Why Don’t I Always Do This?

I’m doing something I haven’t done in years: I’m on a diet. Or to put it in more politically correct terms: I’m trying to be leaner.

No gluten or sweets until the end of the summer.

I’m curious about how I made the decision to go leaner. I mean, I love bread and cake and chocolate and pasta (not necessarily all together but you never know). So what clicked in my brain to motivate me?

I remember lying in bed one night six weeks ago and thinking through what I wanted. What it came down to was that I want to be in control of my body. I want to control what I look like and what I can do.

I’m not sure what has been in control instead of me. I certainly haven’t been at the wheel. More like, shame and regret have been in control.

And as I lay there in bed, I remember feeling excited and curious about what I could do if I were intentional. If I’m in control, what could change?

Framed as something I want, rather than something I should do, it’s been surprisingly easy. I like absolutes:  I get into trouble when there is wiggle room for negotiation. No gluten and no sweets is an absolute rule that – for me – is easy to follow.

I’ve found that dieting is an exercise in patience: eat well and exercise consistently and, over time, change happens.

Six weeks into it, I feel, well, healthy. Clean, strong, no cravings, no stomach aches. I was running with my daughter across the playground and I had to hold up my jeans.

I was talking about this with a friend of mine yesterday and we wondered: since it feels so great, why don’t we always do this?