“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi
On January 1, 2005, I did what millions of people are doing right now: I resolved to lose weight. I didn’t know how much or how long it would take, but I resolved to do something to take control of my body and my health.
When I started this journey, belief was the only thing I had going. I believed I could do it. I believed I was worth it.
That belief became my thoughts, which I journaled into words and spoke aloud. I told my family and my doctor, “I’m going to lose weight!” Those words led me to Weight Watchers online. As the weeks went by, my new way of eating became a habit, and in time, I started to value what I was accomplishing and what was emerging physically and emotionally. When I learned to value both my body and my thoughts – when they matched – I knew things were different this time. My destiny was not only to be thin, but to love who I am.
In an email last week, a friend wrote how she wants her thinner body back. She’s lost a substantial amount of weight, but over the holidays has gained a bit to where she physically notices it.
“Isn’t it cool,” I wrote, “that you can physically see that you’ve gained? I mean, when I was 300 pounds, or even 200, I could never see it. I never paid close attention to any part of my body except to criticize it. That you SEE it means you care and you will break up with sugar after the holidays. You’ll never go back to where you were because as you said, you want your thinner body back. I think that’s what differentiates people who lose weight for the last time from those who yo-yo. You fall in love, so to speak, with what you’ve accomplished.”
My friend’s destiny is to be thin. It’s what she values, it’s what she works for, it’s what she talks about, and it’s what she believes.
If losing weight is your destiny, take it from a seasoned yo-yo, been-there-done-that dieter: don’t change everything right now or turn your world upside down thinking if you run away from the old, the new will emerge. Instead, try it Gandi’s way.
Start with (and feel) these two words: “I believe…” Let that belief consume your thoughts and let your thoughts become your words and your words your actions. In time – in the proper time that is right for you – your actions will become your habits. And because you are patient, you will value what you’re accomplishing so much more because you will – in this process – start loving yourself more than you ever imagined.
And that, I believe, is the greatest destiny of all.
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