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Circle of Life

by Vivian Fleitstra on March 22, 2014


In keeping with my the theme from last week, the power of reinvention, this post came to mind as I was listening to a lecture on dieting and compulsive behavior. I listened to the lecturer’s story and her story connected with mine so I thought I’d share the two realizing that many of us share this same story or a version of it.  The lecturer, was speaking about her growing up and listed all the diets she ever tried, her first was the eliminate the two cream-isle diet over time, and she lost weight.  She was only 11 but everyone was excited she lost weight and so was she (the power of reinforcement).  She realized she could eliminate more foods and lose more weight, she tried the only eat 1 hot fudge sundae a day diet, and continued trying different diets growing up.  Everything she did, was about being afraid of getting fat, gaining weight and her life became focused on the size of her body, what she weighed, what she ate and fantasy thoughts about what it would be like to be thin.  She discovered diet pills and found out she could eat and now still lose weight.  Let me stop here.  This is when I had a memory trigger and pulled out my journal, I had a need to write it so I didn’t lose it, and am sharing it with you now.

List all of diets I ever tried – weight watchers, nutrisystem, slim fast, starvation 10202_10152130961086005_821551687_n-1and deprivation, verge of being anorexic to the point of exercising all the calories I had eaten to rid myself of my guilt, burging, Blood type diet, Fit for Life Diet, Endless calorie counting, low-fat diets, low carb diets, no fat diets,  Eat right for life diet, Biggest Loser diet,  as you can see, I too, have a long list.  And this is why this talk resonated with me.  I completely relate to her with being consumed with my body image.  Maybe you do too?

I never tried diet pills and don’t plan to, but it also triggered another memory of my mother and her best friends.  I grew up in a suburbs of New Jersey.  My mother and her friends would go weekly to the diet doctor for their weekly prescription and all the kids, including me in tow, tagged along.  Ironically, after the diet doctor, we’d all go out for breakfast, and eat eggs, bacon, white toast, butter, endless coffee, hash browns were all consumed.  It probably would have made better sense to just take everyone out to breakfast, be mindful of what we all ate and then to park for a day out.  But that’s not how it was.  Keep in mind, everyone just being together and spending time is a fond memory.  But I never separated how confusing a message until now.    The view of this memory in my family and with those friends is viewed as fun times because of the time spent together.  What I realize, showing your daughter you take diet pills to be thin was probably no the best lesson.  However, it was quite a common theme back then.  My mother is a wonderful person, has done amazing things for many people and very giving.  I love her with all her imperfections.  I no longer blame her.   I choose not to carry this around with me, like I did as a young person.   I grew up in my life being told to be thin and pretty.   I grew up as the lecturer states, afraid of getting fat again, daily checks on the scale, sometimes twice a day, starving myself,  losing 34 lbs in one summer through starvation at the expense of making myself sick.  I continued on this path through high school until I was 18 when I found exercising regularly, but I had been consumed by my weight and unhealthy body image, to the point of letting it run my life, even into early adulthood.

Why am I telling you this?  Because there is hope if you are in this place.   I have since learned many lessons of valuing myself, my body not about the weight but loving myself from the inside out.  Through IIN, I’ve further learned exactly what to eat to fuel my body to reduce cravings, lose weight, feel better and have more energy because of the healthy selections.

I was compelled to share because all of this still plagues our culture, looking for a quick fix, eating disorders, poor body image and lack of value of oneself.  Through IIN, I learned the circle of life which teaches us primary foods (our thoughts, past experiences, relationships, etc.) influence secondary foods (the things we eat), impacting health and wellness.  Since I have found this a useful tool for myself and in my studies, I use it in my 1:1 coaching, 11 Day Spring Clean program and also designed my 6 week transformation program with it.

If you would like to learn about my programs, I invite you contact me on my site for a free session.  I am grateful and privileged to have the opportunity to make a difference for the many people I have worked with, through this blog, public speaking and teachings at local area events and colleges.  I am so appreciative of my experiences, learning’s and continuing my own journey of reinvention of health and wellness.

circle of Life IIN

Happy Saturday!   Be Healthy. Thanks for reading. ~ Vivian.

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