I have been listening to David Platt speak for a couple of years, and basically what he is presenting is what I always thought Jesus meant.  It is just different than what the average American church (of which I have been a part my whole life)  has accepted as ‘the gospel.’  The subtitle of David’s book is ‘Taking back your faith from the American dream.’   ‘Nuff said about that.  If you are interested, check out the book, or listen to David online.  He is the real deal.  Still, its a challenging message to apply to your life.

The second book was ‘Culture Clash,’ about training dogs without ‘adversity.’   This is when I thought I would really lose my mind.  I sat in the living room and listened to Noah bark for an hour non-stop.  The author is not wrong in what she is presenting.  But Noah has not read her theories.  And either I am not talented enough or patient enough, or have enough time to train Noah exactly the way she explains it.  It makes me feel like a very bad dog owner and a failure.  All rolled into one big fat overeating  person.  Ooh.  That sentence just rolled right on out of me, and it leads into the next book, which is the main topic of this post.

The third book was Intuitive Eating.  Which you all have heard me refer to a number of times over the past few months.  I finally finished the book, and here are my thoughts.  This is a VERY GOOD BOOK.   The vast majority of the information in it is sound.  It checks out with much of what I have read over the past five years since starting in Weight Watchers in January 2005.  Actually, a LOT of what W.W. attempts to teach you is exactly what I.E. proposes.

Here’s my thoughts about how this applies to me.  (Note to all:  these are my thoughts.  They are about me.  Even though I spill my guts am open and honest on my blog, you don’t completely know me.)

  • I was kinda intuitively eating when I got all the way up to 255 pounds and stayed there for 20 years.
  • This book was written before all the information/theories about the addictive qualities of the sugar/fat/salt combo came out.
  • I have a problem with liking food so much that I eat when I am not hungry.
  • It will take a lot of work to be able to practice all the guidelines they propose.  That is where their definition of ‘diets’  might be wrong.  The structure of, say, W.W. can help you practice their guidelines as you learn about what is for most of us a drastic change in our lives.

So, for all of these authors’ theories and information, I realize that my most favorite author, Dallas Willard, has some very wise words that can apply to all these topics.  Of course, when he speaks, he is specifically talking about your spiritual life, about following Jesus and becoming like him.  And he always says, grace is not opposed to training.  In other  words, if you just say you are going to ‘try’ something (like I.E.) you will no doubt fail.  But there is nothing wrong with TRAINING to become something different (a disciple of Jesus, a dog trainer that doesn’t use adversity, or an intuitive eater.)   And that is what I intend to do.  To continue to train in all of these areas of my life.  And to give myself just a fraction of the grace that God offers me when I fail.  And when I fail, just like I have learned over the past five years of dieting lifestyle change, I will get back up, and continue to train  in all these areas.

Also , I feel I must add, that just because someone is very sure that what they are saying is true, and just because their thoughts have been published in a book, does not make what they say THE TRUTH.

So there.  Now you know what I really think.  For today.  And that’s the truth.

P.S.  Just got this sign and this card and loved the messages on them and wanted to share with you all!

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16 thoughts on “I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can

  1. Amen Sista!

    I loved this post. Just because someone gets published or it’s in People magazine or Shape or Health or whatever doesn’t mean it is Gospel. And the first book is kind of intriguing too.

    I could have written each of those bullett points verbatam (except for the weight ).

    My favorite line : “So there. Now you know what I really think. For today. And that’s the truth”

  2. I love that sign! And the card is absolutely beautiful.

    Noah not having read that dog book – what a wonderful statement. You can read and implement all you want, but when you are dealing with an animal (or child), if THEY aren’t on board, well, it just ain’t gonna happen.

    I think it’s interesting that at perceived failure moments, you revert back to being fat in your mind. And now I want to give YOU twelve hugs.

    • I like getting pretty cards that have sayings that I like and then framing them and looking at them for a while. Cheap art.

      I’m trying to figure out why TWELVE hugs. Am I missing a connection somewhere? Anyways, thanks so much!

      • Twelve hugs comes from a quote that POD had up the other day – “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” And since you are striving for growth in so many things, I thought I’d help out. 🙂

  3. Very nice! I like the idea of training for something – doesn’t seem so pass/fail in my mind.

    When I was making the IE rounds a few years ago, it was all about eating whatever you want (at least in the blogs that I read) and now I have found that the focus is more about eating healthy foods – and knowing your limits. Interesting, I think.

    I’m glad you were able to straighten out the “mind explosion” before you actually exploded!

    • Well, the jury’s still out on that. I could explode any day now LOL. Tonight ended a lot better than it started this morning with you-know-who.

      Yeah, there’s a lot to the intuitive eating book. We can all definitely use a lot of what they are trying to get across as tools to help us along. I might review it a little more in the next few days.

  4. You wrote:
    “I was kinda intuitively eating when I got all the way up to 255 pounds and stayed there for 20 years.”

    I loved that – me too.

    Most of us, I suspect.

    I always picture IE for the other side of the eating disorders coin – people who restrict (like anorexia, not sure if I spelled that right) learning to recognize when they are hungry and then eat (real food).

    • I think that there’s a lot of information in the IE book that all of us can use. I might write a little more about that.

  5. Your bullets points were right on the money for me, too. IE scares me a little. Okay, a lot.

    “It makes me feel like a very bad dog owner and a failure. All rolled into one big fat overeating person. ”
    Wish I could give you a hug here. Just reading a book doesn’t make ‘real life’ operate the way it does in print. There are a lot of factors and just the whole time aspect that can lead one to feel like a failure.

  6. Great post, Debby! I also avoid the statement “I’ll try to” or “I’m trying to” and I don’t let my clients say they “tried to” eat well or exercise. I focus on the specific baby steps and behaviors that I need to get something done. Either I’m doing it, or I’m not. Either my client did what they were supposed to, or they didn’t. Then we can talk about what decisions they made, and why.

    It takes the emotional attachment down a notch, and prevents justification of bad decisions by saying “I tried to order something healthy, but the restaurant was famous for their fettuccini alfredo…..”

    You are right that failure at some points is a guarantee. I also like your use of the word “training” like I’m training myself to make better food decisions. I also use the word “practicing” a lot. I talk a lot with people about what they practiced when they made dinner, what did they practice when the sweet tooth craving hit. Because “trying” doesn’t really get any results, our successes are made by what we DO.

    Georgie

    • Yes Georgie. If I had expanded on that point, that is exactly what Dallas Willard means. He uses several examples: concert pianists do not become great piano players by trying. It is by hours and hours of practice. Same thing with a great ball player. Not only do they practice playing ball, but also they practice eating well, sleeping well, and abstaining from unhealthy behaviors.

      I really like the way you think (great minds…LOL)

  7. Very interesting post. I’ve added Radical to my to-read list.

    Culture Clash is also making me feel inept in many ways. I don’t have the time to implement all of her suggestions. On the other hand, I am learning some things from the book, so I still think it is a worthwhile book. I’m taking it with a grain of salt. I think the author’s MAIN goal was to write a rebuttal to the concept that all training goes back to dominance / pack leadership / etc. I think there is a balance to be found between the Cesar Milans of the world and the Jean Donaldsons of the world. So I’m glad to have the information at both ends of the pendulum so that I can find my own happy place in the middle.

    As far as intuitive eating, I think that concept would work GREAT if we still lived in an agrarian society. But in this age of 7/11s, candy in the check out line (even at craft stores!) and readily available high calorie processed food everywhere, intuitive eating really only works for those who are not terribly food oriented. I mean, if I had to pick and shell my own nuts, I’d probably be less likely to eat them by the handfuls!

    Just my two cents.

    • I agree, Juice. I have learned quite a bit from that book. And I agree with the balance. I think there is good in both points of view. I like the latchkey dog book also. It does seem like she thinks obedience training is the answer to a lot of problems. I remembered why I slacked off on obedience training. I find the repetitiveness of it BORING. Oh well. Continuing on.

      Yes, that is a very good point about the availability of junk food. More than just availability. The massive promotion of it. Yeah, the gobs of candy tempting me at Michael’s and Joanne’s drives me nuts. No place is safe…

  8. Your response to Culture Clash (and I, too, loved the ‘Noah hasn’t read the book’ line) made me think about back when I was trying to potty train my son. The Toilet Training in Less than a Day standard worked like a charm with #1, but #2 wasn’t having it. I knew the method and thought it worked, but absolutely. no. go. He finally learned how a whole year later.

    I’m always reading a few books at once, too. It’s interesting how they all simmer together in my mind and I start to try to gather ‘great truths’ from the melange.

  9. Funny that Tish mentioned the toilet training, because for my kids (both on the “later” end of the spectrum), it just didn’t happen until they were ready. And they both tend to be motivated by different things, too. (Neither really went for the stickers, and I did not want to go the food reward path.) It’s probably similar for dogs, too; just like people, there are some generalities that apply, but no two dogs are alike.

    And I *loved* the idea of training/practice. For me, like you said, the structure of a “way of eating” helps us learn the habits over time. And it’s kind of analogous with athletic training. We’re not always going to be at peak performance, and sometimes it’s nice to just exercise and not be training for an event, but when I have a specific goal, I need a plan of action to get me there. To help make what I need to do more of an automatic response than a laboriously thought out process each time.

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