If you had more hours in a day, what you do with it? Get that workout in? Read more books? Meet a friend for lunch? Write some letters to your aunt or uncle?
I was chatting the other day with my mom – one of the only people with whom I really talk about my physical struggles with, partly because I don’t need to voice it that often, partly because I know I’m strong and healthy and fit and partly because we all need an outlet, personal trainer or not. 😉
We were referencing people in our lives who seem consumed by exericse or how they eat, noting that we, too, have had moments where we were to consumed with these thoughts. I made the comment that I just don’t WANT to spend that much of my free time thinking thoughts about my body, my next meal, or getting another workout in. It’s not worth the time and stress to me, nor is it worth me sacrificing certain foods or events in order to maintain the level of lean-ness that I desire.
This idea came up again last night while having dinner with two friends – sisters – from the gym. In a funny moment, one of my friend’s belts popped open after dinner, the straps so thin they finally gave way, and her sister remarked, “I hope you don’t take that the wrong way and let it worry you!” Both women are healthy, fit and attractive, and I commented that she didn’t seem like the girl who had those thoughts too often. She proceeded to tell me that she heard via a Ted Talk recently that women, on average, think thoughts about their bodies (“Does this light make me look good?” “My thighs look fat when I’m sitting.”) every 30 seconds. 30 seconds! That’s nuts! And we all agreed we’ve been there, done that. And sometimes get sucked back into those thoughts, but our intention is to simply not give ourselves that much thought.
Think about if you had more time in your mind – filled with less of you and more of others. Or more time to think about life. To make decisions. To be kind to yourself. What if more of these thoughts took over?
If we are thinking these thoughts every 30 seconds (on average, and of course not every woman struggles with this, and I’m sure it’s not exclusive to women), you can add that up and deduce that we’re spending TOO MUCH time thinking (mostly critical) thoughts about ourselves. So, if you had time, what would you think about and how would you spend that resulting time?
I’d be grateful for the sky, for crisp air in Calgary that stings a bit but makes me feel alive when I step outside. I’d think about friends and remember to turn those thoughts into prayers. I’d probably look up good recipes and take time to make some healthy food instead of looking up workouts to work off those gummy bears.
More confirmation on this topic came when I received the most recent newsletter from Neghar Fonooni. She talks about how much her weight fluctuates lately (~7 lbs, which makes me feel pretty normal with about a 4 lbs weight change in either direction) but how she’s so much happier. To quote Neghar:
My life is awesome; it’s so much more meaningful than it was when everything revolved around my body fat percentage. That’s because I have so much more to offer the world than a lean physique, and so do you.Now, understand that I am not saying that fat loss is not a worthy pursuit. I’m not insinuating that wanting to lose fat is wrong or meaningless in any way whatsoever. Fat loss pursuits are valuable as long as they are done with positive intentions, self-love, and compassion.