Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 262: Mantra Monday - "Fake it 'til you make it!"

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their thoughtful and encouraging comments and emails over the past week.  This no-mirrors adventure has had it's ups and downs, and - thanks to my private (well, now public) frustration over gaining a few pounds combined with that lovely NHANES "Preliminary Report (card) of Findings" - the past few weeks have been rough.  As always, I remain determined to focus on healthy behaviors and positive thoughts, and to let the numbers fall where they fall.  I am eternally grateful to have such wonderful family, friends, and readers who help me stay on this path, even when I have my doubts or feel discouraged.  Thank you!

In the spirit of staying on this path of health and positivity, my mantra for this week is:

(Actually, it should be "Fake it 'til you make it!" but who's checking...)
I realize this may seem like an odd phrase to select, since my no-mirrors project is at least partially a quest for greater authenticity.  Is it possible to fake your way into authenticity?  Certainly not in the most literal sense.  Yet, I know from past experience that I often have to change my behavior first, and then wait for my mind to catch up.  In fact, my decision to shun mirrors relies on this logic: I wanted to stop caring so much about my looks, so I stopped looking at myself.  It wasn't instantaneous, but guess what?  Despite some minor self-esteem relapses (including the past few weeks), avoiding mirrors has been an overwhelming success.  All the other interesting things in my life - my goals, passions, friends, family, favorite hobbies, etc. - have attracted the energy and attention I used to give to my looks.  Yeah, it still hurts when somebody - like the U.S. Government - tells me I'm not thin enough, but I have a new identity and healthier practices to fall back on.

So this week I plan to "fake it" back to a healthier and happier place.  I gave myself a head-start last week by getting rid of all of the clothes in my closet that didn't make me feel BOTH stylish and sexy.  Now I only own clothes that make me stand tall and proud (and walk with swaying hips!).  Next up is an attitude adjustment, along with a continued commitment to eat healthfully and stay active, even though I've felt like wallowing on the couch with a bag of chips... and cookies, and cheese, and wine.  This week I will act like I have my shit together, and pretty soon I won't be acting any more.  Hooray!

One last thought.  For those of you who still think "fake it 'til you make it" is a lame mantra, consider this: Gandhi said, "be the change you want to see in the world."   I certainly don't consider myself to be as wise, eloquent, or world-changing as Ghandhi, but my mantra and his famous quote are rooted in the same spirit.  Think about it!  :)

What change would you like to be this week?

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  1. I love the idea of cleaning out your closet...I should work on that, as well. Recently, I decided to weigh myself at the gym (which I hadn't done in a while) and the numbers were not pretty. I've already been having self-esteem issues with my looks, but this unhealthy number has been stuck in my head since. It's hard not to get down on myself about it and I think your mantra is a really good way to start...changing behavior in my eating and exercising habits will hopefully eventually change my mind about what foods are tasty and how I actually enjoy running. Here's to fakin' it! :)

  2. Actually I think Fake It is an excellent approach and one I try to practice when I can. All my reading has taught me that the subconscious mind does not distinguish between what is real and what is not. If you believe it or exhibit that behavior your subconscious mind believes it to be real and acts accordingly helping you create the behavior you desire.

    I also would not loose sleep over the weight issue. I know a bit more about this than I should and those weight standards are NOT set by the medical industry, they are set by insurance companies.

  3. Hello!
    I was thinking about this blog and the past posting all weekend and something startling came to me!
    When you posted your pictures of your wedding my first thought was, “Why would she not feel beautiful she is so thin and pretty! I will have to lose a lot of weight to look that good at my wedding!”
    Then when you posted your weight last week, I realized we are the same dimensions! (You have two more inches then me).
    But really! I just thought it was interesting to see how harsh we are on ourselves, when really, we see the same things in someone else and we think they are awesome!
    You looked fantastic in your wedding photos and as long as you are happy with you then who cares!
    Thanks for such an encouraging blog and good luck!

  4. This week I'm going to be more upbeat, and I'll try faking it until I make it! Actually, I've tried this before and it really helped my mood. Keeping a gratitude journal with just a few word each day was what seemed to do the trick. Not really faking it, I guess, but reminding myself of what's important and why I'm fortunate.

    I was thinking that maybe the weight standards were somehow influenced by the diet industry. Don't they have a lot to gain by making people feel fat? But, it doesn't make sense that the medical field would adopt standards influenced by the diet industry. Why has everything been changing? Is it based on some sound research? Can anyone shed some light?

  5. I've been telling myself I like green tea and white tea, even though I find them both kind of bitter. This was to help me get into a healthy habit of drinking the stuff every day. It's still not my favorite but I've gotten into sort of a habit of "enjoying" a cup every afternoon. It's not that bad!

  6. This isn't so much faking something, but this week I need to start putting important things first. I'm always waiting until the last minute and putting stuff off, whilst doing unproductive activities like pointless internet browsing (not saying your blog is pointless!). I need to just buckle down and do the stuff that must be done! I hope I'll be efficient and get through a lot of it this week.

    One thing I CAN fake... Lately I've noticed that there isn't a vegetable I truly love. I never finish my vegetables, as cliché as it may be. I know they're healthy and necessary, so I need to start eating them more often, even if I don't like them. Maybe by pretending they're great, I'll gain a newfound appreciation!

    P.S. "Till" is just as acceptable as "'til." ;D

  7. Good thinking!
    It definitely works -
    I used to "fake fun" whenever I was at a party that wasn't really "my style" or played music I didn't like, because also fun is a relative notion: you have fun when you have fun - not when someone else is. And being with my friends was the most important thing to me. And we sure had fun!
    So -
    big up to you -
    and I can only second what Samantha said: you looked stunning in your wedding pictures. F*** those test results!
    And thanks for the clothing tip -
    might try it out some time.

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