How much time do you spend on working on your body?
You could probably make a fairly accurate guess as to how many hours and minutes you spend exercising. Or how long it takes for you to prepare your food each day.
It may seem a reasonable and necessary amount.
But how about how much time you spend thinking, or more likely, worrying, about your weight and what you eat? A few minutes every hour? For a good half hour before and after each meal? Almost all the time?
Tally up all those minutes or hours spent thinking about food and your body. Add it to the time you spend making food, eating and exercising.
Now add on any time you spend:
- reading health blogs, books and magazines
- scrutinizing your body in the mirror
- scrutinizing other people’s bodies
- finding clothes that make you look skinny
- changing how you sit so rolls don’t show
- planning your new diet
- cleaning out the closet, the panty, the fridge yet again
- Any other number of body related activities that don’t make you feel fabulous
I am guessing all that takes up a whole lot of your time. Your precious time. That thing we never feel like we have enough of.
Let’s say (as a likely gross underestimate) you spend each week:
3 hours burning off calories on the cross trainer;
2 hours preparing food as per your clean eating plan;
and ½ hour or so before and after your daily 3 meals thinking about that you are really hungry, and what you have to eat vs what you want to eat, and how good or bad you did according to the diet.
That’s 26 hours a week. More than 100 hours a month!
There is nothing inherently wrong with spending time thinking about eating and your body and doing things to change them.
But ask yourself:
Does the 26, 35, 50 or 60 hours you spend a week making you feel good or making you feel guilty and hopeless?
Does that time empower you or does it slowly beat you down?
Does it energise you or drain you?
Does it, overall, make your life more awesome?
If it doesn’t, you can slowly and purposefully make changes as to what you do with that time.
Imagine if you spent 26 hours a week, that’s over 1300 hours a year, on self-discovery, pleasure, self-care and kindness.
That’s a whole lot of joy to be had!
Want to really blow your mind, picture 10 years down the track, what age will you be? Picture yourself being a woman who has spent over 13 000 (yep, that’s 13 THOUSAND) hours in the last 10 years learning what makes her life wonderful, working through her issues with food, practicing being kind and compassionate to herself and taking pleasurable action towards feeling hot and healthy.
Compare that to yourself as a woman who has spent 13 000 hours (that’s over 6 years of working in a full time job) being worried, guilt ridden and feeling out of control around food
I know what I would want for myself. And I want the same for you. I want us to spend the precious hours of the day and space in our minds on what will makes us feel good.
Start small. Start with a single recurring thought or a usual task. How can you change so that it will allow you to experience more joy, more self-discovery or more peace?
Example: Instead 40 mins on the treadmill trying to distract yourself with pumping music while you count down the minutes, could you take a dance class you love so much the time flies and you can’t wait to come back next time?
Minute by minute you can make these changes. After a time, the hours you spend worrying and working on your diet and weight will lessen and contract. With spare brain space and energy, beautiful things will have room to flow into. What beautiful things would your mind and body be capable of it wasn’t bogged down with negative thoughts, weight loss striving and restrictive eating?
I can’t wait to find out!
Hannah May x